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Legal Market Faces Recruitment Challenges

  • Publish Date: Posted 11 days ago
  • Author:by Sershen Ingram
MERJE Markets: Sershen Ingram, Principal Consultant, Legal

​This month, we’re putting the MERJE spotlight on our Legal recruitment expert Sershen Ingram. Recruiting in the Legal arena at the moment is a challenge, but Sershen’s five years in the industry mean he has some very useful advice to share with employers who are looking to hire right now.

Here, we catch up with Sershen about all things Legal recruitment and later in the month we’ll be sharing an in depth article discussing the challenges that are currently faced by hiring businesses and what can be done to overcome them.

Tell us about your role and recruitment specialism at MERJE.

I joined MERJE in 2020 to establish an In-House Legal offering, using the experience I'd gained from building a team in my previous role and complementing MERJE’s presence in the Risk & Compliance space. My focus is on the recruitment of lawyers, mainly within the Financial Services sector but also across C&I as well as Private Practice.

You’ve recently celebrated your first MERJE anniversary, how has your first year with the business been?

My first year at MERJE has been amazing! I joined in the middle of the original lockdown, so the start of my time here was quite challenging but the business has been incredible. I’ve had unwavering support from everyone; the senior management team through to the consultants and support staff. The team here is friendly and helpful, which has made integrating into the business completely seamless.

What are you looking forward to in the future of your career with MERJE?

Given that the market has picked up significantly since the start of the pandemic, I’m now looking forward to growing the desk to compete with the other teams within the business, as well as playing my part in MERJE’s long term success.

We're celebrating our 10th business birthday this year and have a lot of exciting expansion plans on the cards, including expanding the team in the London office. I’m really looking forward to contributing to the future of MERJE and doing my bit to help us continue achieving great successes.

What trends have you noticed in the Legal recruitment market recently?

This isn’t exclusive to the legal market, but I’ve seen a huge swing towards candidates requiring flexible working, whether that be 2-3 days in the office or working completely remotely. It’s now the first thing most candidates ask when enquiring about a role.

I’ve also noticed that there are currently far more vacancies than there are available lawyers, so finding top talent in a candidate short market is more of a challenge and takes longer than usual.

What advice would you give to employers who are recruiting in the current market?

We’re currently in the process of carrying out some research on this topic and will be publishing our findings in the coming weeks, but from what we’ve seen recently, for employers to stay competitive and attract the candidates they want, there are a number of steps they need to take:

Firstly, make sure that flexible working is something you can offer and be prepared to offer as much flexibility as possible.

Secondly, the salary and benefits package still needs to be competitive, so have a look at competitors and speak to people with industry knowledge to find out what you should be offering. I happen to know an expert recruiter in this space if you need a recommendation!

Lastly, you need to move quickly. Good candidates don’t typically stay on the market for long, so your interview and offer process needs to be fast and efficient.

And what about candidates seeking new roles at the moment?

In a candidate short market lawyers tend to have a lot of choice when it comes to finding their next role. For those with current in-demand skill sets (e.g. employment lawyers), it puts them in a stronger position to negotiate salary levels and flexible working requirements. We have a number of fantastic vacancies at the moment.

Quick Fire

Describe the MERJE culture in three words

Supportive, vibrant and mature

Dog or cat person?

Dogs. I do quite a bit of running and it’s not as fun taking a cat with you!

Coffee or tea?

Neither. I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t like hot drinks!

Books or films?

I tend to find I read a lot more to educate myself on various topics, whereas I watch films to immerse myself in a story, so both!

If you are currently recruiting or looking for a new role in the Legal industry and would like to know how Sershen can support you, why not drop him a line?