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In this article we explore the strategies firms should consider applying once a new senior hire has signed a letter of offer. It’s all about making sure they start, thrive and stay!

Hiring a senior-level candidate for your law firm is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your company’s success. Senior recruitment can be a time-consuming activity. Once you have identified and selected your preferred candidate, and they have signed the letter of offer, the recruitment process shouldn’t just end there.

In today’s competitive job market, even after signing a contract, candidates can still be swayed by other opportunities from different organisations or even their current employer. We have heard stories of new starters being lured by recruiters just weeks into a new role, and stories about signed letters of offer being torn up due to a change of mind.

So, to ensure the success of your new hire and minimize the risk of losing them to head-hunters or other firms, we often stress to our legal industry clients the importance of maintaining continuous engagement and support throughout the new-hire’s notice period and well into their probation.

Calendar with new job start date highlighted

These are the ways you can help them feel continuously engaged, valued and enthusiastic about their new role.

1. Foster a Positive Candidate Experience

A positive candidate experience during the recruitment process can greatly influence the new hire’s commitment to your firm. Do your best to ensure that the recruitment journey is well-managed, respectful, and efficient. This positive impression will carry over into their employment and may even strengthen their dedication to the firm.

2. Build a Strong Connection

The period between offer acceptance and the start date is crucial for maintaining a strong connection with your new hire. During this time, consider providing regular touchpoints to keep them engaged and excited about their new role. Offer to meet for coffee or arrange a meet-the-team session or social occasion where they can interact with their future colleagues. This will help them feel a part of the team even before they officially join and can help to reinforce their resolve to join your firm.

3. Establish Clear Lines of Communication

Open and transparent communication is vital during the pre-employment phase. Make sure that the new hire knows who to reach out to for any queries or concerns. Regularly update them on the progress of onboarding and provide a clear timeline of what to expect before, during and after their start date. Being proactive in addressing their questions and concerns will demonstrate your commitment to their success within the firm.

4. Welcome Package and Gesture

Consider making your new hire feel valued by sending them a welcome package that includes essential information about the firm, branded merchandise, and a personalised welcome letter from key leaders. Small gestures can have a significant impact on the new hire’s perception of your firm and their enthusiasm about joining.

5. Regular Check-ins during the Notice Period

The notice period can be a nervous time for hiring managers, as this is often when other job offers, or a counter-offer may pop up. We recommend staying closely connected with the new hire during this period and address quickly any concerns they may have. Be proactive by discussing their transition plan, even touching on how they are handling the handover process with their current employer. This will demonstrate your commitment to their smooth transition and reaffirm their decision to choose your firm.

6. Develop a Structured Onboarding Program

A comprehensive onboarding program is so important for the success of any new hire. For senior-level employees, this becomes even more critical, as they often have complex responsibilities and a larger impact on the firm’s operations. Develop a well-structured onboarding plan that provides them with the necessary resources, training, and support they need to hit the ground running.

7. Assign a Mentor or Buddy

Consider pairing the new hire with a mentor or buddy from within the firm. This personal connection can be invaluable in helping the new employee navigate the initial days and weeks, making them feel welcome and supported. A mentor can share insights, direct them to the printer, best coffee shop, answer workplace related questions, and provide guidance to ease the transition into their new role. Even if your new hire is relatively senior, having an orientation mentor can be a welcome introduction to a business.

8. Post-Probation Check-ins

The probation period is a crucial time for both the employee and the employer to assess the cultural fit and job performance. Schedule regular check-ins to discuss progress, offer feedback, and address any concerns. This further demonstrates your commitment to their growth and your hopes for their success within the firm.


Securing a senior new hire for your law firm is just the beginning of the process. To ensure their successful integration into your organisation, ongoing engagement, communication, and support are essential. By implementing our strategies, you can reinforce their commitment to your firm, minimize the risk of losing them to competitors, and set the stage for a long and fruitful professional relationship.

Remember, attracting top talent is only half the battle; the real victory lies in making sure they not only start the job you offered them but also thrive and contribute to your firm’s success in the long term.

About Legal People

Should you need help recruiting talented legal professionals for your business, or a confidential career discussion please get in touch at We are specialists in the Legal Industry. We recruit Lawyers, Support staff and HR professionals in Melbourne, Australia.


Sharon Henderson Legal PeopleLegal People Logo
Sharon Henderson
Legal Recruitment Specialist at Legal People
Sharon is one of the leading, most respected specialist legal recruiters in Australia having successfully recruited Lawyers, Management & HR staff to the legal industry for over 20 years. She is also the Director & Owner of Legal People.
Sharon manages our close knit dedicated team at Legal People and heads up our  Lawyer  and  Management & HR  divisions. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in Accounting and Management (Human Resources) from the University of Melbourne and she is also a Chartered Accountant.

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