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Bloomsburry Family law

HR & Development

Live your values and become an employer of choice

Competition to recruit the best staff can be fierce and for many mid-tier practices the budget will rarely stretch to parallel the recruitment spend of larger firms. Michael Shaw, managing partner at Cobbetts, explains why budget is not the be-all-and-end-all and how firms can enjoy successful staff recruitment and retention by living out the firm’s values.

Law firm profile: Donns Solicitors, Manchester

Donns Solicitors has experienced impressive growth over the past five years with a 600 per cent increase in its client base. In the Inner City 100, which recognises the fastest growing companies in the UK, Donns was ranked 64th – it was the only firm of solicitors featured. Caroline Poynton takes a tour of the offices and talks to the firm’s managing partner, Hilary Meredith, about the development of Donns, its past success and where it goes from here.

Coaching and mentoring as a tool for improving performance

Many might think that coaching and mentoring techniques are the latest in a long line of fads adopted by businesses trying to get ahead of the game. However, a significant number of law firms are buying into the idea and it’s proving hugely popular at the assistant/associate level. Lena Baillie, an HR consultant at Longbridge International, examines the firms that are using coaching and mentoring to improve their working culture.

Managing your workforce: effective leadership in a people business

Who runs your business? At one time, the automatic response of many senior managers would have been a resolute: “I do”. After all, strong leadership of an organisation, whatever its business, is indispensable to success. Managers must be wary, however, of forgetting the role of the team in making a successful business and a good leader will work hard to guide and develop the skills and successes of his people. Anders M. Hansen, managing partner of Osborne Clarke, Denmark, looks at the new responsibilities of managers to their people and examines the criteria on which their performance should be judged.

Making the right hire: talent + fit = success from the start

Recruiting the wrong person can have dramatic consequences for your firm, from increased workplace stress and interpersonal conflict to unproductive employees and high turnover. Kevin Joyce, a practising attorney and founder of The Quantum Group LLC, takes us through the hiring process, arguing that there’s a lot more to successful recruitment than checking academic records and references.

Nurture your juniors: recruiting and retaining top-level people

The interview and selection process is only the beginning of a long road to effectively recruiting and retaining high-quality people. Many firms are keen to boast the long-working records of employees who started with the firm many years previously. However, the process of recruiting the right people and then developing their careers from junior to, hopefully, senior level is a delicate process requiring time and dedication from management. David H. Maister, a management consultant at Maister Associates and Patrick J. McKenna, a partner at Edge International, describe the strategies firms should employ to make the most of an invaluable asset, their people.

Interview: the work/life balance

Birmingham commercial firm, Putsman.wlc, has launched an HR initiative that offers employees a choice of working patterns including flexible hours and working from home. For businesses as a whole it’s a dramatic, and perhaps risky, step to take. For a law firm, it’s a whole new ball game. Caroline Poynton talks to Julia Holden, managing partner at Putsman.wlc, about the initiative and what it means for employees and the firm as a whole.

The three Rs – recruitment, retention… results

Long gone are the days when a professional firm was seen as something of an old boy’s network, prospering within its own secretive network where recruitment would be down to who you know, not what you know. Today, firms must compete ever harder to sustain profitability and, as part of that drive, recruiting the best people has become intensely competitive as well as an absolute necessity.