For human resource managers, sourcing qualified legal candidates can be a challenging first step in an arduous process to identify top lawyers who are the best fit for their organization’s in-house law department. Traditional methods of posting job openings may work fine for some positions, but legal recruiting is different. Recruiting candidates at this level requires hiring managers to go beyond traditional sources. While LinkedIn can be an effective tool for researching candidates, it shouldn’t be a stand-alone sourcing strategy.
If you need inspiration for some new tactics, here are three unconventional ways to recruit legal candidates.
1. Host A Networking Event
Long before LinkedIn, there were networking events. Consider putting your own spin on this traditional tactic by hosting a lunch-and-learn event about a topic that’s of interest to your industry or bringing in a guest speaker. This allows you to meet professionals who have already demonstrated an interest in your company and interact with them in a less formal setting, when they don’t necessarily see you as a potential employer.
2. Institute an Employee Referral Program
In many cases, your current employees are your best talent scouts. They likely already have a network of friends or acquaintances within the profession and because they are immersed in this network, are more familiar with rising talent. Furthermore, current employees make excellent company advocates, far more effective than the organization’s management, which candidates may view as bias.
An organization supported by its employees is a good indication the culture and work environment is healthy and prosperous — highly appealing traits to top legal candidates. In lieu of these advantages, many companies are training their staff on recruiting skills and encouraging them to participate in candidate sourcing by offering incentives.
3. Handpick Candidates
Passive candidates—those not actively seeking new job opportunities—can become your best hires if you know how to get their attention. One startup company, Red 5 Studios, did this by handpicking 100 dream candidates, researching them on social networks and sending each one a personalized iPod, complete with packaging and a recorded message from the CEO. More than 90 recipients responded to the pitch, and three left their jobs to join. This tactic may not directly apply to your company, but it illustrates the power of a personalized approach.
Instead of sending 100 iPods, identify five to 10 candidates you’d love to have and reach out to them personally in another way.
Using less conventional recruiting tactics gives your organization a reputation for being creative, resourceful and innovative. A legal recruiting firm can help you identify top candidates who aren’t actively looking and might otherwise be overlooked by your competitors. BarkerGilmore's legal recruiting team specializes in recruiting in-house counsel and compliance professionals. To learn more about what makes us unique, download our brochure.