5 Key Essentials to Note When Onboarding Your New Legal Employees
- Posted by Lynn Sedgwick
- August 5, 2022
The Legal landscape has changed drastically in the last couple of years. Job opportunities are becoming more flexible with the rise of remote or hybrid work and the four-day work week, which started as a trial in the UK in recent weeks.
Even the way law firms source and assess new candidates for roles has evolved, with an increasing number of virtual and video interviews as well as new software being developed since the pandemic.
On top of all these changes, hiring managers and employers are also facing new challenges in employee retention, with the “Great Resignation” now causing significant talent turnover.
In a skills-short legal environment, it’s important to ensure you’re taking every precaution to not only find the right new legal professional but prepare them for long-term success within your law firm.
A successful onboarding strategy could be the key to providing your new team member with all the support, guidance, and insights they need to thrive at your firm.
Here are the onboarding strategies you can use to empower your legal hires.
1. Start with Preboarding
Employee “preboarding” is essentially an introductory step before the more intensive onboarding process begins. Today, as the competition for top legal talent continues to grow, talented candidates are increasingly looking to work with employers who make them feel valued, not those just paying the highest salary.
Just as your new team member will be working hard to prove you made the right choice by bringing them on board, you want to demonstrate they’ve made an excellent choice by deciding to work for you. An introduction email as soon as your candidate accepts your job offer can set you off on the right track to building a great working relationship. You can even use this email to give your new employee some useful information such as parking on their first day, start times and any other useful information that could help them out.
Start by welcoming your candidate onto the team and let them know the names of some of the people they will be working with. Next, include valuable information your employee might need, such as videos highlighting information about your brand identity and general updates about the new firm they are joining.
2. Adjust the Onboarding Process for Different Roles
Do you have an onboarding plan? View our report here on a Quick Guide To Onboarding New Legal Talent.
Certain parts of the legal onboarding process will be the same for all employees. You’ll need to introduce every new team member to the company culture in your business and the kind of values you’ll expect them to adhere to. However, this doesn’t mean an onboarding process should be entirely one-size-fits-all.
Adjust the steps you take in the onboarding process based on your new employee’s needs. For instance, ask yourself what kind of software and tools the team member will be using from day one, and provide them with training support or video guidance on setting up new accounts.
Think about the specific members of staff your new employee is going to be working with and arrange for a video or group meeting where you can all get to know each other in an informal and friendly setting.
Creating a streamlined and personalised process for each employee will ensure your new candidates aren’t overwhelmed by information that may not be pertinent to them when starting their new role.
3. Focus on Inclusion
The needs of today’s employees are beginning to change. While all team members want access to great development opportunities, a good salary, and fair benefits, they’re also looking for an immersive company culture and a sense of inclusion within their teams.
Today, 64% of employees say diversity and inclusion is a crucial consideration in their decision to take a job offer. As soon as a new candidate agrees to join your team, start focusing on how you include them.
Ask new hires about their preferred pronouns and names and introduce them immediately to the people they will be working with. Allow your employees to sit in on video meetings even before their role officially starts if you’re not going to be sharing sensitive information and add them to your group messaging boards.
Make sure every team member feels like a crucial part of the team, regardless of whether they’re working in the office, remotely, or on a hybrid schedule.
4. Build a Training Plan for Development
Great onboarding isn’t just about welcoming a new legal employee into your team and ensuring they have all the information they need about your business. You should also be looking for ways to build a foundation of a long professional relationship between your law firm and your hires.
Around 93% of employees say they would happily stay with a company for longer if they felt their managers were investing in their careers with training and development. During the onboarding process, you can begin helping your employee see a future with your brand by working on a professional development plan together.
Set up a one-on-one meeting where you discuss what the future might look like for your new team member and what kind of goals they would like to achieve while with your firm and in later life also. Discuss how you can help your employee reach new heights in their career and what your training opportunities look like.
5. Collect Feedback Regularly
Finally, the only way to ensure your onboarding process is having the right impact on your legal employees is to ask them about it. Collecting feedback is an excellent way to determine whether you’re giving your new team members all the support and guidance they need.
Ask your new hires what they feel you did well in the onboarding process and what they would like to change if given a chance to go through it again. Pay attention to productivity levels after your employees start their new role and look at how they might change when you add further steps to the onboarding process.
The feedback you get should guide your future onboarding strategies, helping you build a more comprehensive experience for every new hire.
Great Onboarding Starts with the Right Hire
Remember, a great onboarding process can be a powerful tool, capable of improving new hire retention by around 82%. An excellent onboarding process will always start with the right hiring decisions. Improve your chances of bringing the right people on board by working with a specialist legal recruitment team like Clayton Legal.
We can help you improve yours by taking care of the pre-onboarding and sourcing of talent. If you want to find out more call us on 01772 259 121.
If you’re reading this article because you are looking to hire your next legal hire, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help and market insight, your hiring process can be smoother and quicker – and get you the outcome you’re looking for.
About Clayton Legal
Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from Partners to Legal Executives, Solicitors to Paralegals and Legal IT personnel to Practice Managers.
Whether you are building your legal team or are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.