In our Ask a Recruiter feature, a member of our specialist team will tackle a topic relating to attraction, recruitment and retention.
This month, Associate Director Kelly Reid gives her advice to a firm looking for advice on how to improve its retention strategy.
“We know that paying well is really important when it comes to employee retention.
Unfortunately, we’re a relatively smaller firm and we just can’t compete on pay with the larger national and international firms. How else can we make sure that our lawyers feel appreciated on this front?”
While it’s important to pay well, not all firms can offer top-of-market salaries. In fact, just 5% of law firms believe that the salaries they offer are their main USP. While paying competitively is important, there are several other ways to ensure that your lawyers feel appreciated and valued at a smaller firm.
If you offer regular pay reviews to members of your team this is worth mentioning in your job adverts and your conversations with a recruiter. Although a lawyer’s starting salary may not be top-of-market, this may not be a deal-breaker if there’s likely to be scope for it to increase as they progress their career with you.
Development opportunities are also likely to catch people’s attention, especially if promotions at your firm usually come with a raise. Having a solid progression framework in place and plenty of training opportunities for team members to enhance their skills will show that you are committed to helping your employees develop their careers.
Attractive bonus schemes not only incentivise lawyers to hit their billing targets but also provide a great way to boost take-home pay for your team members without committing to salaries that are unrealistic for your firm. While traditionally, law firms have only provided bonus schemes for fee-earners, more inclusive firms are starting to extend these to the wider team, which gives support staff the opportunity to also benefit.
Positive work culture
Fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment where lawyers feel respected, valued, and recognised for their contributions can help to set you apart. Money isn’t everything and for some people, a positive culture that encourages collaboration, open communication, and a healthy work-life balance will certainly appeal.
Aside from pay, things like additional holiday days, team socials or other benefits and perks will show your appreciation for your employees. Remember, while pay is important, creating a positive and supportive work environment goes a long way in making your lawyers feel appreciated and motivated.
Speaking a commercial insurance lawyer recently, I learned that their employer intentionally aligns their annual leave calendar with school holidays; this is a cost-free way for the firm to demonstrate flexibility and understanding towards working parents.
If decide to introduce any of the initiatives above, make sure you communicate this on your Careers page website and to your specialist recruitment consultant so that prospective team members are fully aware of your offering as an employer.