The legal profession, much like all other aspects of society, has been greatly impacted by rapid technological advances now at the fingertips of most practicing lawyers. In conjunction with those high-tech, career-enhancement tools, stand the superior legal recruiters, or headhunters, as they expertly assist talented law professionals throughout the entire search and placement process. In this article, we’ll explore the different recruitment tools available to legal recruiters and task-specific solutions available for each area of practice.
Today’s World of Legal Recruitment Starts with Advanced Technology
Using the latest technology as a resource, highly respected legal recruitment firms can more-effectively and quickly screen, interview, and place the best candidates into established and prestigious law firm and corporate counsel openings. Communication is instantaneous in today’s world, and information king, as legal headhunters strive to partner qualified legal professionals with mutually beneficial career growth opportunities.
One false step however, and the recruitment process must begin all over anew. Time is the most limited resource there is, and that fact must be considered whenever a legal recruitment firm utilizes high-tech resources while working with a potential candidate. Information, as aforementioned, is also imperative to the process, inclusive of the fact that the best legal recruiters also stay informed daily, as they position themselves in order to be the first to learn about a coveted law practice opening.
Having said all that, following you will find common technological advancements that elite law recruitment firms now use routinely in order to facilitate a smooth and more streamlined legal hiring process. Additionally, we will list three specific tools in each section that you can put to immediate use.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
One rapidly expanding legal recruitment resource is called an Applicant Tracking System, or ATS for short. These tools collect, store and disseminate applicant information records based upon their employment histories. As they say, we are all “in one big database”, and ATS have advanced us one more step down that road. However, it is a powerful tool in the hands of experienced legal headhunters, and one they are progressively using more often.
When might an ATS come into play? Well, compliance with employment laws and regulations is critical in today’s fast-paced and ever-litigious society. That most assuredly rings true within the legal field, and existing employee/employer contracts and other workplace agreements must be reviewed and understood by all parties involved, and to prevent a violation of said policies. To save time and money, legal recruitment firms can quickly access a potential hiring candidate’s employment files to ensure that all the “loose ends” have been tied up.
To provide an illustration of ATS capabilities, it may be necessary to ascertain whether or not the attorney candidate being recruited signed an enforceable non-compete clause when hired by their current law firm or corporate employer. Many prohibit an employee from accepting another job within so many miles of their present employer. Or, some lawyers have included in their benefit package law school loan payoff relief clauses, where the firm employing them takes on that responsibility in exchange for the law professional’s services. The minutia gets complicated for even the best legal headhunters, and ATS assets have come a long way in simplifying the process.
Multiple ATS suites exist on the market, one of the most notable of which being BreezyHR. Though a newer option, it has garnered praise for its wide array of features, which include email scheduling, job posting, analysis tools, and an easy-to-understand UI. Recruitee is regularly mentioned as one of the simplest to use ATS suites since it features a drag-and-drop interface, more than 200 job description templates, and cloud-based functionality. Those wanting recruitment AI tools that assist with identifying and selecting clients should consider Manatal.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become one of the most essential recruitment tools in HR departments. CRM performs the simple function of collecting every interaction with customers — or, in this context, with applicants — into a single place so that multiple departments and employees can easily access them. Bullhorn has become a staple for many firms by combining ATS elements with a CRM package that integrates with common HR systems and powerful search functions. However, it is also one of the pricier digital recruitment tools. Crelate provides similar options at a much lower cost, as does HireHive.
At times, firms will want to contact a prospect and will not want to do so through a portal such as LinkedIn. Direct email communication remains one of the best recruitment tools, but sometimes potential hires’ addresses aren’t readily available. Content/email finders can fill the information gap. FindEmails offers verification batching at less than $30 per month. AeroLeads combines email-search functionality with 15 additional data points and includes CRM integration. Finally, ContactOut boasts that it provides more accurate data than competitors and features an unpaid option with 40 free searches per month.
While recruitment sourcing tools provide incredible value, companies also need suites that help them during the interview process itself. Increasingly, artificial intelligence is also aiding during interviews. Automated AI technology, in the form of chatbots, can carry out the interviews anytime, with the geographic location of the law professional also not being a factor. In fact, chatbots can initially screen an attorney applicant by asking basic job-related questions, while even responding to people in a convincingly human conversational fashion.
For all busy parties involved, notably the law professional being interviewed, time is not an issue as has been the case in the past. Further, legal recruiters can program updates about, for example, the current availability of respected law firm job openings by using chatbots, and thus make that rapidly changing information available to active candidates on a real time basis.
Time is money, as they say, and the latest AI technology has become a viable cost-effective applicant screening alternative to more conventional means.
You can see the importance of time-saving tech and the growth of AI in popular interviewing software options. Comeet integrates with CRM and offers multiple options while the interview is taking place to help keep interviewers organized, such as visible interview questions, the ability to take notes, and to instantly record reactions to candidate responses. Specifically designed for first-round interviews in technically focused fields, Adaface employs AI to screen candidates. Meanwhile, ConveyIQ introduces customization to every stage of the interview process.
Instead of more traditional types of advertising, advanced recruitment marketing software actively seeks out appropriate applicants. Salesloop is a cloud-based option that specifically targets information available on LinkedIn and markets itself to B2B companies. If you already employ several recruiting systems, you can manage them all in one place thanks to Beamery. And Clinch works well with integration into multiple systems such as a job-site builder and analytics tools.
Effective recruiting cannot happen without effective scheduling, which is why scheduling programs often constitute firms’ top 10 recruiting tools. 10to8 is a wonderful scheduling tool that offers 100 appointments per month as part of its free plan. Calendly provides a free plan as well, but also integrates with most types of electronic calculators. Right Inbox takes a different approach, focusing entirely on email tracking and reminding.
Screening the various applications that come in can prove incredibly time consuming. Automated screening suites are rapidly becoming essential hiring tools for managers, programs such as Fountain, which tailors screening protocols to your specific organization. Outmatch can integrate with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. SkillSurvey aims to verify references and is used by Auburn University, Burlington, and Talbots.
We’ve already mentioned Recruitee as an established ATS solution, but it also includes sourcing tools to help you get in touch with applicants at the earliest stages of the recruitment process. Like other pieces of software, Loxo uses artificial intelligence to help recruiters source candidates, and it also includes social-media integration. If your firm doesn’t need to regularly source new candidates, consider Workable, which has a “pay as you go” option.
Job Description and Candidate Feedback
Ensuring that the verbiage you employ matches with your firm’s brand used to be a tricky proposition. Not so anymore with tools such as Textio. This service helps detect biased language in job descriptions and other company-related postings, eliminating potentially offensive language. Similarly, Gender Decoder is a free tool designed to identify language that could discourage female applicants.
Social Media Management
Social media remains not only an entertaining diversion, but also a serious way for businesses to connect with customers, other professionals, and new talent. Recruitment marketing tools that focus on social media have become a requirement for many different kinds of firms. One example is Buffer, a multi-layered social-media-management suite that allows firms to build a start page, publish content, engage with users, and analyze the results. Meanwhile, Zoho is a larger company with many different types of software, one of which being Zoho Social, a social-media suite with a unique dashboard that tracks interactions and an easy-to-use publishing calendar.
Firms live or die based on their in-office communication, and a trio of collaboration tools have become nearly ubiquitous in recent years. Wildly popular Slack combines simple messaging technology with integration of common workplace programs such as Google Calendar, Gmail, OneDrive, Zoom, and more. Competitor Trello uses similar systems, but has also introduced AI-driven automation of routine tasks. And Google Workplace offers numerous powerful features at a budget-friendly starting price of $6 per month.
Making a hire isn’t the end of the recruitment process. Personnel still need to effectively shepherd new talent into the fold, which is why onboarding software has grown in popularity. Onboarding new hires is only one aspect of Bamboo HR, an all-in-one suite of employee management tools. Similarly, Paycheck Flex is primarily a payroll solution, but it also features hiring and onboarding solutions.
For Legal Professionals Seeking Career Advancement, Tech Rules the Day
As this article has shown, technology has drastically altered the way in which the practice of law operates, while also infiltrating the job search process when legal professionals are seeking to promote and advance their careers. Further, legal recruitment firms, and the headhunters therein, are also engaged in utilizing the latest high-tech recruiting resources, such as chatbot interviewing, ATS and HRMS. Overall, these technological innovations make the legal recruitment process more time and cost-effective, with the benefits spilling over to their law firm and corporate legal counsel clients, along with the attorney candidates themselves.
What obstacles and challenges will the best and most innovative legal recruitment agencies have to face in the future? Time, as they say, will tell.