In our Ask a Recruiter feature, a member of our specialist team will tackle a topic relating to attraction, recruitment and retention.
This month, Principal Consultant Lucy Wickham explains why some law firms may need to rethink their approach to home working.
We’ve decided that we need our lawyers to be in the office at least 4 days a week to provide an effective service to our clients. We know that we’re not alone in taking this stance (just this week Osborne Clarke has said that to qualify for a bonus, lawyers and staff must come into the office at least three times per week).
However, since making this change, we’ve found this to be a turn-off for potential employees when they come to interview with us. What can we do about this?
“You’re right, there are lots of law firms that have scaled back on hybrid working in the last 12 months (on average firms offer 2.7 days per week compared to 3.9 in 2022). Firms are doing this for several reasons, ranging from a concern that junior team members aren’t learning the ropes or being supervised in the same way at home or, as you’ve identified, a decline in client service.
However, early findings from our 2023 state-of-the-market research revealed that nearly a third of lawyers who moved firms last year did so to find a position with more home working. Unfortunately, firms that offer little to no home working will most likely lose talent and – in a tight talent market – face a competitive disadvantage in attracting new lawyers.
It may be time to rethink your offering in terms of flexibility and evaluate the cost-benefit of offering below-average home working. It could be that you can invest in better structures or frameworks to ensure that your team can deliver stellar client service from home.
But if you’re set on continuing to offer just one day of home working, you must offer other attractive benefits, such as market rate pay or a clear progression framework to support your lawyers in their career development.”
Want to learn more about the state of the market?
If you’re looking for more specific information about the figures mentioned above or would like a bespoke analysis of your home working offering or your Employer Value Proposition more generally, our specialist legal recruitment team is ready to help you.