Great staff is the key to a great law firm—such an obvious statement almost goes without saying. Almost…if it weren’t for the fact that hiring and retaining top talent is the single biggest challenge facing law firms today. The reasons for this are myriad (and expounded upon below). Following is a list of simple—but highly effective tweaks—that will hoist your firm above the fray and allow you to not only construct a great team, but retain it for years to come.
There is no single, comprehensive list of reasons why rock star talent is hard to come by (and harder to hold on to), but discussions on the subject reveal a few repeating themes:
1. Chronic skill shortages
Law’s failure to keep pace with the digital revolution coupled with deep imbalances in distribution of corporate vs. retail practitioners are two of the reasons driving the profession’s enormous skill shortage. Venturing a solution here goes beyond this article, but no discussion of talent retention would be complete without mention of this issue.
2. Weak branding & law firm culture
The strongest candidates are worried about more than salary. Workplace culture, ethos, and benefits such as remote working, flexible hours, and incentives are nearly as important. A strong brand and law firm culture shows candidates what your firm can offer, beyond just a decent salary.
3. Limited diversity
Traditionally, elite firms turned to elite schools to recruit top talent. As the profession has diversified, so too have the institutions and demographics producing leaders. Firms that fail to hire a diverse staff not only miss out on talent, but fall behind those competitors who are able to attract the best by virtue of offering a balanced team.
The broad nature of these challenges leaves them seeming near-impossible to address…and yet a few micro changes in the pursuit of macro results will move you further than you’d think. After all, big journeys are made of small steps. The following will get you started:
1. Showcase your firm’s culture.
Nothing turns talent away quicker than a toxic workplace. Prove you offer the opposite by centering your corporate culture on all company platforms: website, promotional materials, and, especially, your office aesthetic.
2. Nourish development
Turn your team into the talent you seek. Promote professional development in the form of mentorship and training programs that empower employees to take on the leadership roles you would like them to take. Our Team Empowerment Academy is a virtual training and leadership development program that does exactly that.
The best perks bring in the best talent. Work/life balance is a top priority of jobseekers, and your ability to satisfy this need translates directly into recruitment success. Think flexible hours, remote working opportunities, and onsite amenities.
4. Hire consultants
Bringing in consultants and contract workers eases caseloads and allows you to assess a potential hire for a full-time position.
5. Seek expert assistance
Dig into professional networks and bring on a specialized recruiter to help identify needed talent. We’ve been helping boutique law firms with their recruiting and staffing needs since 1997, and we can help your firm, too.
Attracting the best in your field is all about playing the long game. You’ve got to give a little to get a little. An upfront investment in expert assistance, such as Hiring & Empowering’s Smart Hire Solution™ for law firm staffing is a great start. Even better is our Team Empowerment Academy. Options such as these pay such dividends that you’d be remiss to pass them by.
Ready to Chat About Your Law Firm Staffing or Training & Development Needs?
Schedule a free 30-minute call with our founder, Molly Hall, and learn how we can support your law firm in it’s staffing, employee training and leadership development goals. We can turn your entire firm around…in 10-weeks or less. Let’s talk!