Talent Retention- It’s Not Just Promotions They Want

Today’s traditional flat organizational structures were set in place to save costs for companies, but research purports that it may actually do the opposite– at up to $25,000 per employee. Because organizational structures have flattened and companies have removed positions to save money, promotion opportunities have decreased over the last ten years, and individuals spend roughly three years longer at each job-level than in 2010, resulting in much turnover.

What can companies do to mitigate this turnover? Encourage employees to move across functions, so that individuals do not feel so stagnant and itching to move. Employers need to simply develop a relationship with their employees and provide an open source of communication for the employee to be able to express his or her desires and how individuals want to continue to grow and improve their skills within the organization. Motivate employees with personal growth, experience, and new skill-learning opportunities to increase their capabilities, so that they can still value and enjoy their career development even if it does not mean being promoted quickly. Steve Bruce, writer for Recruiting Daily Advisor, cites these strategies can decrease turnover by 33%, saving an organization with 10,000 employees $7.5 million per year.

Source: The Vast Majority of Employees Want for Career Opportunities


Your Next Career Move: Big or Small Law Firm?

Working for a small law firms and large law firms each have their positives and negatives, and the decision of which is better for an individual has more to do with personal style than anything.

A Canadian recruiting firm (R.Johnson) outlines some of the benefits and challenges to working in both small and large firms, and some of the major differences lie in:
-the work atmosphere
-levels of competition
-management structure
-room and pace of career advancement
-client interaction
-billable hour requirements
-type of work

Check out the full article on the major differences to consider here.

When you are looking to make the next step in your career as a law firm attorney, it is imperative that you truly do your research and take all of the moving parts into consideration before making the jump one way or the other.

Source: http://rjohnsoncorp.com/a-lawyers-guide-to-working-for-small-vs-large-law-firms-36-tips/

New Strategies to Narrow Big Law Gender Gap

The latest report from the National Association of Women Lawyers came out last week, showing that the gender pay gap among equity partners has widened.

. Some of the key findings include:

-Women equity partnership ranks have barely risen in 10 years.

-Men far outnumber women among lateral equity partners.

-The gender gap in pay for equity partners has widened.

-Women logged more hours but got paid less.

-Among firms that provided data about the gender of the top 10 highest revenue generators, only 12% were women.

Although women are still underrepresented in the executive level of the legal industry, an article in The American Lawyer contends that partners and practice heads are eager to seek out strategies to alleviate this gap. Teams are going to work together in a new strategy, a hackathon– to come up with proposals to “better recruit, advance and retain experienced women in midsized and large law firms”. The top three ideas will be awarded cash prizes by Bloomberg Law, and the winning partners will donate to a nonprofit that advances women in the legal profession.

This is not only important for societal reasons, but relevant for companies to ensure they are attracting more than just a fraction of desired talent.

Source: http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202740896546/Women-in-Big-Law-Are-Losing-Ground?cmp=share_twitter&slreturn=20150930112144

The ever-elusive “purple squirrel” in the legal talent search world

“In the world of talent recruiting and human resources, there is a creature known as the purple squirrel, which is the code name for the perfect employee”. In the legal profession, the purple squirrel has the right academic pedigree, work experience, solid book of business, winning track record, works 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will accept whatever pay her employer is willing to offer. They are almost as hard to find as the Loch Ness Monster. In an Above the Law article, Shannon Achimalbe contends that going with the next best candidate, someone who is exceptional but imperfect, is truly the better option for employers.

Why would going with a less than ideal candidate be best? It seems counter-intuitive. For one, it takes a significantly longer time to find, and in the meantime, billable hours are lost and other staff has to unwillingly pick up the slack. Furthermore, if attained, the purple squirrel will likely expect to be treated accordingly, meaning expecting to be catered on his every whim, creating tensions with management and colleagues.

Looking for someone exceptional who shows promise and drive that could improve with the right training is prudent. Holding out only for the purple squirrel may not only waste valuable firm time, but has the potential to be a bad investment as well. Law firms should take this into consideration and ensure they are utilizing the most efficient hiring processes possible.

Source: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/09/back-in-the-race-stop-trying-to-hire-the-purple-squirrel/?rf=1

How Can Law Firms Keep Top Talent from Slipping Away

One thing is for sure: the war for legal talent will continue unremitting into the foreseeable future. A Law360 article discusses how law firms can prevent their top talent from jumping to another one, and conducted a survey that determined that attorneys are more likely to stay put if their law firm has advancement opportunities than if they are being paid a generous sum but feeling stagnant in their current position.

It’s always important to focus on the long-term. Even if a firm is trying to save money by delaying promotions, based on the findings of this survey, it would be a wise investment to cater to the 89% of attorneys who reported that they were both “very dissatisfied” with their firm’s opportunities for advancement and that they were “very likely” or “likely” to look for a new job within the next year. Firms can do this by placing a bigger emphasis on communicating with their employees the timeline and requirements necessary before promotions are considered.

Source: Law360

The Elephant in the Room: Discussing Compensation in the Interview Process

In the hiring and interviewing processes, compensation is more often than not a touchy subject, and can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker for the talent the company wants. Timing is essential in job interviews, especially regarding the discussion of salary. It is important to recognize the when it is most conducive to broach these matters for both candidates and employers, and to attempt to find that sweet spot.

One of the benefits to working with a recruiter is that he or she will likely be the one doing the dirty work and negotiating salary. However, both sides should still know how to address the issue if it comes up. According to an article on Business Insider, an IT recruiter,Dan Martineau, notes that “the best employers don’t focus on money until the very end, and the same goes for candidates”. For the candidate, it is much more appropriate to discuss salary once the company has expressed a sense of commitment. In the first meeting, the candidate should be focused mostly on selling his/her skills to the employer, and deflect the compensation issue until later on.

On the employer side, although it may feel like a cruel game to candidates, it is important for them to hold their cards closer to their vest– compensation is traditionally not disclosed until the offer. This is because everyone assumes that they are on the top of the pay scale, and if a job is advertised at a range at which the company offers a lower amount on that range, the candidate would be unhappy even if he or she would have been happy with that amount having never known the range in the first place.

Being aware of the etiquette around compensation discussion is key in the interview process, and mastering the art of timing is everything.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-say-when-an-interviewer-asks-about-salary-2014-11

Reducing Bad Hires

Spending thorough time and effort when making a hire may seem like a headache when a business is in dire need of talent, and fast. However, Brandon Hall Group’s 2015 Talent Acquisition Study found that a majority of organizations of all sizes make bad hires every year, and analyzed the significantly larger financial burden that ensues from doing so, proving that doing the footwork is all the more worth it. So how can companies be smarter about their hiring decisions?

The key criteria for quality of hire is new hire productivity, hiring manager satisfaction, and organizational fit. Recruiters must properly assess candidates from the sourcing phase through the entire interview phase in order to be able to properly ascertain if the candidate is the right fit.

There are several things that companies themselves or outside recruiters can do in the talent acquisition process to make the right hire:
– Focus on employer branding in order to convey company culture
– Utilize behavioral and peer-to-peer interviews
– Focus on the candidate experience to ensure he or she will perform, stay motivated, and want to stay with the organization
– Provide recruiters and hiring managers with the tools to ask the right questions to evaluate candidates
– Look past hard skills
– Assess candidates often

The solution to reducing bad hires is multi-faceted and requires a significant amount of effort in the short-run, but is an investment with a much higher return for the company’s long-term success.

Source: Brandon Hall Group Talent Acquisition Study 2015, http://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire.pdf