Here at Simply Law we recently released our latest Industry Review, where we took the time to look back over the past couple of years in the legal industry and examine the recruitment trends we’ve experienced throughout this turbulent period.

As part of the report, we also conducted surveys with our database of candidates to find out more about their experiences over the past year. This gave us some valuable insights into the main struggles, frustrations and hopes of legal professionals when it comes to their careers and job searching in particular. 

Based on our findings, we’ve picked out what we think are some of the most important points that recruiters and employers should bear in mind when hiring for new roles in 2022.


Competition is high amongst candidates


The number of jobs posted to Simply Law in 2021 hit a 3-year low due to the continued financial impact of the pandemic; whereas the number of applications made on the site grew by 45% compared to 2020.

Many people are keen to get back to work after having to take time away from their previous roles, or looking for a job change after reassessing their career priorities. It’s likely that in-demand roles will attract high numbers of applicants; so be clear about exactly what skills and experience you are looking for when advertising these vacancies, and make sure you manage applicants’ expectations if the screening process is likely to take a while.


Giving candidates feedback is crucial


This leads to our next point; providing candidates with feedback is essential. Job searching can be stressful and time consuming, particularly when it comes to preparing for and attending interviews. 

Lack of communication was the second-most selected response by candidates as the biggest frustration experienced whilst job hunting. Happily, all respondents who said they had recently attended an interview said they did receive feedback afterwards, which was great to see.

Even before the interview stage, keeping applicants waiting indefinitely for a response slows down their job search, harming your employer reputation in the process. Be transparent with applicants about the screening and interview process from the start, and be sure to give them feedback whether they’ve been successful or not, even if it is a brief or automated message


Candidates want more than just a job description


Some of the most important factors that respondents said they look out for when searching for a new role include flexible working options, remote working arrangements and parental leave.

The impact of the last 2 years has made a lot of people reassess their work-life balance, and adjust their priorities in terms of how they can ensure a happy, healthy working life and stable future. Therefore, a straightforward job advert listing what the role will entail is no longer enough to attract the best applicants. Make sure to shout about what you can offer employees in terms of perks and benefits that will make them excited to work for your firm (and stay there)!


Keep your company information up to date across all channels


We asked respondents what they do before applying for a role; the most popular answers included looking on the employer’s website, reading employee reviews, and checking out the company’s social media. Respondents also highlighted the importance of seeing current employees’ experiences via video content, and possible career paths within the company.

Make sure you make full use of your website and social media channels to give candidates a realistic, behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work for your firm, including first-hand case studies or interviews with current employees to help show the personality and culture of the company. This helps give candidates a more personable, human look at your business, and lets them envision whether they’d be a good fit before applying.


Everyone’s situation is different!


People who responded to our survey had experienced a range of different situations over the past 18 months, including job changes, redundancy, new working arrangements, and more. It’s been a difficult period for a lot of reasons, and people have taken different paths to get to the point where they are applying for new opportunities. It’s important to bear this in mind and treat every applicant, interviewee and new team member with consideration. 

When it comes to your existing staff, consider what benefits you can offer to your employees to provide them with the best possible quality of life and sense of stability for the future.


There are many more insights like these to discover in the full Industry Review – click here to download this year’s report.