2017 AUG 21


  • tagBy Simon Oxtoby
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The lot of a recruiter is often a somewhat unhappy one due to the perception that the outside world has of the profession.  We are blamed for headhunting staff out of firms, putting wrong people in firms, giving advice to candidates that aren’t in their employers best interest, and generally spreading salacious gossip about the particular industry that we work in.  But this is a cross we have to bear, and it isn’t in general true – just like the perception that all personal Injury lawyers are ambulance chasers. So, give us a bit of credibility for the good we do as well.

Rant over, I now want to demonstrate how as a recruiter my job isn’t all about the above and in fact it isn’t about it at all.

Many years ago, back in the days of simple legal aid, one of my first placements was at a larger PI firm with a candidate who wanted to leave his current employers because he felt undervalued and could not see a career structure emerging for him. He gave in his notice and it was initially accepted, but then a week before he was due to start the firm ( who clearly could not find a suitable replacement for him) offered him a huge pay rise and promised him a partnership within the year. The bribery worked and he stayed. But, guess what? A year later he rang me again to say that none of the promises had been honoured and he wished he had taken the other offer the previous year.

This is by no means an unusual occurrence.  Bribery virtually never works in the long term, and it is only when a firm realises what they are likely to lose that they act. Almost every offer I get currently for a candidate is then counter offered by their present firm. Sometimes it is too little too late, but often the devil you know wins over the one you don’t.

I have been banging on about retention policy for years and was asked by APIL to give a speech some time ago at their annual conference. I doubt anyone took any notice of it as staffing seems to be very low down on the list. Just consider the amount of vacancies that the major firms have at any one time on their books, and look at their retention policy.  How does it go so wrong?

Retention is not difficult. It is however sometimes time consuming. I wrote a blog some time ago entitled “it’s all about love” and I still think that this is a major ingredient of retention. Surely if you value an employee it makes perfect sense to make them aware of it. Tell them how good they are; talk of the future and mean it; give them incentives to stay;  take then out to lunch to say thank you for their hard work etc. Is  this all too difficult?  Or, when they hand in their notice you can offer the hollow bribe of more money and the future, but remember that this will be taken as a retrospective ingratiation in a few month’s time.

So, if you value your staff and do your best for them they will do their best for you and everyone will be happy – except of course people in my industry who will have no-one to place in new jobs and no jobs to place anyone in.

At Daniel Lewis Law we run tailored workshops on how to retain staff, whether it be through attitude, training, or other symptomatic reasons. They are not expensive and are run on a one-to one basis if necessary. For more information, please ring Daniel on 07787 444589 or go to the website at www.daniellewislaw.com

Daniel is MD of Daniel Lewis Law – Specialist recruiters to the Clinical Negligence and Injury legal professions