The penny, at least for a lot of law firms, is beginning to drop and this is music to recruiters’ ears. There is an ever-increasing acknowledgement amongst partners and internal recruiters that there just aren’t enough lawyers around to satisfy a hungry recruitment market.
Why is this important? Well, the realisation that candidates have choices means that firms are happier than ever before to work strategically with recruiters to get their hiring strategy right.
We have put together some handy hints and tips for law firms to help them stay ahead of the game when it comes to recruitment.
Engage effectively with recruiters
This sounds obvious, right? Unfortunately, too few law firms have embraced the idea, and this has seen them fall behind competitors who are committed to working in tandem with recruiters.
A good recruiter understands the firm’s needs and knows exactly where to go to find the right person, especially in a candidate short market. They have access to a wide pool of candidates including those who may not be actively seeking new employment. They are constantly in touch with ‘passive’ job seekers who won’t respond to a job advert but will take a call about a vacancy from a recruitment consultant who they know and trust.
What does engaging effectively mean? Well, it means doing most of the following:
Providing good information about the role and the reasons why working for the firm is a good idea.
Being open and transparent about salaries, bonuses and benefits and the likely timescales involved in the process.
Coming back quickly on CV’s and arranging interviews in a timely manner.
The Interview Process
Remember, an interview is a two-way process. You need to be able to ‘sell’ your company to the candidate. If the interviewee isn’t excited by the role, they’re not going to be interested in joining.
The best candidate may have multiple interviews lined up, so it is important to create a welcoming, positive interview experience, that leaves a lasting impression irrespective of whether you know you won’t be pursuing anything further with the candidate.
It starts from when they are greeted by reception and doesn’t finish until they have left the building.
Don’t hang around waiting to make a decision. In a candidate short market, time is not on your side.
This goes for every touch point a candidate has with your company - cv send, scheduling an interview and the job offer. Companies that take too long to make a decision are only giving the competition the benefit of time.
An efficient and quick recruitment process goes a long way in securing a candidate.
It also involves providing proper, constructive feedback within at least 24/48 hours of the interview Nothing turns a hitherto excited candidate off a firm more than delays and lack of communication.
If you are investing time, effort and money in securing the best lawyers, the process should not simply end with an offer being accepted.
3-month notice periods can drag so we would definitely recommend keeping the dialogue going with soon to be new starters. A nice suggestion could be meeting them for a coffee or chatting over the phone in the run up to their start date.