Talent is at the Top of This Year's Agenda for Lawyers

Posted on 13/1/2017 by Katherine Memery

What are your priorities for the next 12 months?

A survey commissioned by the Law Society Gazette has highlighted recruitment and retention as the main concerns facing UK law firms going into 2017.

In the commercial world beyond the legal sector this is also the case; LinkedIn’s annual Global Recruiting Trends report has shown that 83% of employers across all sectors say that talent is the top priority in their organisation.

The most progressive firms have always recognised the importance of attracting and retaining the best talent to drive sustainable growth. Those that are most successful in recruitment and retention tend to combine traditional methods with innovative new approaches to attract the right people.

Employer branding has emerged as an essential long-term strategy for both appealing to suitable new employees and in terms of engaging and retaining existing personnel. According to LinkedIn, 80% of talent leaders acknowledge that it has a significant impact on their ability to hire talent and, this year, the most successful companies will be taking a more proactive approach to bolstering their employer brand. Unsurprisingly, it’s the number one area in which firms wish they could invest more; 53% of companies say they would spend more on recruitment if budget constraints weren’t an issue.

Strategic employer branding involves powerfully communicating company values and culture in order to position a company as attractive to work for. When they get it right, businesses are more likely to attract talent that is culturally a good fit.

These days, more and more law firms are using social media channels to build awareness about their offering as an employer. Through platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, firms can inform candidates about their long-term vision, company culture and employee benefits, things that are increasingly important to the millennial workforce. Simultaneously, both recruiters and employers are also using social media to ensure that the values of prospective candidates are in line with those of the firm.

While the recruitment of capable and highly motivated staff is vital, retaining talent is equally, if not more, important. As well as clearly communicating their values externally, companies need to embody these proclaimed values in order to achieve strong levels of retention.  

Organisations that are most successful in retaining staff are characterised by strong leadership, positive communication and offer ample career development opportunities. Employees must be able to easily link their contribution to the key business objectives and be engaged with its long-term success. Involving staff in the company journey and strategy is central to retaining the right people.

As nurturing existing talent drives growth, it’s unsurprising that retention is a top concern for a large number of law firms. Over the last few years, as technology has further developed, there has been a shift in employee expectations. Companies have been forced to respond to these changes in order to engage and attract the talent they need.

Opportunities for agile working support recruitment and retention. Allowing employees to work remotely or adapt their hours, is just one way in which firms establish themselves as a modern, responsive employer.

Not only will the ability to offer flexible working make a company more attractive to some candidates, but because, it allows staff to work from home, it can also benefit employers enormously. By increasing the catchment area for good prospective candidates, this inevitably results in a larger talent pool.  

This year, UK law firms will again be investing resources in recruitment to ensure they have a fighting chance of success in the ‘battle for talent’. In today’s candidate-led market, this ‘battle’ has never been fiercer. Companies are working harder than ever to find, recruit and retain the very best people. A firm’s ability to do this successfully is and will continue to be a key determinant of long-term success.

Don’t get left behind. Are recruitment and retention high on your 2017 agenda?

At Realm, we offer a fresh take on legal recruitment, using a combination of established and modern methods. We’ll find you suitable candidates who are likely to make things happen and stick around. When you next need help filling a role, our enthusiastic team of specialist legal recruiters are ready to help you. Get in touch today by calling 03300 245 606 or register a vacancy online.

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