Posted in Blog on 21 Nov 2018
Looking at retention in isolation, there’s a general assumption that holding-on to talent for long periods is increasingly challenging, as younger professionals are more inclined to frequently move jobs. This assumption was supported by the data we analysed when producing our 2018 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker; ambitious young Solicitors legal professionals are twice as nimble when maxing out salaries in the first 10 years of their careers and are making up to four job moves in the first ten years of their legal careers without fear of damaging their personal brand.
However it’s a different story when looking at the talent pool as a whole. Earlier this year we highlighted that job security had returned to the legal sector with just 8% of the legal profession citing job security as the main motivator for changing jobs in 2018, a rate that had been steadily falling from its 5 year peak of 21% at the beginning of 2014. Without this driver the number of legal professionals actively looking to change jobs has shrunk to a 5 year low; 24% of the legal talent pool will be actively looking to change jobs in 2018, down 4 percentage points since 2017 and 17 points from its 5 year peak in January 2015. Furthermore the 2018 data demonstrated that legal professionals were more sticky, staying in their jobs for 4.1 years compared to 3.8 in 2017.
Our 2019 survey is now live (click to take part) and it’ll be interesting to see how this average number of years moves. A recent LexisNexis article highlighted millennials form the backbone of staff and client bases, constituting 35% of the workforce, which will rise to 50% in 2020.
Does this mean we can expect to see the average years before legal professionals get itchy feet start to decline? Whether we do or don’t, talent retention remains a critical component of law firm success.
Long-serving staff tend to better embrace and share company values, creating a more positive working culture. They provide stability in terms of succession planning. They can help safeguard client relationships. They can prove invaluable training and coaching to the next generation. They can deliver consistency and a foundation for reducing risk.
So, as younger generations enter the workplace, how do firms hold-on to talented employees and create careerists?
With our team working at the coalface, regularly speaking with legal professionals and understanding what’s important to them, we’ve collated a list of the top three factors to help boost talent retention.
Interested in finding out more about what matters to legal professionals, take a look at this year’s Salary and Benefits Benchmarker.
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