Law firms are overlooking key parts of the candidate journey


12th October 2023

Read time:

5 minutes

The success of your firm hinges on its ability to attract, nurture, and retain the brightest legal minds

In the ever-competitive legal landscape, the success of your firm hinges on its ability to attract, nurture, and retain the brightest legal minds. Yet, there are two often-overlooked parts of the candidate journey that can significantly impact your firm’s Early Talent strategy: 

  1. The gap between feeder programmes & talent pathways 
  1.  The resource drain of a poor preboarding experience 

Consider the journey of potential candidates who engage with your firm through feeder programs or other early-stage initiatives. These individuals represent a wealth of untapped potential (not to mention cost). However, it’s all too easy to lose touch with these future stars after their initial contact with your firm. 

Consider now those shining stars who you’ve just offered a role to. They can’t wait to start; you can’t wait for them to bring the potential they have shown & the different perspectives they’ll bring.  Yet, it’s all too common to for new joiners to either, arrive with that initial spark dulled, doubts fostering or feeling a lack of belonging; Or feel that friends of theirs joining other law firms have had a better experience pre-day 1. Either way, they don’t feel how you would want them to. 

Historically, decline & renege rates in the legal sector are far below other sectors, despite a recent marked-up lift in reneges (ISE Student Recruitment Guide, 2023) and this has dampened pre-boarding innovation in the sector vs other industries.  (You can calculate the cost of declines and reneges at your firm using our calculator.)  Now however we’ve reached a tipping point of candidate agency, where new hires demand, expect even, the opportunity to connect & engage with peers in role & form cohort communities with new joiners pre-day one (Connectr, preboarding engagement survey, 2023

Both feeder programmes and preboarding represent clear areas of untapped opportunity. We’ve spoken with firms who have papered over the cracks with AI-chat bots, or virtual work simulations to engage or rely on email communications in the two years between offer and start. But Early Talent candidates more than ever seek rich, meaningful engagement and genuine work insight. (Connectr, preboarding engagement survey, 2023

Is there a quick impactful fix? 

Our partnerships & research has shown the solution is simple yet powerful – in both instances. 

The likes of Freeths, RPC, GSK, Aon and Lloyds Banking Group leverage their existing people (such as trainees and apprentices) as accessible, digital mentors & brand ambassadors. And by doing so, quickly cultivate lasting connections with their budding future talent, whilst fostering a profound sense of connection to their firm’s culture and values.  

The impact? Candidates engaging with their peer ambassadors/mentors are 6x more likely to be hired, with even greater impact on those from under-represented backgrounds.  

“One of big things we do as mentors is from whenever the offer was to now, they might not have someone to talk to, so it kind of gives them like a point of contact, so they can still feel like they’re joining the team and they haven’t been forgotten about.” 

Thales Graduate Preboarding Mentor  

Moreover, this technology streamlines many of those administrative tasks such as responding to huge numbers of candidate emails in a timely manner, and thus empowers their Early Talent team to redirect their focus toward more strategic activities and less repetitive work (We’ve seen a reduction saving in admin tasks equivalent to a full headcount during pre &on-boarding) 

So, what’s stopping you? 

Imagine candidates leaving a university fair or school work insight event with more than just a fleeting impression of your brand. Instead, they have an ongoing connection to your firm through rich relationships and peer networks, and you can continue to invest in them as they can learn more about your firm and build their capabilities and confidence.   

Additionally, your incoming hires are provided authentic inspiration, guidance, and a reminder of why your firm is their preferred choice by their soon-to-be peers. They arrive with a shared sense of community and belonging.  

And if that was not enough, think of the wider, reportable social impact your firm will have too!  

It doesn’t take a big change, nor cost-prohibitive software. 

Book a chat with us today