Responding to the changing legal recruitment market
The last 12 months have seen dramatic changes in the legal sector recruitment market with mergers, acquisitions and, unfortunately, administrations. Of course the loss of some of the traditional, smaller Sheffield firms is sad, but the mergers have also opened opportunities for practitioners looking for careers in newer and expanding fields of law, not previously offered by the traditional firms.
Robert Addy, partner at Sheffield legal recruitment specialist CRA Legal says: “Surprisingly, there are still plenty of practices looking for quality people. In fact our main challenge now lies in attracting those candidates. The recruitment industry itself has seen changes over the last 5 years, seeking new ways of attracting candidates. Growth of the use of internet and job sites for example has been immense. However, we are finding that the present uncertain market has seen responses to online adverts decline rapidly in the last 12 months, as firms become more effective in keeping their quality staff, who themselves don’t have the confidence to move for fear of the ‘last in first out’ threat. The problem as I see it at the moment is not necessarily the lack of vacancies, but the lack of qualified candidates for specialist positions, as well as people willing to diversify to find quality positions.
At CRA Legal, we have, as always, taken steps to adapt to this changing market and find ways to attract high calibre candidates. One of our most successful methods is our ‘candidate referral scheme’, whereby anyone who refers a candidate to us, and who we subsequently place in a permanent role, will receive a cash referral fee of up to £250. We also make sure that our jobs are advertised where we know our candidates are present – such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook and we are exploring other forms of online media to increase candidate flow.
As we welcome 2011, we are likely to see further changes to the market, and even though the economy is still fragile, there are glimmers of recovery, and Yorkshire is predicted by some to become a hotspot for legal recruitment. My own prediction is that the number of vacancies will increase as confidence grows, but the roles will remain quite specialist.”
Robert Addy can be contacted at CRA Legal on 0114 241 8030, email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.craconsultants.com