If you’re an entrepreneurial attorney running your own firm, you’re probably as tired of asking yourself “what do employees want?” as you are of not having enough time, never getting a real vacation, and always closing gaps that never seem to stay closed. These are, after all, the perennial problems of every ambitious lawyer who has sought to do better by striking out on their own.
Legal staffing is the hardest part of running a small firm because it’s among the few parts you don’t fully control—and let’s be honest, not being in control is stressful when you’re a high achiever with big dreams. Luckily, you’re not alone. Legal recruiting firms and law firm consultants have built careers upon solving such problems, and in so doing have picked up a few pearls of wisdom. Here they are.
The 4 Keys to Understanding What Employees Want
- Vision & Values
We all want to be a part of something bigger. It’s in our genes; it’s the reason we top the food chain; and it’s the why behind an employee’s decision to stay (or go). Your team wants to know what your firm stands for and where it’s headed. You deliver this by investing real time—not only in articulating your core values, mission statement, and overall vision—but also in figuring out how to communicate this clearly to new hires.
- Growth & Understanding
Every outstanding professional has knit a part of their identity into their work, and thus needs to grow in their role if they are to find personal satisfaction at your firm. This can only happen if they both understand their responsibilities and grasp why they matter. Communicating this information depends not only on an impeccable onboarding process, but also on a sustained practice of fostering growth.
Vision, values, and a sense of importance count for exactly zero if your team doesn’t also feel integrated into your company’s culture. Every human being wants to belong, and you can only facilitate this to the extent that you nurture an engaging and healthy environment. Part of this is, again, achieved through stellar onboarding; the other part comes from ensuring your hiring strategy prioritizes team dynamics over individual strengths.
Finally, everybody needs to feel cared for and seen. Much of the above addresses this need, sure, but real caring must be personalized. Have you got a skier onboard who would give an arm and a leg to get a powder day off? Does a team member struggle to balance childcare with professional ambition? Can you afford a home office stipend or commuting benefits? Such curated perks go far, not only in attracting top talent, but in retaining it, too.
“What do employees want” can be a maddening question, and yet so often the answer rests in plain sight. Your team wants the same things we all want: belonging, growth, community, and care. Providing for these basic human needs isn’t easy, however, but that’s why we’re here!
To learn more about how Hiring & Empowering Solutions can solve your legal staffing woes, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Molly McGrath, to schedule a free clarity call to gain perspective, troubleshoot the obstacles you’re facing, and get your law firm back on a trajectory towards sustainable growth and success.