The coronavirus crisis has impacted most global sectors tremendously and a recent survey by The Law Society’s Law Management Section suggests that firms are forecasting a 10-20% drop in revenue for the 2020/2021 financial year. However as we near the end of the first quarter of 2021 we’re seeing excellent signs of recovery, with areas such as Family, Litigation, Immigration, Clinical, Construction and Property flourish. Many law firms with conveyancing departments have reported huge growth in workloads since the housing market re-opened, with sales in October reported to be up 52% on last year.
Naturally, candidates in these areas are in demand, be it as a result of the pandemic, Brexit, employment legislation changes and / or our government’s furlough scheme and Stamp Duty freeze. These sectors are now not only surviving but thriving and as such it has never been more crucial for firms to adapt their workforce and technology requirements quickly and effectively in order to manage their ever increasing department workloads.
With a rise in Partner, Department Head and Senior level Solicitor vacancies, it’s clear to see that most firms are wisely investing in their workforce. It has been good to speak to those who have positioned their practices effectively and I’m confident that the firms who are now smartly engaged in testing new tools, resources and remote working methods are placing themselves ahead of the competition this year and beyond.
Service delivery within these areas is proving key and must remain a top priority. Be it within legal or any other industry, a sharp spike in demand for services means that businesses cannot allow for skillset shortages, of any kind. It is key to have an effective and efficient workforce, capable of managing an increased demand as well as the consistent service levels that their customers have come to expect of them. Short-sighted firms that have a lack of technology or are slow to hire and/or replace leavers quickly and effectively rarely tackle this issue and may instead find themselves with failing reviews and critically tarnished reputations in this ever-competitive arena.
As a result, self-efficient mid to senior level candidates across the industry are greatly in demand right now and we must not overlook the significant contributing factor of the government’s call for employees to work remotely from home. We have seen a spike in all sectors for Solicitors with 4+ years PQE upwards. Yet I am pleased to report that there are still plenty of firms cleverly interviewing, inducting and training new starters online, so this shouldn’t deter ambitious Paralegals, Newly qualified or 1-3 year PQE Solicitors of a change within their career path during the pandemic.
It goes without saying that candidates who have worked for top tiered, well profiled practices, known for positioning themselves quickly and effectively back in March 2020 will stand out from the crowd currently at interview, as their knowledge and expertise of working within practice throughout the pandemic is now more valuable than ever. We are effectively and proactively supporting Partners with experience in navigating their firm or introducing new technology this last year and just as sought after are our Department Heads and mid to senior level Solicitor candidates with an aptitude for managing others as well as themselves remotely. We are really pleased to be working with candidates who were once focused on city careers but are now keen to relocate themselves to southern home counties as a result of the world’s new way of working and improved quality of life due to a reduced commute.
Our clients are looking to us for skilled Partners, Legal Directors, Department Heads, Associates, NQ Solicitors, Legal Executives and Paralegals seeking a southern based private practice placement. With hot topics of conversation and interview questions almost certainly focused around how to best combat the increasing demand for service consistency and ensuring careful, concise client communication and care as well as opinions and views on pandemic proof best working practices.
If you are a legal professional considering a change within your career or hiring manager seeking staff, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss your requirements in confidence.