How to Recruit Outstanding Legal Support Staff: Challenges & Solutions

Posted November 23rd, 2023 by Urban Legal Recruitment

Plenty of law firms have a strong vision. They know what they want and how their future could look, but achieving this can be tricky. One of the reasons many law firms struggle to reach their goals is that they don't have the right team in place to help them grow. As your firm expands its scope of practice and you recruit more lawyers, hiring qualified legal support staff is essential to keep your firm operating efficiently. It's essential to find candidates with the right blend of skills to meet your company's needs. 

To help you navigate the challenges of recruiting legal support staff, we're sharing some of the most common challenges you'll encounter, along with proven solutions to help you overcome them. 

Common Challenges in Legal Recruitment 

Recruitment Challenge #1: Technological Proficiency

Legal research has shifted from libraries to electronic platforms where databases, digital legal resources, and software provide quick and efficient access to information. While case management systems help to streamline workflows and manage documents, e-discovery tools allow quick and efficient review of electronic files. These technological advancements have revolutionized the practice of law, making technologically savvy staff significantly more valuable to your team. 

Recruitment Challenge #2: Detail-Oriented

It's crucial to be meticulous in the legal field and pay close attention to every detail, as errors can have severe and far-reaching consequences. To ensure a high quality of work and maintain your firm's reputation, your legal support team needs the skills and experience to check through briefs and conduct thorough legal research without error.

Recruitment Challenge #3: Knowledgable 

Knowledge and experience are two essential factors when recruiting legal support candidates. Individuals with a solid legal background are in high demand as they are a valuable asset to any legal firm. How many years of experience is right for your team? Try to set your expectations before you hire so you know what type of experience to look for during the recruitment process. 

Recruitment Challenge #4: The Right Fit for Your Team

Support staff that share your company values are vital to your success. Misalignment with company culture can lead to problems, including job dissatisfaction, high staff turnover, and lower productivity. A candidate's personal values are just as important as having the right skills. Candidates who are aligned with your core values make a great addition to your team. 

Proven Solutions To Overcome Your Recruitment Challenges

Solution #1: Conduct Skill-Based Testing 

Skills-based testing ensures you're setting the right person up to succeed. The process should include several skills-based assessments to determine a candidate's proficiency in technology and their level of attention to detail. A willingness to learn and improve can also have an impact on how you weigh these results.

Solution #2: Conduct Behavioural Interviews

Behavioural interviews help ensure your candidate is a good fit. They allow you to assess a candidate's past experiences and behaviours so you know what to expect with their work. You can craft interview questions to determine the candidate's character, assess their teamwork ability, and understand their personal work ethic. 

Solution #3: Assess Personal and Professional Needs

Taking a holistic approach when screening legal support candidates allows you to understand each candidate more intimately. Get to know who they are beyond their skill sets and experience. Take the time to understand their personal and professional goals and determine how you can support them. When your staff are doing what they love, they bring an enthusiasm that your entire team and your clients will benefit from.  

Solution #4: Align with Company Culture 

Strong alignment with company culture and belief in the broader company goals can promote a sense of personal and professional well-being. When your team members' goals and values align with your team, they are likely to be happier and experience job satisfaction in the long run.

Solution #5: Provide Training and Development Programs

Investing in skills training to keep your support staff on top of their game is a strategic move to keep up with the fast pace of technological change. A strong commitment to staff training allows you to reduce staff turnover, making it easier to build a strong company culture. Providing this opportunity for growth creates more job satisfaction and job security, leading to a happier and more productive team. 

Hire a Legal Recruitment Team to Take Charge of Your Hiring Needs

We aim to find you the best candidates with the skills, knowledge, and personality that fit your company well. If you want to build a winning team and culture for your law firm, we're here to help. Keep us in your social media feeds for more recruitment strategies, and connect with our legal recruitment specialists to ask your questions directly.