Bonus Levels Rise as Firms Grip onto Talent

Posted in Latest News on 21 Jun 2022

As we have consistently reported, employers continue to out manoeuvre hirers in the battle for talent by enhancing propositions and fast tracking promotions. The knock on effect, validated by the data we crunched when putting together our 10th annual Salary and Benefits survey, is that the legal sector’s active talent pool has shrunk. 

According to our research the legal sector is bucking the trend of the Great Resignation and hirers are facing their biggest challenges yet in the battle for talent, the number of legal professionals actively looking to change jobs has dropped to 24%, a sharp fall from 28% in 2021 and on a parallel with 2018 when the shadow of Brexit hung over the jobs market.

And as record financial performances make the headlines, law firms are powering up bonuses, increasing the value and rewarding more employees. The discretionary bonus is back on the table in a number of guises, for the first time in the legal sector, our clients are making one-time payments to their staff members to help cover the rise in living costs, following on from last year when we saw firms offering a first-time appreciation bonus for their efforts during the pandemic.

According to the data we crunched when putting together our 10th annual Salary and Benefits survey:

- 30% of lawyers received a bonus in the last 12 months compared to 23% in the previous year.

- Just 9% of respondents reported that the bonus was less than the previous year.

- The average bonus is equivalent to 10% of salary.

- In monetary terms the average bonus is £7,900 up from £5,600 in 2021.

- 68% of those who received a bonus are happy at work compared to 54% who did not receive a bonus.

- 16% of those who received a bonus are actively looking to change jobs in the next 6 months compared to 32% of those who did not.

Conclusion: Bonus can be a quick fix to a retention issue.

Douglas Scott is the biggest, and we believe, the best legal sector specialist in the UK. You might be struggling with a hire. Be driven to find the best possible candidate for your role. Maybe you have just been given backword. Or from a candidate perspective, looking to make a fully informed decision before you commit to a career move.

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