Deborah Gray explains where firms go wrong in recruitment and provides a taster of her session at the LMS HR forum on 16 March

More than ever, law firms need the right mix of business skills for sustained growth. And this isn’t just to maintain established roles across finance, marketing & business development, HR and IT, but to fill a whole host of new and specialist jobs in areas including project and process management, pricing, and client relationship management.

Sourcing good candidates to meet this increasingly broad remit is hard. Law is a relatively small sector; its existing talent pool may include some impressive expertise but it’s not enough to meet the escalating demand for business skills in law.

The importance of an effective recruitment strategy

Nor does it help that firms seeking to recruit great business talent often don’t get their recruitment processes right. At Totum, we regularly see firms struggling to define a recruitment strategy, failing to communicate role requirements to anyone including themselves, and stumbling through lengthy processes that almost seem designed to pass the best talent onto better organised competitors.

All too often, firms have a fragmented approach to recruitment. Internal communication is weak – HR teams and partners do not communicate effectively to agree requirements and desired outcomes. Perhaps they hope that the skills and personality of the right candidate will help articulate what the firm needs. That may explain the vague briefs and boilerplate job specs that do little to attract anyone, let alone the right talent.

On the other hand, there are the firms that find a good pool of candidates and go through a time-intensive interview process only to discover that what they thought they wanted isn’t actually what they need. The role goes unfilled – for weeks, maybe months. And if communication was poor through the process, the firm’s reputation too might have taken a hit.

There is a better way

I will be speaking at the Law Management Section HR forum on 16 March and will share my insights into why law firms often miss out on the best candidates. By taking delegates through the whole recruitment process, from defining strategy to closing the deal on great talent, I will explore ways in which your firm could improve its approach to recruitment to consistently win top talent. I will look at real success stories in legal recruitment and explain the techniques that firms use to stand out from the crowd, how they consistently manage to attract a wealth of good candidates across numerous roles, and how their processes help build the kind of brand reputation that fuels further applications from great talent.

The presentation will cover the following topics.

  • The sourcing challenge – how firms that think flexibly can attract the best range of candidates.
  •  Bringing your firm to life – how to make your firm appeal to the candidates you want.
  • Working with recruiters and direct sourcing – opportunities and challenges in a changing recruitment landscape.
  • The dos and don’ts of a successful job specification.
  • Common mistakes through the interview process: why great talent might be slipping through your fingers.
  • Communication and feedback – a matter of reputation.
  • Making an offer, closing the deal.

How you manage your recruitment will make a critical difference to whether candidates aspire to work with you or not. Based on a wealth of first-hand experience, this presentation reveals the practical steps firms need to take to win the war for talent.

Deborah Gray will be presenting a plenary session on recruitment and retention at the Law Management Section HR forum on 16 March.

deborah gray

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