To get a clearer understanding of the priorities and plans for candidates within the Legal sector going forward, we surveyed our candidate database to get a clear insight into their attitudes and aspirations.
Our candidate survey found that the majority of candidates in the Legal market (57.2%) feel that they are underpaid. Given that most people’s wages don’t seem to be rising in line with the cost of living, this is not wholly surprising, but certainly something for employers in the sector to be mindful of. Salaries remain the biggest priority for candidates looking for a new role, and candidates will undoubtedly be more open to looking for a new role within the next 6 months if they feel underpaid, as opposed to if they feel they are being compensated fairly. So, if firms want to ensure they retain their staff, it’s crucial to get salary offerings right, not just for their new starters, but for their existing staff too. We would advise firms to ensure they are benchmarking their teams with the wider industry, and ensuring they regularly review salary bandings to ensure they are competitive.
Our research has found that the majority of professionals within the Legal sector (54.8%) will be looking to find a new role within the next 6 months if their current salary and benefits are to continue as they currently are. This could further support the argument for salaries needing to be regularly reviewed to ensure they are keeping up with the market; of course, it could simply be that a portion of these candidates are looking to make a change irrespective of these factors.
In terms of candidate priorities, as many companies are now reducing their flexibility and remote working offerings, ‘remote/hybrid working’ is ranked as the second highest priority for candidates outside of salary at 17.6% and is highly likely to be a major factor in candidates looking to secure a new role. Company culture follows closely at 15.9%. Last year, before the prevalence of the cost-of-living crisis which saw salaries and stability shoot to the top of the priority list, culture was a key driver that was ranked highly by candidates. While this seems to have fallen down the list, likely due to the economic climate, cultures of trust and autonomy are still some of the most attractive drivers for candidates going forward.
Interestingly, ‘employer values and mission’ has come out above bonuses as well as other benefits and perks, so firms must keep this in mind when relying on big bonuses to win over candidates; having a strong sense of ethos, mission, and a team that is aligned to the company values is crucial to building a great culture and attracting more talent to join you.