As the fight for talent rages on, law firms are looking for new and different ways to attract and retain employees. In this highly competitive marketplace, the name of the game is differentiation. The best way to articulate why you are different from the firm down the street is through your employer brand. Many law firms have an established employer branding strategy and work tirelessly to showcase and refine it. Other firms struggle to get started. Attracting and retaining top legal talent is crucial to your law firm’s success, so how can you better articulate your unique benefits and win the fight?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when establishing or refreshing your employer brand.
Your employer brand is more than your Careers page
According to SHRM, an employer brand is essentially what an organization communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees. It encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture and personality. Current and potential employees want to work somewhere with a mission, vision and values that align with theirs. When your firm can authentically represent and articulate an aligned set of values, you end up with more-engaged employees and a robust pipeline of potential talent.
Your employer brand is not a wish list
Your firm’s unique employer brand should be built on the foundation of a strong employee value proposition (EVP). According to HBR, your EVP clearly articulates the “give and get” that defines an employer-employee relationship at a particular organization. Your EVP can and should be shared throughout your Careers page, intranet site, social media channels, etc.
Your EVP should be clearly understood throughout your organization and among your talent pool. However, you must be authentic. When embarking on the employer brand/EVP journey, you should get feedback from current employees, new hires and even candidates in your recruitment pipeline. What do they think your employer brand is and what is important to them as employees? If your expertly crafted EVP does not align with how your employees and talent pipeline actually perceive your organization, you should rethink your strategy.
Your employer brand story should include the voice of your actual employees
The authenticity piece is so critical that it bears emphasis. When creating your Careers site, career fair collateral, social posts, intranet pages and anything else that communicates who you are as a firm, use real stories from real people. There are many creative ways to showcase your employee brand stories, and according to Indeed, you need to be where your target audience is consuming content. You can use videos, testimonials, reviews, photos and even podcasts to showcase real stories from your firm and affirm your employer brand.
Onboarding and offboarding — get it right
The two most significant milestones in an employee’s journey with a firm are onboarding and offboarding. These two processes can affirm the candidate’s perception of your brand or demolish it in one fell swoop. According to HBR, one in three recent hires will look for another job in the first six months at a company. This can be due to many reasons, including poor management or a culture clash; however, it is clear that a poor onboarding experience can also be detrimental to an employee’s successful start with a new firm.
The same can be said for offboarding. In the era of online reviews, poor candidate/employee experiences are frequently shared on the internet. You have no doubt read your fair share of Zoom termination and mass email layoff horror stories on LinkedIn. Long story short, a poor offboarding experience can come back to haunt you. Furthermore, the legal market is inherently built on relationships. An employee leaving your law firm will most likely not be a forever goodbye — an ex-employee may show up years down the road as a boomerang candidate or on the other side of a courtroom.
Deeper than ping-pong
No doubt spurred by the pandemic, employees have recalibrated their definition of work as well as the expectations they have of their employers. Ping-pong tables and espresso machines no longer equate to employee satisfaction (if they ever did). The time is now for law firms to better understand what motivates employees and potential candidates and how to do better at articulating their unique attributes in this unprecedented marketplace.
How can Jaffe help you with your employer branding strategy?
From developing a strategy to defining your employee value proposition, Jaffe can assist with every aspect of creating and executing your employer branding strategy. Our team of brand and marketing experts can work with you to develop compelling copy and an end-to-end plan of action, while our creative and digital teams can help you overhaul your intranet and Careers site. Need a little guidance, a quick refresh or an analysis of employee survey results? We can help with that, too!