Junior Solicitors are in high demand. 54% of all In-house jobs advertised in the last 6 months targeted Solicitors from NQ – 3PQE and making your business stand out in a crowded market to attract them can be challenging. Similarly, retaining Solicitors you have taken through the qualification process can be difficult. Companies often forget the importance of retaining their employees. So much time and money is spent on attracting or training talent, isn’t it important to ensure they stay?

Attracting NQ Talent

There are obvious benefits pushed out by companies – salary, location, flexibility. These are all important however, they may not appeal to an NQ as they might to a 5 PQE Solicitor.

There is one component to your offering that is highly valued by NQs and can really set you apart from your competition: the opportunity to lea and develop within the business. This can take a number of forms: working in a small team with an experienced General Counsel is good, but an established Leaing and Development programme allowing the candidate to take control of their development and work closely with both inteal and exteal mentors is even better.

If you’re hiring for an NQ to join your team, really emphasise the development you can give them – one of the main conces for lawyers, particularly in Practice, is that they will not receive adequate development In-house. Put a focus on your L&D on your job descriptions and adverts and show them you take their development seriously.

Retaining NQ Talent

Assisting a lawyer through their qualification process can be time consuming and use up department resources – so why not do everything to keep an NQ at the business once they have qualified? It is much more affordable than going through the hiring process again and again.

You’ve already shown them you’re serious about their development by enabling them to qualify, but growth doesn’t stop there. At this stage, a junior Solicitor will be keen to understand how they can kick on. The worst thing about qualifying can be the thought that even though they’ve achieved qualification the work they have access to will continue to be the same, and there won’t be the opportunity to progress beyond that.

The above can particularly be an issue where the Solicitor has been at the business as a Paralegal before qualifying and things may begin to feel a bit stale. Can you enable them to work with a different department in the business to build their inteal network, or grant them more high-value work, or work more closely with senior stakeholders? 35% of NQ Solicitors who moved from their In-house legal team did so to improve their development opportunities – whether that be moving to a law firm, or a legal team that offered them growth.

Develop a Strategy

Are you looking for NQ talent or solutions to maintaining your relationships with your current trainees? It is imperative your hiring process is sending the right message to your future colleagues. The best employers will be finalising their NQ strategy within the next 2 months - will you?

If you want to get your strategy right, let's have a conversation.

Posted 13/03/2020 By Liam Walpole

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