With a candidate-driven recruitment landscape, how can you make sure your law firm stands out from the crowd and is the first choice for job seekers?

It’s fair to say that many law firms have been finding the legal recruitment market challenging over the last twelve months.

While firms are hiring, the number of available candidates has not kept pace with the demand. This has put those looking for a new role in a strong position – and those recruiting, facing fierce competition for talented professionals.

This is known as a ‘candidate-driven market’. The implication is that employers may struggle to fill vacancies, as job seekers can seemingly take their pick of opportunities.

In practice, we still have people coming to us to make their next career move and law firms are continuing to find new hires.

But successful recruitment in a competitive market requires careful planning. It’s more important than ever to be clear about your offering as a firm and understand what candidates are looking for.

Our recruitment tips for law firms  

  1. Ensure your recruitment process is watertight


In a candidate-driven market, you need to be ready to move quickly when you find the right person for your role. This means making sure all elements of your recruitment process are running smoothly, from scheduling interviews to making an offer.

It’s also vital to act decisively when you find somebody you’re interested in and keep the lines of communication open, so candidates know where they stand with you and feel valued.

  1. Create an up-to-date and accurate job description

This is essential to define the scope of the role and the type of person you’re looking for. But it’s also key information for prospective candidates, so they have a clear idea about what the role involves and whether it may be a good fit for them.

The job description should reflect all the responsibilities of the role and set out the qualifications and experience you require. Include practical details, such as working hours, where the role is based, whether you offer hybrid working, the salary and benefits.

Bear in mind that existing job descriptions may need updating if elements of the role have evolved or department or firm-wide objectives have changed.

  1. Consider the salary carefully

Unsurprisingly, salary is generally an important driver in attracting quality candidates, especially in tough times. Do some research to benchmark the salary you’re offering with similar roles in your area.

For example, speaking with a specialist legal recruiter like Legal Southwest can provide useful insight into the local recruitment market so that you remain competitive.

  1. Think about what else you offer

While salary is a significant deciding factor for many people, don’t overlook the wider picture.

Candidates have become increasingly interested in what law firms offer above and beyond their pay packet, such as support for training and professional development, mentoring opportunities with senior lawyers, and what their career progression might look like with you.

  1. Sell the firm!

When candidates are potentially fielding multiple job offers, it’s important to understand what makes your firm an attractive prospect, and then communicate this as part of your recruitment process. In addition to this, job seekers want to feel confident you’re serious about investing in your people for the long-term.

Showcase aspects such as your culture, a diverse or specialist client base, the chance to take ownership of projects, work-life balance, feedback from clients and employees, or relevant awards/accreditations.

  1. Make use of strong candidates

In such a fast-moving market, you may find it harder to recruit for specific roles. In this situation, it’s worth looking at alternative recruitment strategies to bring talented professionals into the firm when they are available.

Rather than waiting until you have a vacancy, and then potentially struggling to fill this, you can be proactive in creating a position for a strong candidate that utilises their skills and experience.

How a legal recruitment specialist can help

A specialist recruiter like Legal Southwest can support and advise you throughout the recruitment process. As we deal with both candidates and law firms, we’re well-placed to provide insight into the local recruitment landscape and the feedback we’re receiving from people looking for their next role.

Our goal is to match talented professionals with like-minded organisations. We only put forward candidates who we’re confident will be interested in joining your team and would be a good fit.

This helps you to recruit more confidently and effectively – which is more important than ever when faced with such a competitive legal recruitment market.

Legal Southwest is a specialist legal recruiter, bringing together talented professionals with like-minded organisations. Take a look at our current vacancies or contact us to find out how we can help you.