Quality candidates from busy practice areas still have options available so firms will continue to position themselves as "Employers of Choice" through a clearly defined employee value proposition to attract and retain the best people. Many firms are offering an innovative range of benefits to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Employers are compelled to respond to changing demographics in the workforce and many candidates are requesting flexible work practices. Part-time work arrangements and opportunities to work from home are being provided by many firms with great success. Candidates may be seeking flexibility due to parental responsibilities, study, external commitments or work/life balance.
Learning and development is a key issue for many professional and support candidates. Opportunities to travel and complete internships with leading law firms overseas, secondments to work within a client's organisation and scholarships to study at world-renowned institutions are being offered.
Over the last few years, remuneration packages for both legal and support staff have been increasing annually by about 5 per cent. However, it is anticipated that salaries will stabilise in this economy. Reward and recognition is important to high performers. For some firms, this includes an incentive plan that affords all employees the opportunity to earn bonuses on top of their base salary according to their level in the firm and the quality and quantity of their contribution.
Firms are also responding to the unique needs of Generation Y candidates. Gen Y can be interested in a prospective employer's corporate social responsibility policies involving pro bono clients and other community giving programs. Another focus can be environmental sustainability policies such as carbon neutralisation, green office buildings, renewable projects and recycling. Because of the current economic conditions, the trend of Gen Y candidates changing jobs regularly may shift and organisations should be able to retain them for longer periods.
- Brendan Turner is a principal consultant at Link Recruitment