Hiring and retaining legal professionals with the right skills, relevant experience, and a positive attitude can determine the long-term success of a law firm. Whether your firm is seeking a seasoned attorney or paralegal, securing candidates is a process that requires significant time and effort. With competition for talent increasing across all industries, implementing a strong recruiting strategy is more important than ever. Here are five ways your law firm can gain a competitive advantage in hiring legal staff.
Create an Attractive Work Culture
An organization rumored to have a toxic work culture will need help to attract the best candidates. Next to salary and perks, a firm’s work culture is a top consideration for today’s applicants. Each workplace develops a unique culture that employees and management shape over time, and no two cultures are the same. Companies that nurture and reinforce good workplace qualities will have a competitive advantage in hiring and retaining talent. Healthy workplace cultures encompass staff interactions and behaviors, the well-being of employees, and align them with company policies and overall goals. Some qualities that contribute to a good work culture are supporting coworkers in times of need, prioritizing respect and gratitude, offering flexibility, mentoring, and communicating transparency.
Streamline Your Hiring Process
Many law firms pride themselves on their rigorous hiring process. However, the drawn-out process is tedious and time-consuming for both the candidate and the law firm. In today’s fast-paced environment, firms with a swift hiring process will be onboarding the best candidates, while slower firms are still rounding up partners for the third interview. Here are some ways to speed up and streamline your hiring process:
● Write compelling job descriptions – If your firm rolls out the same old job descriptions from 5 years ago, you are missing an opportunity to make a good first impression on candidates. You may be attracting the wrong type of candidate. Review your firm’s job descriptions and rewrite them to be dynamic, specific, accurate, and current.
● Utilize an Applicant Tracking System – Implementing the technology of an ATS can help organize and track applications, reduce bias, and speed up the time-to-hire.
● Conduct Pre-Screening Assessments – Pre-screening can be done through an online evaluation or phone call. This step weeds out unsuitable candidates before the interview process begins, leaving time to focus on the best.
Improve Your Interviews
The interview is where the rubber meets the road in the hiring process. Law firms are traditionally notorious for putting candidates through multiple rounds of interviews over weeks or even months. Job seekers might meet first with hiring managers, then partners, and finally, committees during successive rounds of interviews. In the current employment market, making prime candidates wait is a guaranteed way to lose them to another firm. They may be considering multiple opportunities, and making a quick decision will give your firm a competitive advantage in hiring. While searching for the “perfect” candidate or “unicorn,” several great prospects could be scooped up by competitors. You can reduce the number of interviews through better scheduling, video conferencing to bring in all interested parties, and having a clearly defined hiring goal everyone agrees on.
Nobody brags about working for a company with outdated technology or a manager that refuses to implement time-saving digital tools. From communication methods to document automation to practice management systems, the legal industry is adopting technology faster than ever before. An attorney or legal support staff member coming from a tech-savvy firm may hesitate to take a step back in time. Firms that avoid technology or downplay the steady influx of digital developments risk losing their competitive advantage in hiring bright young legal minds. While it isn’t necessary to implement every shiny new technology that comes along, it is critical to stay informed about new tech developments and how they impact the legal industry.
Emphasize Employer Branding
Employer branding encompasses all the points listed above. Branding begins with how you present the firm both inside and outside the walls of the practice. It is essential to understand what makes your firm unique and emphasize the value of those features. The workplace culture, responsiveness to candidates, communication, and overall recruiting experience contribute to employer branding. Once the firm has a consistent brand message, promote it on the website, social media platforms, events, hiring fairs, and any other available outlets. Over time, the firm will be associated with its unique brand, making it easier to attract candidates that share the same values.
Work with Collier Legal Search
If the process of finding, screening, and interviewing applicants is more than your firm can handle, consider enlisting professional help. The Collier Legal Search team proactively recruits candidates based on your firm’s specifications and pre-screens the most qualified individuals. Our experienced legal specialists will simplify your recruiting process and give you a competitive advantage in hiring the best legal professionals for your firm.