By Marianna Tuccia, Legal Recruiter, empire group
"Finding good people" remains the number one challenge facing Australian law firms, in a sneak peak of results from the 2016 ALPMA/empire Group Australian Legal Industry Salary & HR Issues Survey results, which will be publicly released on Friday. Attracting talent and retaining quality employees is becoming increasingly difficult for most organisations. This is due to a shortage of skilled candidates, the lack of employee loyalty as well as the many opportunities that exist for lawyers to work overseas.The question becomes how does a law firm position themselves and make themselves more desirable to future employees? In order to attract, retain and develop talent, the recruitment function should be viewed as an extension of the marketing function. Organisations (and law firms included) must have clear strategies regarding marketing their brand to existing and future employees. This is because your employees are the organisation’s best advertising.
What is an employer brand? An employer brand communicates the organisations culture, vision, reputation and value system. Therefore, anything that an organisation does e.g. how management communicates internally and how an organisations services are perceived in the marketplace, impacts on the employer brand. For an employer brand to be successful, the entire employment life-cycle (e.g. the interview process, on-boarding, induction, performance reviews, exit interviews) needs to be scrutinised and where necessary improved and enhanced. It must always be remembered that quality candidates will always have several options to choose from.
When attracting the talent, the first interview is crucial in communicating the employer brand. Interviews are always crucial in communicating the employer brand. Interviews are always a two-way street and talented candidates do not move purely for an increase in remuneration. Candidates want to know about an organisations culture and philosophy and whether it is in line with their own value system, objectives and career goals.
It is very clear that in today’s mobile workforce, retaining talented employees is just as challenging as attracting new talent. Therefore, an organisations leadership, the way it communicates to its staff and the opportunities within the organisation to develop and [progress all impact on whether an employee will stay or jump to a competitor. The lack of training and development opportunities are the main motivators in employees leaving, not necessarily reward and remuneration. Keeping your staff motivated is one of the keys to low turnover as well as offering a workplace that is flexible and a management that is transparent in their decision-making.
There are many ways for an employer to improve their employer brand. Here are just a few practical tips:
- Undertake research (both internally and externally) regarding the way current future employees perceive the experience of working at the firm;
- If you make a job offer and it is declined, find out why the candidate was not interested in working for the organisation;
- Conduct an audit of your organisations values and vision statement. It may be worthwhile to conduct a survey within the organisation to compare the value statement with the employees reality;
- Always ensure that your values, vision and philosophy are conveyed at every step of the recruitment process;
- Conduct an annual review of your employer brand and where necessary make changes to your organisations vision statement. This is where your staffs feedback is useful.
The aim of every organisation is to be “”Employer of Choice” and a strong employer brand will help a law firm or any organisation, attract and retain the best talent.
About our Guest Blogger
Marianna’s track record includes sourcing senior practitioners for law firms as well as sourcing lawyers from overseas jurisdictions for Australian based private practice firms. Marianna also has experience in sourcing Australian lawyers for law firms across the UK and Asia.
Marianna consults clients regarding market trends, remuneration and salary benefits and assists lawyers at all levels to help them make an informed career choice. Marianna qualified as a lawyer and worked as a commercial litigator before embarking on a career in legal recruitment.