Recruiting and Retention: Seven Strategies to Help Win the War for Talent

In my 25 plus years of recruiting in the legal sector, I have never seen an environment like the current one with respect to recruiting legal talent.  And that’s at every level —partners, associates, management and staff. Demand is high and so are the demands of the candidates. We’re seeing firms pushing the envelope and doing things like: Offering associates in lower-cost markets “New York” salaries plus the ability to work from homeOffering headhunters double their current fee percentage (and we’re not opposed to that!)Increases in referral fees paid to employees who suggest candidates.A large increase in the number of counteroffers by current employers. Rethinking Law Firm Recruitment and Retention As a result, firms should rethink their recruiting and retention strategies in a time of crisis. Here are some suggestions: 1. Articulate the case for your firm. Too often, firms can tell us why they need the person, but often have difficulty telling us why anyone would come. Despite what you may be hearing about today’s market studies continue to show that compensation is not the primary consideration for candidates. As a result, it is incumbent on you to explain the benefits of both your firm generally and the specific opportunity. Along those lines, firms often point to their culture as a differentiator. However, you need to be very specific about the firm culture, using specific examples. And just saying the buzzwords “collaborative,” “collegial” or “entrepreneurial” won’t cut it. 2. Be very specific about your firm’s remote vs. in-the-office policy. Nothing tells candidates more about your culture than your policy concerning returning to the office. It is no secret that most employees want flexibility and most firms are emphasizing that in their policies, but the devil is often in the details. Both with regard to your firm’s general policy and

Read More