5 Tips for Attracting Great Candidates to Your Law Firm
9 minutes to read
The Great Attrition is happening. A record number of employees have or plan to quit their jobs — and the number keeps increasing by the day. In the U.S., voluntary attrition increased by almost 800,000 in the past year, while involuntary attrition decreased by almost 400,000 during the same period according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to a McKinsey survey, nearly a quarter of employers believe they are holding on to more low-performing talent now compared to a year ago. Can you say the same for your law firm?
In the United States, the unemployment rate is holding steady at 3.6 percent.
That equals about 6 million people.
This might sound like you’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to hiring new blood for your law firm, but that’s not entirely true.
Sure, there are around 6 million bodies who are in need of a job — but the difference is understanding if they are the right fit for your firm. There’s no point in wasting time, money, and resources by hiring someone who isn’t the absolute best person for your open role.
This still leaves the obvious unanswered question: How do you attract the right people to your law firm?
We’re going to go over five helpful tips that will point you in the right direction for attracting the best possible candidates to help your law firm achieve success.
- Make Your Vision Clear
- Cultivate a Strong Work Culture
- Craft Unique Job Descriptions
- Demonstrate Your Firm’s Credibility
- Become a Leader Worth Following
1. Make Your Vision Clear
Your law firm must have a clear vision — end of story. How can you expect your current team members (and more importantly, your future ones) to contribute to your organization’s big-picture goals if they don’t even know what they’re working toward?
Having a vision provides a sense of purpose and direction for the business.
When trying to attract the perfect candidate to bring onto your team, the first thing they look for is a unique mission they can get behind. For instance, when Crisp is looking for new people, one of the first things they see is our vision:
We’re on a mission to help 1,000 law firms grow their revenue by $1,000,000 each ($1B+ impact) by 2024.
Immediately, the candidates applying to your open positions understand what they’re ultimately going to do. If the vision of your organization seems like something they can see themselves working on and for, odds are they will be drawn to your law firm over all others.
On the other hand, if your law firm doesn’t make its vision clear, that could be the difference between hiring an uncommitted slacker who’s just planning on passing through this position or someone who is ready to dedicate their career to your firm for the long run.
A-players want to work for an A-team — and a clear vision helps weed out those people.
The beauty of making your vision clear is that it can always change, just as your goals and ambitions do as your law firm grows. If you reach the goal of your original vision, you have every right to create a new one. The most important part is that your team members are all on the same page and understand what they’re working toward — together.
When you take the time to craft the perfect vision for your law firm, you’re ensuring that it will motivate, align, and inspire your team toward a shared mission.
Start from the very beginning and encourage the people applying to your open roles only to do so if they are excited about the vision.
2. Cultivate a Strong Work Culture
In the words of Crisp Founder and CEO Michael Mogill, “Culture is how sh*t gets done around here.”
Culture isn’t just one aspect of your law firm; it’s all-encompassing. Whether it’s the environment itself, the team members, the growth mindset, or the high standards and expectations, it all matters. If you get even one of these wrong, your firm culture could be falling short.
When you create an environment based around growing, transforming, and making a positive impact together, that’s when you’ll start attracting your A-players.
The human desire for growth is perhaps manifested most in the realm of career. In a study by Quantum Workplace, employees listed professional growth opportunities as one of their highest drivers of engagement. Conversely, exiting employees listed lack of growth opportunity as the second highest reason for leaving.
Are you doing everything you can to ensure your team members know that their growth ceiling is high?
With growth opportunities comes high accountability standards. When true A-players know what must be done in order to grow, they’re going to do it. Highly accountable people love challenges, responsibility, and consequences for their actions — positive or negative.
According to Forbes, a strong company culture attracts better talent, and more importantly, retains that talent. No one wants to feel like another cog in the machine, so don’t make your people feel that way. Get ahead of the curve and show your potential team members why your firm is the last place they’ll ever want to work.
One of Crisp’s greatest accomplishments is being named the top workplace in Atlanta. That’s not something we can make up; it’s an honor that was voted on by the people who come in and help us achieve our goals each day.
It’s simple: Set your team members up for success and they will help you get there too.
3. Craft Unique Job Descriptions
The most basic way to attract new people to join your law firm is to advertise open positions. That means publishing job listings where seekers are applying!
The most important component of writing job descriptions is making it stand out. Incorporate your law firm’s unique brand voice. Highlight benefits, perks, and core values that make your organization one-of-a-kind. Ensure the culture of your workplace shines through from the first sentence.
Think of writing job descriptions like an art form. They are a challenge for you to overcome and make your own. The more personality in a job description, the more likely discerning candidates (NOT the ones mass-applying to any open job they see) will make a personal connection and seek out a career with your firm specifically.
The most important thing to remember when crafting job descriptions is to write with your ideal candidate in mind. These aren’t just for anyone to apply to — they’re for your perfect team member ONLY.
Don’t cut corners and don’t sugar-coat anything. Make sure the candidate applying knows exactly what to expect — and what aspects of working at your firm are not for everybody. We mean it: this is a good thing! That way, those who are not great fits will remove themselves from the application process. Don’t waste your time with bad-fit applicants, and don’t waste their time with deceiving advertisements.
4. Demonstrate Your Firm’s Credibility
Noteworthy people want to work at noteworthy companies. If it’s noteworthy people you’re after, show them what’s so special about your law firm and why they should work with you.
On your website and in your job listings, proudly display your firm’s achievements over the years. Consider questions such as:
- What notable cases have we represented?
- What have been our biggest wins?
- What awards has the law firm received?
- How long has the firm been in operation?
- How many people have we helped?
- What sets the firm apart from all the others?
Start to think of what’s made your firm tick over the years, and show A-players why you have the A-team they want to join.
Another useful tool is to have a results page displaying all of your victories, no matter what they entail. If there’s a section that your potential team members can go right to and find proof that your firm knows its stuff, that will make the idea of working there all the more enticing.
Don’t ever leave a potential hire wanting more. You can guarantee that if they’re wanting more, your clients will too. Demonstrating your law firm’s credibility will pay dividends in more ways than one.
5. Become a Leader Worth Following
Arguably the most important aspect of attracting the perfect team members to work for you is being a leader that people want to work for.
A leader who puts their team before themselves time and time again is one that will grab the attention of some of the best candidates out there.
As leadership expert John Maxwell says, “When you decide to serve others as a leader, the team’s success becomes your success.”
Leadership isn’t just about being in charge of a bunch of people — it’s about serving those you lead. As Maxwell teaches, a servant leader’s focus is on helping others succeed rather than serving themselves or being served by others. Serving your team before yourself is one of the best ways to ensure your team is aligned and committed to the same goal.
A true leader prioritizes many things: community impact, mentorship, and perpetual personal growth. Are you a leader worth following? Do your team members and potential new hires know all that you do?
In addition to simply being a great leader, one way to make sure candidates know that’s true is from reviews. Websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and others will help take care of that for you. If you truly have been a good leader, your team members can leave reviews letting the world know that; but they can always leave negative reviews as well.
So, which side of the coin do you hope to be on?
Be a good leader and your A team will follow.
Attracting the perfect people to work for your law firm isn’t as simple as walking outside and plucking out your pick of the litter. If it did work like that, we’d have many more successful law firms.
Your law firm should be the number one practice that great candidates want to work for. If it’s attractive, unique, and led well, it could very well become the place where all the best want to work.
You’ve got to be willing to work for it. If you leap at the first prospect, you could be making a grave error for your firm — that’s because there are always better candidates, and if you aren’t finding them, you aren’t doing enough to attract them.
We can help. Apply to join Crisp Coach, America’s #1 law firm growth program, to invest in yourself, your A-players, and the future of your law firm.