Five Tips for Recruiting and Retaining Legal Talent

Has it been an upward battle recruiting and retaining legal talent for your law firm? Finding the most qualified legal talent can be challenging – and sometimes retaining top talent can be even more difficult! Identifying areas of improvement in your recruitment and retention strategy is essential for making the most transformative changes that result in the best long-term outcomes for your talent development. While there are many ways to change your current practices, it’s better to implement a strategy that directly addresses your firm’s challenges and aligns with your overall mission and values. As you refine your processes, here are five of the best tips for recruiting and retaining legal talent at your legal firm:


Have a strong pitch: Know your firm’s strengths.

As you begin the recruiting process, it’s essential to give candidates a reason to be interested in your firm. It’s no longer enough to simply offer competitive pay and benefits. You must present your firm in a compelling way that highlights its strengths – from workplace culture to advancement opportunities. Doing an inventory of your firm’s unique assets is the first step to developing a strong value proposition that attracts candidates to your openings. Once you’ve identified your strengths, you can begin the process of formulating an effective pitch. This may involve revamping job descriptions, refining your firm’s mission statement, and marketing your firm’s culture. Additionally, incorporating your firm’s strengths during interview conversations will educate candidates about your work environment, going beyond the position itself. Above all, your firm’s recruiters and hiring managers should be conveying your firm’s assets with enthusiasm and excitement. The energy they project will set the tone for how candidates perceive your employment opportunities.


Highlight your firm’s success stories.

In many ways, your firm’s success stories are the backbone of effective recruitment and retention. Showcasing testimonials from current employees and clients is one of the most powerful ways to highlight the benefits of working at your firm and the type of culture new employees can expect. There is a multitude of ways to highlight success stories, including videos, social media posts, and website content. Implementing innovative digital marketing strategies to maximize these stories and generate awareness among potential candidates is key. For instance, a video campaign on LinkedIn that’s targeted specifically to legal professionals can be a major driver for improved recruitment outcomes. Now, more than ever, video is an essential digital marketing tool for engaging prospective candidates online and gaining traction on your website. Implementing new ways to draw attention to your firm’s culture will naturally help you gain momentum around your employment offerings.


Offer flexible work arrangements.

In the legal field, candidates are increasingly expecting flexible work arrangements. From flexible hours to remote work, firms that offer flexible work arrangements stay most competitive in recruitment and retention. If you don’t currently offer any flexible work policies, it may be time to consider how you can implement some form of flexibility within your law firm. For instance, even if part-time or flextime models aren’t feasible, you may consider allowing staff to work from home two or three days per week. Any type of flexibility is often appealing to candidates seeking a job that offers a work-life balance and the opportunity to enjoy a bit of flexibility outside the confines of an office space. Once you establish a flexible work policy that works well for your firm, it’s critical to promote this as a benefit to candidates throughout the recruitment and interviewing process. This can be promoted through your job descriptions, social media, your website, and any other channels candidates may use to learn more about your firm. By promoting flexibility, you’ll ultimately attract a greater range of candidates – including young parents, semi-retired individuals, and those simply looking for a job that allows them more control over their work hours. This will expand your candidate profile and improve the work-life balance of your existing staff. In today’s highly competitive candidate market, you can’t afford not to offer some form of flexibility!


Offer continuing education and career advancement opportunities.

While professional development offerings certainly attract top-quality talent, they can be even more critical for retaining your best employees. Law firms that offer continuing education and advancement opportunities demonstrate an investment in their staff’s success, giving them tools and resources to expand their knowledge and increase their credentials. There are numerous educational and career advancement opportunities you can offer, including legal seminars (often continuing legal education courses); certification opportunities; and other legal degree programs. When your employees feel their employer is helping them grow within their workplace, they will be more inclined to stay with your firm for the long haul. This is instrumental to fostering a “culture of learning” in which staff can continually develop their professional abilities and take advantage of opportunities to advance within their roles and gain promotions. The more connected your staff feels to their professional growth within your firm, the more loyal and committed they will be to growing their careers on your team.


Demonstrate community involvement.

With the environment of law firms often being sterile, legal candidates are increasingly seeking workplaces that have a mission of giving back. Promoting your firm’s community involvement can be impactful with recruiting candidates who wish to be part of a team that’s focused on charitable or philanthropic efforts. Educating the public about your firm’s community involvement – including sponsorships; staff volunteering activities; charitable contributions; and other community initiatives – can enhance your recruitment efforts. As you raise awareness about your firm’s efforts, prospective candidates will gradually learn about ways in which your firm gives back to the local community. Over time, you’ll see an uptick in applicants who apply to your firm, not just for the employment opportunities, but for the chance to be part of a legal team that gives back to the community in meaningful ways.


As your firm aims to better recruit new talent and retain existing talent, implementing the practices above can be instrumental to your firm’s success in all aspects. Through a long-term recruitment and retention strategy, you’ll create a platform for talent development that’s both sustainable and effective. Most importantly, you’ll establish a reputation for a firm that is committed to the personal and professional growth of its people. In turn, this will translate to improved recruitment and retention on every level – from generating more applications to engaging employed staff within your firm’s culture.


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