The Brief

The latest client for Cogito is an award-winning law firm recognised by The Times for its medical negligence work and as one of the best personal injury solicitors in the UK. They approached our team to undertake two potential projects to support their HR strategy.

Our client was keen for Cogito to host a half-day workshop aimed at second-tier leadership teams, to equip them with the skills required to attract potential employees and keep their existing ones. With around twenty people invited to attend, the workshop was designed to form part of their upcoming Leadership Development Programme. They also wanted a better understanding of the recruitment market in 2022 and advice on what was required to attract and retain the highest calibre of candidates and employees.

Cogito was ready to take on the case!

The Power To Empower

In today’s competitive market, companies need to identify more than just the financial needs of potential candidates. Some might look for the option to work flexibly and remotely, while others might prefer the provision of incentives such as health and wellness resources. Increasingly, employers are now exploring alternative strategies to help understand key motivators and behaviours of job seekers to create a positive work environment that not only attracts potential employees but also helps to keep their existing ones. In the case of our client, Cogito sought to empower the leadership team to future-proof their business by arming them with the most effective tools and strategies to do this.

Preparation Is Key

Our team of experts conducted extensive research into Hiring Trends in the Legal Sector to prepare for the workshops, focusing on the pre-pandemic workplace (2019) to the post-pandemic workplace (2022). Data was collected using various online resources such as LinkedIn posts, Labour Market reports, surveys and blog posts. Whilst the data collated was up-to-date at the time, we were keen to emphasise to our client that things can change quite rapidly due to the nature of the market.

What We Discovered

In a post-pandemic world, multiple factors are currently affecting the labour market. Candidates are now driving the market with hopes of higher salaries, a focus on wellbeing and a shift to fully flexible working.

Highlights of our research included:

    • A survey found that in 2021, the cost of employing a fee-earning lawyer had increased significantly. As a result, leading law firms needed two pay reviews within the year to keep up with staff expectations.
    • Shortage of talent can be seen in permanent vacancies as most experienced lawyers are favouring locum positions due to remote working and salary levels.
    • Most candidates acting on landing a new role receive a salary increase of 10%-15% to do so.
    • In some benefit statements, a significant percentage of profits are reinvested into staff development and training, as Learning and Development efforts become a prime focus for employees.
    • Candidates are also particularly interested in billable hour expectations and generosity of parental leave arrangements – with many firms now offering a generous maternity and paternity leave package.
    • They also want to know about the firm’s role in the community, how they give back and the causes they support – with charity days being a popular benefit that employees use.
    • Diversity and Inclusion is also a significant factor for employees jumping ship – a study found that associates who want to leave their firm within one year rate their firm’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts as dissatisfactory.
    • The increased demand for skilled employees has led businesses to improve their application processes and review and improve their employee benefits and engagement programmes. These programmes include long-term hybrid working environments, employee health and wellness, upgraded reward packages, and further development of learning initiatives.
    • The top three motivators for workers in 2022 are higher salaries, improved work-life balance, and an increased sense of fulfilment.
    • The pandemic saw many lawyers quitting the profession due to exhaustion and wanting a more balanced lifestyle. Surveys suggest that many legal professionals seek new jobs outside the legal industry.
    • They want flexibility around their work hours and where they choose to work from, focusing on results rather than timesheets.
    • The post-pandemic legal market is exciting for the newer, younger lawyers. They are more likely to be attracted towards flexible/remote working, opportunities for career development and the provision of up-to-date technology.

 Key Strategies For Attracting And Retaining Talent

Whilst some law firms have responded with increased salaries and bonuses, more is needed to attract and retain talent post-pandemic. Competing in the recruitment market means embracing new expectations and keeping up with recent market trends.

 Cogito was eager to advise our client of key factors that are likely to appeal to current and potential employees:

  • Promote provision and commitment to wellbeing

With burnout becoming a common occurrence in the workplace, a businesses’ ability to promote a healthy lifestyle is becoming increasingly attractive to employees. From discounted gym memberships to a subscription to the implementation of ‘walking meetings’, we were eager to emphasise to our client that encouraging their employees to lead healthier lives will increase happiness and productivity.

  • Flexibility is key

Post-pandemic, flexibility is a huge selling point, with an increasing number of employees working flexibly and/or remotely. We advised our client to consider hybrid or remote working models.

  • The importance of a healthy company culture

Employees crave to work where they feel valued and appreciated. We stressed to our client’s leaders that creating a positive work environment starts with them, ensuring that they strive to motivate and inspire their teams. They should also give their teams a voice, encouraging them to openly share ideas, comments and feedback.

Additional suggestions were also provided to our client, including the provision of flexible and competitive commission structures and opportunities for learning and development.

 The Workshop

Delivered by Learning and Development professional, Sarah-Jane Hart, our findings were presented to our client’s key leadership team, with suggestions for attracting and retaining the best candidates in an increasingly competitive job market. Whilst a competitive salary and benefits package are still a key motivator for employees and job seekers, we reinforced the importance of non-financial incentives, namely:

  • Opportunities for growth and development.
  • Encouragement of a work/life balance.
  • Employee engagement.
  • Open and regular communication.
  • Fostering a sense of community and positive company culture.
  • Awareness and addressing burnout.
  • Giving employees a voice and demonstrating appreciation.
  • A businesses’ approach to Diversity and Inclusion.

We delivered a highly interactive session that encouraged our client’s leaders to apply research and insights to their business and produce a practical, realistic action plans to evolve their attraction and retention strategy.

 Are You Struggling To Attract And Retain Employees? Get In Touch With Cogito!

The methods you use to attract and retain employees are essential, and they can significantly impact the growth of your business. Cogito can help you to implement the most effective strategies to help your company succeed. Act now and get in touch! Visit Learning and Development – Cogito (cogitotalent.com) or contact emmanaumann@cogitotalent.com to find out more.

 

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