“Even though recruitment can be a hard process, you don’t want just anybody to fill the gap. Anyone you take on has to not only be able to do the work but also fit in with your firm and its culture.”
Struggling to recruit? Get more applications with brand values and an employee proposition
Recruiting is hard at the moment, and you can be unintentionally making it harder for yourself if you’re attempting to attract new talent without demonstrating your Brand Values in an Employee Proposition.
Your firm has a brand whether you have worked to develop it or not. We recommend you leverage that brand to build an employee proposition that will bring in the best recruits, who are aligned with your goals and values.
Your firm’s values are the principles that the business stands for. At Consortium more than marketing, our core values include Flexibility, Integrity, and Collaboration. Your brand is the way that your firm is perceived and it’s easy to see how your firm’s values will impact how people feel about you.
In terms of recruitment, you should be considering how your brand is perceived by three different target markets:
- Potential recruits
- Current employees
Whilst all three groups have differing relationships with your firm, they should broadly agree on their perception of your brand. Think of your brand as a house. Every wall should fit together, to create a good impression of your brand. If one wall is out of line, your house is more likely to crumble.
Outlining your brand values is a great way to start to align the opinions of those three groups.
Let’s take Integrity as an example. Your clients should feel as if your firm acts with integrity, and your employees must act on that expectation. This way potential recruits can see that Integrity is valued by the firm and will know that they can expect that of their colleagues should they join the firm and that it is expected of them.
Having strong brand values is a good place to start in attracting new talent as it sets the tone of the conversation surrounding your firm. An Employee Proposition takes your Brand Values and turns them into real-world actions and expectations that lets a person know why they would want to work for you.
What is an Employee Proposition?
In basic terms, your Employee Proposition is what your firm stands for, what you require from potential recruits and what you offer in exchange. It’s what people are looking for from you in exchange for their labour.
Even though recruitment can be a hard process, you don’t want just anybody to fill the gap. Anyone you take on has to not only be able to do the work but also fit in with your firm and its culture.
A good Employee Proposition helps to separate the wheat from the chaff before you receive applications. It indicates what you’re willing to give to attract and retain new talent, but it also tells potential recruits what’s expected of them in exchange.
So, how do you write a proposition that gets you the best recruits?
How to write a Proposition
All good Employee Propositions are based on introspection. Consider the Brand Values we discussed earlier. What are they, and how do they appear in practice? Are they aligned with your client’s needs and your business strategy? Most importantly, are your senior staff on board? If your firm’s brand values aren’t in practice, then they don’t mean anything.
Brand Values are the core upon which you build your Employee Proposition. The next layer is taken from the research you must undertake to understand your current staff and their needs. You can guess what your employees are looking for from you, but a good proposition is honest, and that means taking open and honest feedback from your current team.
This goes beyond pay (although pay is an important factor) into all aspects of work. What training do you offer, what career development is available, are the hours flexible, and can they work from home?
Once you understand what your staff want (and therefore what you should be offering), you can look at your Unique Selling Point – what makes your firm different? Why should potential recruits work for you and not your competitor?
If you’re hiring for different roles, you’ll need to write separate propositions for each of them. Fee-earners and support staff will need different support in order to be able to do their jobs as effectively as possible. If a member of staff is promoted, you’ll need to update their proposition to reflect any new responsibilities and new benefits.
Remember, once you have written your proposition, it must function as policy. If you offer training at recruitment and it never appears, then you’ve lied. The person you recruited off the back of that lie has every right to leave again and will likely take their story with them – damaging your brand.
Consider how you present your Employee Proposition.
Whilst pay isn’t the only thing to consider, it is important. If you’re offering a “competitive salary”, then you should put the figure in your offering. This doesn’t have to be specific (it can be a range) but the foundation of an effective Employee Proposition is honesty. If you’re worried that the amount you’re offering looks bad for what you’re asking in return, then it probably is.
List your firm’s accomplishments! They act as real signs that career growth is possible when working with your firm. Is your firm listed in a directory? Show this to potential recruits.
Identifying what makes your caseload unique will help potential candidates line up their values with yours. Do you want people hungry to tackle tough cases? Give examples of tough cases your firm has won.
Consider any reservations that a candidate might have about applying and demonstrate why they needn’t worry. If all your existing fee-earners are male, a female candidate might be apprehensive to join your team – A 2020 UN study found that 91% of men hold some bias against women. Demonstrate a commitment to diversity that’s backed up by policy and you will attract a wide selection of the best candidates.
What’s your firm’s community involvement like? Do you do pro bono work? Does your firm support a charity? Being able to show your firm’s values in action through your community efforts will demonstrate how your Brand Values align with a candidate’s values.
No one wants to work for a firm that’s stuck in the past. It’s not efficient and it doesn’t future-proof their skill set. Tell potential recruits about what technology they can be expecting if they join your firm.
Communicate your Proposition
Once you’ve done all this work, you’ll need to communicate it effectively for it to work. The team at Consortium are expert marketers who specialise in the legal sector – we can get your Employee Proposition in front of the right people. Contact us today to discuss how we can support your recruitment efforts.