Attracting top-tier attorneys is becoming increasingly difficult. As the demand for legal services continues to grow, approximately 31% of attorneys recently surveyed stated that recruiting highly skilled legal professionals is the biggest challenge their firms face. By showcasing the benefits of joining their organization, like work-life balance and flexibility, culture, successes, and career advancement opportunities, a law firm can significantly increase its chances of attracting and retaining the cream of the legal crop in today’s competitive market.
To optimize their legal recruitment efforts, it is recommended that law firms:
- Highlight flexible work policies. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped demonstrate that the days of sitting in the office from nine to five are long gone and an increasing number of successful attorneys are on board for the change. In fact, in a recent survey, nearly 70% of young professionals stated that one of the most attractive incentives when deciding whether to join a firm was the ability to work remotely or to have a flexible schedule. And according to The State of Remote Work Report 2020, over 90% of remote workers who were surveyed stated that they wanted to continue working remotely – at least to some extent.
- Demonstrate the firm’s culture. One of the biggest deal-breakers for many modern attorney candidates is an unsupportive, negative, or stiff culture. By defining the firm’s core values, demonstrating a sense of unity and teamwork among employees, outlining expectations, and embracing equality, a law firm is more likely to attract today’s leading legal talent.
- Showcase star attorneys at recruiting events. When senior partners and star associates attend recruiting events, it gives attorney candidates confidence that the firm cares about its growth. Additionally, when candidates are able to meet directly with star attorneys, they are given an up-close view of who their future leaders might be.
- Promote career advancement opportunities. Comprehensive training programs, mentorship, and professional development opportunities are other major differentiators for attorney candidates. A Harvard Business Review survey of approximately 2,200 people in a wide range of industries revealed that young legal professionals look for advancement opportunities, mentorship, and career path coaching when deciding whether to join a law firm. Another recent survey found that approximately 25% of those who responded considered advancement opportunities a leading reason to join a law firm.
- Prioritize mental health. The high level of stress that often accompanies the legal profession can wreak havoc on an attorney’s mental wellbeing and ability to perform well in his or her role. Sadly, Mental Health First Aid England reports that more than 80% of professionals who were surveyed admitted to having prejudiced feelings towards employees who were struggling with their mental health. By demonstrating a willingness to accept and help tackle mental health issues, law firms can attract law students and attorneys who are otherwise put off by traditional firms that are less accepting.
- Use modern recruitment tools. Posting openings on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others can help law firms reach a much larger talent pool. Additionally, from the firm’s social media pages, attorney candidates can gain insight into the organization’s culture, its commitment to employees, success stories, and other characteristics that make the firm what it is. To present a positive image of the firm’s employee-centric approach, it is a good idea to include photos and videos of employees and events.
Using these strategies helps build a unique identity for law firms that are interested in attracting top legal talent.