Andre Thomas gives his tips for how firms can tackle issues with recruitment of new talent
A boutique city-based law firm wanted to take advantage of the increase in demand from overseas private clients. They have twenty employees and want to increase headcount to forty within two years however they are not happy with their retention rate which is fluctuating between 60 – 70%. Four employees left the company in 2020 with each of them joining a competitor. The head of department attempted to address the problem by making counter offers to the employees when they handed in their notice but it was not accepted. After the second person resigned the management team decided that all caseworkers should meet weekly to address any concerns they might be having with their work, offering support and encouragement. Despite this, two others left. The loss of four members within twelve months caused frustration and panic because of the time it takes to recruit new quality caseworkers whilst also maintaining client needs with a depleted team.
Analysis of the problem
The client needed to seek help because they required clarification on whether they are paying salaries at the right level and they wanted to find new ways of attracting talent to the company.
We conducted an analysis into their work place culture. We gathered qualitative data by conducting surveys and interviews on management and team members. We needed to understand their actual experience when onboarding, performance management and operational effectiveness in terms of processes, systems, technology and behavior. Plotting quantitative data on graphs and tables provided insights into trends that wasn’t apparent before. For example, hiring managers were responsible for onboarding new employees but they had their own way of progressing the person through their probation. Thereafter employees learning and development was dependent on the relationship they had with their manager. The inconsistency created a feeling of unfairness amongst the team and management struggled to gain an accurate assessment of performance.
Our analysis also included an examination of their entire recruitment process, from what happens when a hiring manager decides to add headcount through to the new employee passing probation. Data was gathered for each stage asking questions such as, how affective is your advertising campaigns? How is your selection criteria decided? How are your interviews conducted? What is your cost per hire including tangible and intangible items? What is your time to hire and conversion rate?
We identified that although they recruited excellent candidates, they couldn’t meet their expectations when it concerned their development. There was a misalignment between the need of the business and the employees hired, which caused frustrations for management and team members. For example, an ambitious employee wasn’t sufficiently stretched therefore lacked enthusiasm and motivation.
Although employees were content with salaries, 60% of employees didn’t feel their work was recognised.
The firms cost of recruitment increased by 72% over the previous three years mainly caused by the length of time it took to find quality candidates to interview and hire and the increase in agency fees.
Redesign of the talent management model to provide the system and standards for managers to follow when recruiting, onboarding and managing performance.
Redesign of KPI’s and non-financial reward that are aligned with how individuals work in a new hybrid model where employees are working partly at home and in the office. Plus, a bonus structure that motivates and encourages innovation.
A talent pool platform that allows employees to refer suitable candidates 24/7 and allows the company to advertise vacancies and capture applicants who are automatically ranked and scored in comparing skills.
Benefits of our services
- Solving business problems to help the firm win more clients by aligning the firms’ values, with its business objectives and its people strategy
- Our analysis provided the firm with clarity on root causes of high attrition rate. The senior management thought that they needed to increase salaries to retain talent, however the problem was with their operation effectiveness.
- Innovative solutions by strategically integrating talent acquisition into the organisation with a talent pool platform reducing recruitment costs and improving quality of candidate.
The impact of this project is measured over twelve months, with quarterly pulse surveys and observations. To date we have conducted one quarterly review. Attrition rate has improved with no resignations but we will need to wait a further eight months for a more accurate picture plotting attrition rates monthly. However, the firm recruited two new fee earners via the talent pool method reducing the cost per hire by 45% and there’s been a 20% increase in employees referring new clients.