BlogsRecruiting & Retention in a Candidate-Driven Market

February 21, 2020

Recruiting and retention in a candidate-driven market can be challenging. Here are some tips that can help. 

It’s a challenging time for hiring partners. Law firms of all sizes and specialties are struggling to attract and keep talent. A strong recruiting and retention strategy can help firms attract candidates, reduce turnover, and stay competitive in today’s legal environment in a candidate-driven market. Recruiting and retention should be seen as two sides of the same coin. 


Recruiting is the multi-step process of getting the right people to join the firm. The goal is to find workers who will propel the firm forward and share its culture and values. Strategic recruiting doesn’t just fill empty desks. A solid plan anticipates new trends, identifies critical skills, and keeps the firm ahead of the competition. Key steps of a strategic recruiting plan in a candidate-driven market include:

  • Assessing the talent that the firm needs now and in the future. The practice groups and staffing mix should match the firm’s goals. The required experience and skills should be updated regularly. If the firm is hiring from old job descriptions, it won’t attract the kind of people it needs right now.
  • Sourcing candidates from a wide net of options. Internal, external, and outsourced talent should be included in the candidate pipeline. 
  • Screening potential employees which include interviews, skills tests, background checks, and other processes that eliminate unqualified or poorly matched candidates. 
  • Selecting the best candidates and making an offer. Stay on top of compensation and benefits trends to ensure that the firm’s offer is competitive.                  

These steps need to happen very quickly, or the best hires will move to the next opportunity. Hiring a staffing professional can streamline the process and free up time and resources for day-to-day business. 


Once talent is on board, it is critical to protect the firm’s investment. Aspects that increase retention include: 

  • Opportunities for Growth and Advancement: From the very first interview, candidates should have a clear vision of their career path within the firm. Employees are more likely to stay with a firm that has a defined career path. 
  • Interesting and challenging work: An endless cycle of doc review and due diligence will discourage bright legal minds. Hiring temporary legal staff to handle tedious duties will allow associates to develop their skills and focus on more substantial projects. 
  • Work-Life Balance: Today’s employees don’t want to work to the point of burnout. In addition to developing their careers, they want to spend time with friends and family. They also want to contribute to the community. Firms that offer flexible hours, volunteer time, or the option to work from home will attract and retain higher caliber employees.  

Collier Legal Search is a full-service legal staffing company. We place well-credentialed partners, associates, and legal professionals at every level in law firms and corporations. With unemployment at an all-time low and a candidate-driven market, let us help build a legal team so that you can focus on your business growth. Contact us at 832-239-5253.2020 h

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