Your client pitchbook materials won’t cut it – recruiting materials must be tailored for recruits…
Hiring at law firms across the United States is skyrocketing – just look, for example, at some of the latest legal industry headlines regarding associate salary increases for the first time in years.
Legal research company Leopard Solutions recently noted that the demand for lawyers at all levels reached an all-time high this year as law firms expanded their attorney job searches to make up for last year’s slow or nonexistent growth. Leopard says there are 9500+ open legal jobs right now – higher than at any point since the company started tracking positions in the legal industry.
However, the increased demand for lawyers has also made it more challenging for law firms to compete for qualified candidates and retain their people. If you don’t have a recruiting marketing strategy, you will have a hard time standing out from your competitors to attract recruits and laterals.
Legal recruiters are busier than they’ve ever been as firms scramble to hire attorneys who can accommodate the uptick…
It is not enough to be a great law firm doing great work with great lawyers anymore. Any firm that thinks they will attract candidates based solely on their brand, location or salary is behind the times. The world and our industry has forever changed as a result of the pandemic and firms need to adapt to that change in order to attract and retain great talent.
Here are some ideas on how to create a recruiting marketing strategy at any sized law firm:
- Know (and communicate) your value proposition. It’s crucial to be able to convey why your firm is right for a candidate and what makes your firm unique compared to its competitors. Make sure you can not only articulate this in the recruiting process but also in written materials.
- Manage your online brand. Have you checked out your firm’s Google search results lately? You should. Indeed, Glassdoor and Google reviews come up on the first page of your Google results. Your firm will inevitably have both good and bad reviews – make sure to get ahead of them and be able to answer recruits’ questions on the negative ones. Encourage star performers to post positive reviews to counterbalance the negative ones.
- Create dedicated recruiting marketing materials and messaging. These materials should live on your web site, your social channels, and be modular pieces you can easily PDF to a candidate, a recruiter or a law school. Your client pitchbook materials won’t cut it – recruiting materials must be tailored for recruits to highlight what it’s like to work at the firm, what the summer and new associate programs are like, and what professional development resources you offer. For laterals, you may be able to repurpose some of your existing pitch materials, but you should also put together a piece on lateral integration, firm successes and professional development.
- Use LinkedIn. It’s one of the most effective, cheap and helpful ways to build relationships and market your firm. Use your LinkedIn company page to highlight news and successes, and your people.
- Use other social media channels that are less formal, such as Instagram, which can give recruits a sneak peek into life at the firm and the people with whom they would be working. My biggest word of advice is to be authentic and don’t post the same content on every social media channel – tailor the message for the medium, as well as your imagery (Instagram photos need to be square, for example).
- Collect the positive online reviews of your firm from Google, Indeed, Vault, Chambers Associate and Glassdoor and feature them on your web site and in social media posts. It just takes a little time to pull the reviews and format them. You can also ask star lawyers for quotes on their favorite aspects of working at the firm and feature those in a campaign on your web site and social media channels.
- Build your network. The more people you know, the higher chances you have to meet people who may be future colleagues, clients, employees, referrals, etc. While networking is a bit more challenging now, I think Zoom has made the process more efficient and easier.
- Conduct focus groups with star associates and partners. This will help you find out what is working well at the firm (as well as what’s not). Going directly to your people for their honest feedback about the firm will give you invaluable information in many areas, not just recruiting. You can take this info and use it to create better events, professional development programs to how work is assigned.
- Don’t stop offering work from home and flexible work arrangements. Many lawyers want the freedom to continue working from home after the pandemic – especially women who are at a disadvantage the day they walk into a law firm because of the gender pay gap as well as the fact they are also usually the primary caregivers. Support your lawyers on their professional journeys and they will be loyal to you. Also, when it makes sense, feature some of these success stories in your recruiting marketing materials.
Employees have a lot of choices right now – make sure that they continue to choose you every day by providing them with the best possible environment for career growth you can. Taking the time to do this will help you stand out and attract the right candidates to your firm.
Stefanie Marrone advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2B companies, recruiters and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients and achieve greater brand recognition. She also serves as outsourced chief marketing officer/marketing department for small and mid-size law firms. Over her nearly 20-year legal marketing career, she has worked at and with a broad range of big law, mid-size and small firms, which has given her a valuable perspective of the legal industry. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra.