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Why Does Your Legal Firm Need an Employer Branding Strategy?

  • June 15, 2019

What is Employer Branding?

First coined in the early 1990s, Employer Branding has become widely adopted across global management, gaining momentum as the preferred way businesses differentiate themselves in the marketplace to attract the best talent. Employer Branding focuses on your legal firm’s reputation as a place to work, the value proposition of its employees, and company culture.

Put simply, it is the essence that, according to LinkedIn, ‘lives and breathes in the minds and hearts of your former, current, and future employees’.

Why Do You Need to Build an Employer Brand?

All employers have an employer brand, whether they are aware of it or not. The trick is to control your employer brand and ensure you are creating a strong presence, establishing credibility in the legal arena. It’s a useful tool to have, helping you showcase your brand and attract the best legal talent to work for you. Without it, recruiting can become challenging, especially in candidate short practice areas such as commercial and property law, to name just a couple.

You want to attract and hire the best legal talent to drive your practice forward, and so it’s crucial to have not only a great salary offer but added benefits such as career development opportunities and an inclusive culture to attract people to want to work for you. This will build your reputation and encourage staff retention, saving you time and money in the long run.

Improving Your Legal Brand – Key Steps

Define your message with your tone of voice. Consistency is imperative across all marketing from your website to correspondence, advertising to individual conversations. It should reflect your status and your role as a professional legal practice.

Be clear on company culture. The culture your workplace offers will make or break the hiring and retention of great legal staff. More and more, Millennials hitting the workplace now are looking for more than a good salary offer; they are attracted by company culture.

A recent Deloitte report states that 83% of Millennials become actively engaged in a job hunt if they believe the organisation fosters an inclusive culture experience. Also high on the list are career development opportunities, teamwork, a good work/life balance, and a cooperative and supportive environment.

Understand the perception of your brand. How do others see your firm? Are you maintaining your firms branding across online platforms? As these are often the first point of call for candidates (and your competitors) its essential to present a streamlined and consistent approach. Consider whether your brand reflects your aims, facilitates awareness and encourages brand loyalty.

Don’t underestimate Word of Mouth. Brand advocacy can influence how people perceive you. Getting the thumbs up from your employees is the icing on the cake. We live in a world where employees past and present can review their opinions on what it’s like to work for you online. What would your employees say about you? From the Receptionist or Paralegal, to a Legal Analyst or Senior Partner, it’s crucial to ensure that everyone is a brand ambassador, helping to positively build the firm.

It’s a fact that more people trust a recommendation from friend or colleagues than general marketing and advertising claims – peers, friends and acquaintances can tell you about their first-hand experience of a legal firm, so make sure yours is a great experience.

Move with the times. Technology can streamline your operations, ensuring a good experience for candidates and clients alike. It can save you time and money, and help build your brand as a positive experience. It also shows that you are quick to embrace progress and receptive to new ideas, planting a subconscious seed in the candidate’s mind that you are a progressive legal firm with their eye on the future.

Communicate like a real person. Let candidates see your human side. Profiles of the team including Heads of Practice and Senior Partners, and engaging testimonials from satisfied clients, will help attract talent that’s a good fit for your legal firm. Use social media to connect and showcase your brand to your target talent.

How Do You Know It’s Working?

It can be problematic to measure employer branding awareness. However, a drip feed method of communication using the brand does result in better brand recall. It can also heavily influence an
in-demand Senior Commercial Litigator’s decision to join your firm or your competitors.

There are several ways to measure employer brand awareness ROI, including traditional surveys and analytics. Conducted face to face, by email, or on your website, surveys are one of the easiest ways to check your employer branding is working, simply by asking your clients and candidates.

Analytics can measure blog shares (like this one!), an increase in social media engagement, external links, higher footfall to your website and improved online ranking via refined SEO. For more information on how to track these, see here.

The good news is that a few fundamental steps like these can improve your employer brand and help you attract, recruit and retain great legal employees who will want to stay with your firm. If you’ve found this advice helpful and would like to talk more about developing your strategies to recruit better candidates, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options.

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.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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