There are 600,000 more open jobs available today than there were at the end of 2021. That’s right: 11.5 million jobs are just waiting to be filled right now, compared to 10.9 million at the end of the 2021, and 6.7 million at the end of 2019—our last “normal” year. These numbers aren’t trending the wrong way because of economic woes. In fact, about 32.5% of the workforce voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021, and 34.5% of workers have consciously decided to quit their jobs so far in 2022. There is obviously no lack of job opportunities. However, there is a huge deficit of job opportunities that that workers actually want.
Five years ago, a “great job” looked a little different. Decent pay, affordable health insurance, a week or two of paid vacation…that just about did the trick. However, the pandemic turned the world of job opportunities on its head. Now, in addition to decent pay, affordable health insurance and a week or two of paid vacation, workers want work life balance. They want to work for a company with a deeper purpose than just flipping a profit.
Today, you could walk into a Chick-Fil-A and get a job for $19/hour…however, you’re more likely to walk into a Chick-Fil-A and wait two hours for a fried chicken sandwich because they are too short staffed to meet consumer demand.
Five years ago, earning $19/hour to work at a fast food restaurant would have attracted tens of thousands of applicants. Today—after spending the pandemic years taking online courses, getting educated in entrepreneurship, learning how to make money online, driving for Uber, starting a dog walking business, etc.—people have realized that they can make enough money, create their own schedules, live a rich, balanced and fulfilling life, and not have to report to a boss who, honestly, couldn’t care less about their wellbeing.
And this problem isn’t exclusive to restaurants and retailers. It’s happening at hospitals. Advertising agencies. Accounting firms. And—you guessed it—at law firms, both big and small.
So, what can your law firm do to keep its current employees loyal, engaged, and motivated while attracting talented new employees to your team? Here are three ways to create job opportunities that workers actually want:
1. Stop waiting for things to “go back to normal.” Actually, let’s recognize that there was nothing “normal” about working 50-60 hours per week (while collecting a salary based on 40 hours per week), missing out on your kid’s dance recitals and football games, responding to work emails from your bed at 11pm, and barely making ends meet while the CEO of your firm is pulling in a 7-figure salary. Those days are over, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start crafting a new workplace culture that meets the needs of today’s workforce.
2. You need to show up for your team with energy, a growth mindset, and killer leadership skills. If you want your firm to scale and grow, you need to be all-hands-on-deck with your team, showing up every day with positive energy and a growth mindset. Leadership is NOT managing your people. Leadership is about inspiring them, motivating them, and helping each individual feel connected to your firm in a meaningful way.
3. Give the people what they want. Quality employees aren’t going to settle for a job that doesn’t check all the boxes, and those boxes—right now—are: work life balance, purpose, connection, and growth. Work-from-home isn’t going away, so stop trying to fight it. Your team members may not be sitting in front of their computer from 9am-5pm anymore. They may step away to attend an event at their child’s school, or go to a doctor’s appointment. Stop trying to fight it. Your team wants to feel connected to the community through meaning and purpose, so find a way for your firm to support the causes that matter to them. And, by all means, invest in employee development. Give them the skills they need to be absolute rockstars, so that if their 8-hour day becomes a 5-hour-day interrupted by school events and doctor’s appointment, those 5-hours are valuable, action packed, productive, and profitable.
I am currently in week #5 of my Law Firm Admin Bootcamp program, which is a 12-week virtual training program designed to turn your team into the most efficient, resourceful and profitable aspect of your law firm. Programs like these not only show your team members that you are invested in their careers, but they pay for themselves in no time with increased productivity and streamlined processes.
The workplace looks different than ever, and if your firm isn’t adapting, it’s dying.
If you’re interested in joining the waitlist for my next Law Firm Admin Bootcamp—or you’d just like to chat about your firm’s challenges and brainstorm some ways to solve them—please schedule a call with me. Use the button below to access my calendar in book yourself in for a free 30-minute discovery session.