Even superficial subscribers to business news cannot help but have heard that the job market is hot, and growing hotter. Folks are talking about the “Great Resignation” and the flood of talent set to hit the pool, and yet…this doesn’t mean what many employers would think. Legal recruiting is not set to get any easier with so many folks on the verge of leaving their jobs and seeking greener pastures. On the contrary, the struggle to land and, crucially, retain talent is only set to grow more intense. Understanding this means first taking a wide view of what is going on.
The Pandemic Has Changed the Meaning of “Work”
In early 2020, millions of people were sent home to work remotely. Now, 18 months later, they have had a lot of time to think about why they would ever go back to the office. For an astounding 95%, the answer is simply that they wouldn’t. Indeed, all but 5% of workers say they are considering switching jobs, and the reason is a pandemic-driven change in priorities concerning work-life balance.
Folks are not interested in returning to pre-Covid working conditions, which means that, despite an overflowing talent pool, unless firms make structural changes to their operations they won’t be landing—never mind keeping—top talent. Legal recruiting now plays by new rules, and if you don’t want to get caught afoul, watch out for the following 3 mistakes:
Three Post-Covid Law Firm Recruiting Mistakes
1. Overlooking Mental Health
Even before the pandemic, legal staffing agencies recognized burnout as a major obstacle to retention. Post-Covid, it is the single most-cited reason for thoughts of jumping ship. Everyone’s mental health has taken a hit over the past year and a half, and few are willing to risk it further. If your firm adheres to an outdated ethos of overwork and unrealistic expectations, don’t expect to be around much longer. Top firms take mental health seriously, not because of some sort of snowflake mentality, but because they know it is what top talent needs to perform at their best.
2. Resisting the Pivot to Remote Work
A recent study saw 58% of workers say they would “absolutely” quit if forced to give up remote work arrangements. Of those surveyed, 65% wanted to work remotely full-time while 33% preferred a hybrid arrangement. Not all firms can manage a complete pivot to remote work, but all that have made it through the pandemic can support their team in working from home—or from wherever—sometimes. Lest law firm recruiting become your law firm’s undoing, it is important to respond to this need.
3. Failing to Recognize Flexibility’s Many Forms
Reading that 58% of workers say they will quit if forced back to the office is a scary thing, and yet it is easy to misunderstand this number. People want to continue working from home for many reasons, and some of these can be addressed without shutting down the office entirely. Childcare, for instance, is a major concern with young parents discovering that caring for their child need not come at the expense of professional success. This reason for wishing to continue working remotely can be addressed by implementing a childcare program. Likewise, those team members who prefer their home office because of its creature comforts can be convinced to return (at least sometimes) if similar perks are on hand at work.
Law firm recruiting in a post-Covid world is an ever-shifting target, and so it helps to work with a legal staffing agency that tracks evolving trends and ensures you stay ahead of the break. To learn more, schedule a call with me, or dive right in and sign up for the Smart Hire Solution™ now.