Recruitment agency Mahlab has found that there are more women and more in-house lawyers coming to them for employment opportunities in the legal sector. Mahlab has been gathering data through an online survey on candidates since August 2011.
According to the agency the Australian legal recruitment market is entering a new phase as a result of the arrival of international firms. “International firms are continuing their penetration of the Australian legal market,” stated the report. “While new mergers are being announced by some firms, others continue to investigate their options. Those not looking to merge are positioning their brand as an alternative to the big firm/big client model. The impact of these activities is being felt in the recruitment market.”
The corporate or in-house legal market is also at a crossroad according to Mahlab: “The pressure on in-house departments to contain costs and reduce external legal spend has seen many organisations recruit highly skilled specialist lawyers. This means that competition for talented lawyers is increasing, notwithstanding the economic market.”
In terms of what candidates are looking for when seeking a new role, the survey found more than one quarter of those lawyers who responded would like more constructive feedback after an interview with the prospective employer. “Lack of feedback on the client interview and confirmation that the client had finalised their selection process made this process an ‘average’ experience rather than a ‘very good’ one,” said one respondent.
Lisa Gazis, managing director (NSW) of Mahlab said the importance of providing quality feedback cannot be underestimated. “Candidates are still forming their opinion about the organisation. Organisations that move quickly and provide quality feedback will engage better with their candidates,” she said.