NALSC 2024: Leopard Solutions Advises on Data-Driven Recruitment  

At the recent annual NALSC conference, Phil Flora, VP of sales and marketing, presented our latest data analysis of the state of the legal industry. Here is a summary of strategies for legal recruitment consultants.  

He focused on the pivotal role of data in effectively driving recruitment endeavors. Despite various uncertainties looming over the recruitment landscape—such as being amidst an election year and the looming possibility of recession—ensuring a steady flow of business remains a priority. We accurately predicted that strategy would emerge as the prominent theme in 2023, and indeed, it did. To thrive in this evolving landscape, recruiters must cultivate their strategic acumen to navigate through fluctuations successfully. This involves meticulous planning, a deep understanding of their clients’ needs, and assisting them in devising effective strategies for achieving their objectives. By establishing themselves as trusted partners and industry authorities, recruiters can sustain their business even during low placement volumes.  

Group Moves  

Group relocation emerged as a notable trend last year, offering firms a swift path to expansion while yielding higher returns in attorney success and retention on investment (ROI). Anticipated to continue as a significant strategic maneuver in 2024, the group moves present a compelling option for firms seeking growth. Although associate recruitment is expected to rebound, its strength might not match historical levels. Given the heightened benefits of strategic group relocations, firms are inclined to this approach. This year, your capacity to effectively source, pitch, and persuade groups to relocate will be thoroughly scrutinized, which using our Migration report may help you as the sound adviser. 

Furthermore, counsel the firms on the significance of a “middleman” in this recruitment form. Group relocations carry a sensitivity akin to mergers, albeit with reduced risk for the acquiring entity. External recruiters, serving as intermediaries on behalf of the acquiring firm, can establish a robust negotiating stance without jeopardizing the goodwill and rapport between the parties involved. Acting as a bridge, an intermediary cultivates trust and provides a conducive environment for the attorneys being acquired to communicate candidly and openly without jeopardizing potential relationships. In scenarios where the target group harbors reservations about the acquiring firm, the mediator can assuage concerns and facilitate a smoother transition to acquisition.  

Be a Trusted Partner  

The previous year witnessed a stark contrast in recruiters’ performance, with some thriving. In contrast, others faced challenges due to low volume. Those recruiters who invested in establishing themselves as trusted partners coaching the firm would prove their ability to provide enhanced value as industry experts experienced success. Anticipating shifts within firms and proactively pitching ideas such as acquisitions or group relocations proved lucrative. This principle holds true for external recruiters and those within law firms. It’s imperative to grasp the firm’s strategic initiatives and growth objectives and align efforts toward supporting those goals.  

In 2023, recruiters were urged to adopt a proactive approach by contacting law firms to gain insight into their objectives for the upcoming year. As most law firms have already outlined their strategic plans for 2024, it’s essential to reach out and inquire about them. This presents an opportune moment to share pertinent market data as a catalyst for discussion. Research areas where the firm experienced success in hiring and identify top-performing practice areas. 

Comparing these achievements with competitors and market trends provides valuable context. Explore potential growth opportunities within the market and gather insights from interactions with other law firms. Leveraging this intelligence will position you as a trusted partner upon whom law firm recruiters can rely.  

  • Provide true market insights not just anecdotal evidence of overall conditions. 
  • Send them weekly updates on firms of interest. 
  • Monitor their competitors and deliver items of interest. 
  • Give them information about their own firms. 
  • Share data that benchmarks their firm against their competitors on hiring and other data points. 
  • Work to understand their overall goals, whether it is increasing diversity or increasing their footprint. 

Promote Diversity  

As many know, we advocate for a more diverse legal industry and actively support initiatives such as the Diversity Lab and the Mansfield firm initiative. (more on Leopard Diversity Probability Index) Law firms often emphasize the significance of our diversity data, highlighting its value in identifying diverse candidates and benchmarking their firms against industry standards. While the importance of supporting your law firm clients and their diversity initiatives might seem self-evident, it’s worth outlining some critical reasons for clarity.  

Remove Roadblocks  

Ensuring a seamless candidate interview entails proactive measures to maintain momentum. While it’s beneficial to research both the pros and cons of your candidate, sharing the positive aspects with the recruiting coordinator at the firm is essential for a successful outcome. The coordinator can then relay this information to the hiring partner, empowering them to present a compelling case for the attorney to join the firm backed by data. Considering the observed trend of fewer deals proceeding and longer processing times, it becomes imperative to streamline the process and address any potential objections promptly to facilitate timely placements.  

Source Creatively  

Data can be used in various ways to illustrate diverse trajectories. Recruiters must effectively navigate both the long and short aspects of the hiring process. In the long term, it’s crucial to establish trust with law firm clients by offering valuable content. Utilize available resources including Leopard BI and Firmscape to devise a strategic plan aimed at helping law firms achieve their growth objectives for the upcoming year and contribute to goal-setting discussions for 2025. 

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