News and Updates from FWA
As individuals move through their career, then family considerations can take increasing or decreasing importance when it comes to making a move. What do we mean by this? Well, if a lawyer has a young family, their commitments to family life might well be greater than say someone with grown up children. Equally if it comes to relocating, then someone with children settled in school may be less willing to uproot the family, even when it does appear to be a great opportunity. More people today are less willing to sacrifice family stability for career advancement. As an employer you can take some steps to ease the transition. Whether this is developing a network of contacts for new employees with families who will be able to provide some practical advice and guidance on what’s what. In fact you don’t need to wait until the offer is on the table. You could show your commitment by establishing these links in anticipation of making an offer.
It sounds obvious, and it is. You need to know what competitive salary rates and package benefits are in your market. Salary as we know is not the top reason people move. However, it is one of the reasons, especially when there is a move from private practice into industry and vice versa. Don’t lose sight of the fact that lawyers have a strong idea of going rates, but they are also very interested in hearing about the bigger picture. That is, what benefits can they gain with you: subsidised gym membership, car allowance, child care vouchers, enhanced maternity and paternity leave, opportunity to buy shares? From your perspective as employers, remember that although it is worth thrashing out the salary package, inflexibility on the part of your potential new employee might just be a stalling strategy for someone who is not entirely sure if they want to join your firm or is using your offer as leverage to broker a better deal at their current firm.
Just as salary is not a top reason for moving, quality of work on offer is. At interview, you need to really identify what it is that makes this person tick. Is it a varied workload? Is it the big deals? Is it someone who wants greater autonomy? Is it a need for greater support and resources for personal and professional development? What are they telling you and can you offer this? These desirable traits are not the sole reserve of the top firms. It is all in how you sell the opportunity to interviewing candidates. As a small firm, you do need individuals who can work independently, and can adapt to the variety you have on offer. Equally you may be a larger practice, and your need is for a team player who will be dedicated to a small number of key clients, or indeed one client. It’s all in how you market what you do and how you see this translating into greater job satisfaction and development potential for the individual.
This time of year is always a time of reflection, of the past year, of what you want to achieve in the coming year.
Whilst recruitment of the right people is essential – much can be done with further education, training and staff evaluation to improve skills and add value to the service offered.
As most lawyers are high achievers there is a tendency to over commit, resulting in work overload and dissatisfied clients.