AUSTRALIAN LEGAL professionals have been financially rewarded this year. And, overall, candidates have been provided with stronger job opportunities compared with previous years, according to the results of a leading personnel services survey.
Lawyers employed both permanently and on a temporary basis have had more options available to them compared to this time last year, a Hays ZMB survey found.
This trend is expected to continue in private practice and the banking and financial institution in-house environments, according to general manager of Hays ZMB Kristine Luke.
She attributed the increased opportunities in the industry, at least in part, to improvement in global economies and greater confidence in the local economy. “Increased business confidence in the UK and getting away from the shadow of September 11 has meant more local confidence.”
Additionally, a lot of candidates were trying to remain relatively stable in their employment so not many lawyers were actively seeking work, Luke told Lawyers Weekly.
“Instead, we are having to identify them, and a ‘war for talent’ is taking place.
“The market has begun to see a return to the war for talent with competing employers increasing salaries to secure star performers,” Luke said. In 2003, the shortage of star performers fell within the insurance and litigation sectors.
Now, the strongest job opportunities for the short and medium term are for solicitors with two to five years post admission experience in the areas of property (predominantly non-contentious), corporate, and banking and finance, she said.
In an attempt to attract quality candidates, some firms are now offering additional benefits which in the past were quite hard to obtain, namely alternative career avenues, flexible working arrangements, premium salaries and additional package extras such as mobile phones, laptops and gym membership.