What is your law firm doing to attract top-quality legal candidates? If you are using the same old strategies that you have used for years or even decades, then your methods are falling behind the times. Top Atlanta law firms know that as we move into 2022, they need to pivot their recruiting strategies to reflect the changing legal industry.
Your law firm is only as good as the associates it hires, so consider implementing these strategies that the top law firms in Atlanta use.
The Retiring Baby Boomer Impact
The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age, and the legal industry is not immune to this wave of workers leaving the workforce. Some firms will experience a double impact. While there are lawyers leaving the practice, there will also be an increase in demand for certain legal services. Baby boomers will call upon legal professionals to help them with retirement planning, asset management, and estate planning. This increase in demand will result in greater importance put on hiring new talent to replace leaving lawyers, while also handling the increase in demand.
One way Atlanta law firms are preparing for this is by planning for the change now before it happens. By already having high-quality talent in place, the firm can transition retiring lawyers’ caseloads to younger attorneys already well versed in the firm’s practice. In addition, having more lawyers on staff enables the firm to quickly scale up with the demand.
Continual Adoption of New Technology
The legal industry has been notoriously slow to adopt innovative technology. However, this is changing as younger and more tech-savvy professionals move into decision-making and leadership positions. While this has led to optimized processes like e-discovery and document management, it has also made recruiting easier. As a law firm, being open to adopting new technology makes the firm more relatable to new top talent looking to establish themselves in the legal industry.
Modern-day job seekers are savvy and know they need to look beyond the generic job boards. They seek out specialty staffing companies with personal relationships with law firms seeking to hire qualified lawyers. Law firms must embrace technology when it comes to recruiting by establishing a presence online. Not only with recruiters who have a strong online presence but by maintaining a strong presence for the firm.
Once a high-quality candidate identifies a desirable position, they will do their research. This typically entails looking up the firm to read the online reviews, browse the website, and determine the firm’s reputation. Atlanta law firms know that they need to prove themselves to potential hires. This is done by ensuring the firm has a strong and positive online presence while also developing relationships with top recruiting agencies.
There is no denying that global expansion is inevitable with the adoption of technology. Law firms can capitalize on this by expanding their practice reach. Hiring top-quality talent in a new market can help the firm expand into new markets beyond the immediate Atlanta area.
Recognize Work-Life Balance
There was a time when top law firms expected their attorneys to bill a minimum of 2,000 hours a year if they wanted to earn a high-value salary. That would require someone to work full time throughout the entire year without taking a vacation or missing any work. This is not accepted by those looking for new employment in today’s working culture. The top law firms in Atlanta are looking for ways to help their attorneys establish a work/life balance. This reduces stress, improves morale, and prevents burnout. By limiting the number of billable hours a new associate can log, a firm becomes a more attractive potential employer for top talent.
Hire Quality Support Staff
A lawyer is only as good as the team supporting them. If you want your talent to succeed, they need to have a motivated, experienced, and knowledgeable staff supporting them. Focus on hiring more than just top-quality talent for your associates and expand your hiring search to hiring top-quality paralegals, admin, and accounting professionals. These people will take the load off of your team of attorneys so that they can focus on what they do best. Invest in these people and reduce turnover. When you have a team of people who stay long-term, this shows stability and quality in your law firm. Top legal talent is more likely to consider your firm when they see that other people are happy to work for you.
Consider Part-Time Options
As a continuation of pursuing a work/life balance, some people are considering working less in order to pursue more time with family or serving the community. They do not want to stop working completely, but working part-time is enough for them to make a living. Top Atlanta law firms are taking a new approach to employ top talent by considering alternative working schedules. This could include working with associates who want to work part-time. While the firm looks more attractive to top talent looking for a more flexible schedule, it can also benefit the firm.
The employment laws are different for a part-time employee vs. a full-time one. Additionally, having a team of part-time associates on hand can give your firm greater flexibility and bandwidth when taking on cases. You have a pool of associates that may be willing to take on extra hours for a short time when the need arises and then go back to part-time when the demand drops.
Consider Alternative Backgrounds
New associates no longer fit into the restrictive and conservative boxes that the legal industry once imposed on the profession. Top law firms are considering this and applying it in two ways.
The first is that clients are changing. Business owners are no longer the rich old white man. Law firms need to adapt and have associates that can relate to more progressive business owners. Top law firms focus on the knowledge, skills, and experience of top talent and not on whether or not they can fit into a preconceived image.
The second method of applying this approach is in the law firm hiring new associates in niche practices. Hiring top talent that can provide alternative and niche services opens new opportunities for the firm. By seeking out these niche associates, a law firm broadens its practice while becoming more competitive in areas that lack representation options.
Offer Room For Growth
It is not enough to vaguely promise a promotion or growth. Top Atlanta law firms provide actionable plans that show top talent how to associate and grow and progress within the firm. These are not one size fits all plans, either. The most successful firms find out what potential associates find most important. They then use this information to tailor a path for growth. For some new associates, their goal is to eventually become a partner. For others, earning a high dollar salary is the most important goal. Then for others, the goal is to affect the greatest change and good onto the local community. The law firm invests in its best and brightest talent by recognizing and fostering an associate’s goals and values. Doing this encourages the associate to stay with a firm long term, thereby reducing turnover and establishing long-term relationships.
Creative Compensation Packages
While one strategy could be to simply increase the compensation package, this may not be possible or realistic for the firm. Some top law firms stand out to top talent by offering impressive compensation packages. Others get more creative. Instead of simply increasing the salary offered, consider offering alternative financial compensation benefits. One firm plans to offer a student debt refinancing program. Another offers a first-time mortgage initiative. These financial offerings recognize the tough financial situation that many young associates face. By providing support services that reach beyond a paycheck, a firm shows it values its associates and is invested in their success both professionally and personally.
Focus on Culture
What is the culture of your law firm? Top Atlanta law firms put immense emphasis on cultivating a diverse and welcoming culture. They support associates and encourage them to develop individualized attorney branding. Top talent no longer fits a singular mold, and top law firms want to create a culture where anyone with desirable skills will feel welcome. By encouraging attorneys to develop personal branding, they are investing in the individuals for the greater good of the firm.
Recruit High-Quality Talent for Your Law Firm
If you are ready to start recruiting high-quality talent for your law firm, then it is time to try some of the recruiting habits of the most successful Atlanta law firms. Embrace innovative technology and look beyond your local talent pool. Plan for the future of your law firm by investing in quality talent that can help your firm grow.
Contact our team today and let us provide you with top-quality staffing services to help you find high-quality legal candidates.