The Great Recession of 2008 hit many Americans hard, including those in the legal profession. Even the most-seasoned legal recruiters were surprised by the recession’s rapid onset, severity and duration. As a result, scores of unprepared recruiting firms went “belly-up”, while those who had planned actually saw their client numbers and revenues rise. And now, many Wall Street insiders are predicting a potentially dramatic economic slowdown within the next year. So, when the next economic recession strikes will your firm thrive, or fail to survive?
Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem
During a recession demand for talent becomes unpredictable as employers endure budget cuts and layoffs while tabling many of their pending contracts and expansion initiatives. Ten years ago, recruiters who earned a living based on hiring contingencies faltered. On the other hand, recruiting firms that specialized in placing lawyers within bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure and healthcare openings prospered. Recruiters who position themselves during a recession as part of the solution are valued, while those viewed as having unneeded services aren’t.
Recession Survival Tips for Legal Recruiters
Now it’s time to look at some specific ways to boost your firm’s bottom line even when the economy is stagnant. Here are some recession survival tips to remember:
Optimize Your ATS Process
If you haven’t already done so, sit down as a team and optimize your applicant tracking system (ATS) process. When times get tough, you’ll have way more attorney applicants to choose from than available positions. The better you are at identifying and screening highly qualified candidates, the more valuable you will be to your clients. Look at cost-saving ways to streamline your entire ATS process, starting with technology and automation. Another way is by outsourcing tasks like:
- Administrative, including record keeping and follow-up emails
- Initial and ongoing communication with candidates
- Background checks and candidate screenings
Strengthen Your Online Presence
When researching what the more successful recruiting firms are doing in your area, start with their websites. Ranking high on Google through good times and bad will keep your firm’s name visible. How does your website stack up against the competition? Does your homepage have an introductory video that quickly tells visitors why they should come to you instead of another firm?
If not, it might be wise to hire a digital marketing agency that can help boost your search engine optimization (SEO). Digital marketers can also provide you with these online services:
- Social media assistance for various platforms
- Getting your firm listed on industry related websites and directories
- Blog articles that position you as industry experts
- Email marketing campaigns to attract new clients, and retain old ones
Retain Your Best People
Although it’s easy to get side-tracked during a recession, don’t panic by prioritizing budget cuts over retaining your best people. Keeping your top recruiters who have strong insider networking contacts will keep your firm better positioned to bring in new accounts even during an economic slowdown.
When the economy finally started rebounding in 2010, many law-firm partners and corporate hiring managers started scrambling to fill newly created legal vacancies. As a rule, keep your top performers productive and happy even during a recession so they won’t jump ship to another firm.
Avoid Layoffs by Being Indispensable
As a recruiter at a well-established firm, develop a game plan to survive pending layoffs when the economy screeches to a halt. Here are some reliable ways to do so:
- Hone your recruiting skills, especially those for reaching top-quality candidates.
- Cultivate strong relationships with your current clients so they will continue coming to you rather than someone else.
- Track your performance metrics so you can build a strong case for staying employed.
- Learn all you can about “recession-proof” legal recruiting specialty areas, like foreclosures, bankruptcies and healthcare to make yourself more valuable.
Answering the Call During Good Economic Times & Bad
Recessions can be local or even global, like the Great Recession of 2008. The good news is that when using the Legal Recruiter Directory, you can promptly locate experienced legal recruiters who are always ready to answer your call when you need a highly qualified attorney candidate.
No matter the economic climate, good legal recruiters and recruiting firms have the insider contacts, networking relationships and candidate-screening capabilities to connect talented lawyers with potential employers so that all parties involved benefit. To search now for a better legal recruiter in your area, please visit The Legal Recruiter Directory today!