The last quarter of the year is upon us and with one eye on the New Year Law firms will now begin to look at their 2016 legal hiring program and budget. Hiring the wrong legal candidate can be costly on a number of levels. It is not just the actual recruitment and salary costs but serious damage can be done to the Law firms own reputation, staff morale not to mention their own clients. Law firms also have a corporate responsibility to the legal hire as well and damage can be done to their career with bad recruitment practices. If you think about the wasted time on training and reorganising the fall out can be immense for a law firm.
Law firms can avoid some of these big mistakes by invoking a proper recruitment practice. Some core issues that should be addressed to avoid the above pitfalls are;
Implement a Management Vision
Law firms often recruit on the strength of the CV and previous legal work experience. The firm needs to take a step back and explore the personality of the candidate and make sure they fit with the law firm and the actual department they are recruiting for. A strong management vision will avoid cultural and personality conflicts and create a more collegiate atmosphere in the long term.
Don’t Rush To Hire
It’s often tempting to rush to hire a lawyer if they tick all the boxes on work experience. Your team is busy, the work load is high but a hiring mistake will ultimately cost the law firm. Follow a standard hiring format and if the candidate is perfect only then move quickly.
Search for The Right Candidates
Use innovative ways to attract top talent, don’t use the same recruitment techniques as everyone else.
Use Specialist Legal Recruiters’
Build solid relationships with a legal recruitment specialist. Farming your jobs out to a group of agencies’ attracts bad practice and creates a “lucky dip” approach. Guide your legal recruiter through your recruitment policy, get them to understand your requirements not just the legal work experience but culture/personality types and create a genuine tailored approach.
Hire The Best HR People
Law firms want the best lawyers and high up on their list will be the best HR people. They are the driving force of the law firm’s recruitment year after year so listen to them as they are instrumental in hiring and retaining staff long term.
Assessing A Vacant Role Correctly
There needs to be clarity on the job specification and salary levels. It is amazing how many candidates still go to interviews with no job specification provided to them by the law firm or the legal recruiter. Everyone needs to be clear on what they are looking for from the get go.
The interview structure needs to be formal and in an environment that makes the interviewer and interviewee comfortable and able to perform at their best. It should be the same format for all interviewees as they are out in the market place discussing their experiences, good and bad. Always get interview feedback from the candidate. If the interviewer is constantly getting bad feedback address it!