Who’d have thought it. After all the predictions of doom and gloom on the jobs market, pretty much every legal recruiter I know is currently bemoaning the challenges they face trying to find good people.
Happily, we have a solution. Lawyers returning to the workforce after a career hiatus.
At the Reignite Academy, we specialise in finding opportunities for career returners and we have never been busier. Law firm partners and General Counsels alike have cottoned on to the fact that this is an important talent pool that simply cannot be ignored. Here’s why.
They are well trained and bring years of experience
The CV of that woman who’s spent the last few years in volunteering as a magistrate? Turn the page to reveal a fifteen year career as an employment lawyer. That person who is currently working part time in a local school? Scroll down her CV to read about the twelve years spent in litigation at a magic circle law firm.
Our candidates typically trained in a City firm and may often have had time working in house before taking a break. They are versatile, adaptable and are used to turning their hand to new things.
The length of the career break bears NO CORRELATION to their ability to succeed in the next phase of their working lives. It’s all about their mindset, motivation, commitment and creating a supportive environment.
They have incredibly strong networks
Women often hate the word “networking” but they are extremely good at keeping in touch with people. And even if they’ve let relationships lapse, they find it easy to pick up the phone again. As a result, they bring with them a ready made network. The people they trained with, clients they worked for, colleagues they worked alongside – all still there and often in positions of influence and seniority.
All it takes is a little training, coaching and encouragement and they will become some of your best business developers.
Their enthusiasm and motivation is exceptional
This is a conscious decision. Returning to the law after a break can be difficult. It takes guts, it can be disruptive to the rest of the family, it is change on a massive scale. Women don’t make these moves lightly.
They are motivated by a desire to rekindle their ambition, work alongside other professionals, fulfil their potential. Money and financial reward often come as secondary to other considerations. (Unlike someone who may be moving from a competitor simply to earn a larger salary).
The world of work has changed forever
Flexible working. Working from home. Who’d have thought. The technology works and mature people can be relied upon to get the work done without necessarily sitting at a desk in a large office.
70% of our candidates return on some sort of flexible schedule and all of them to a hybrid working model. They value the flexibility this offers and we have seen candidates move from part time to full time positions as their circumstances change.
They are There.
Or should I say here? These lawyers are ready to go. Especially now that home schooling appears to be a thing of the past. Yes, it may take them a couple of months to get back up to speed technically and to rebuild any lost confidence, but let’s think about the alternative.
You go to your recruiter, who will look in the same old places for the same old candidates. Who, by the way, are probably being approached by lots of other recruiters. You need to secure more budget than you’d hoped, to lure someone away from a competitor. Assuming they accept your offer, you then need to wait for them to work three months notice.
By which time your returner will be up and running.
The war for talent is real. And so is this opportunity. Don’t waste it.