PROSPER MAGAZINE: ISSUE 02 | SECTOR FOCUS
LAW FIRMS OPTIMISTIC FOR FUTURE AND FOCUS ON TALENT DESPITE UNCERTAIN TIMES
Prosper reveals the results of Crowe’s Benchmarking Survey 2019 which provides a timely snapshot of the UK legal market.
Against a backdrop of Brexit, political and economic chaos, the UK legal industry has shown remarkable resilience, with the majority of firms (80%) seeing an increase in revenue and more than a third achieving growth in excess of 10%.
More than half of participants stated they have a negative outlook for the UK economy as a whole in the coming year, however, the Oldbury based company reported firms are more confident about their own position, with 76% stating they have a positive, or very positive, outlook for 2020.
UK law firms are more focused on shoring up their own internal operations and managing operational risks. While previous benchmarking results showed that Brexit worries and the threat of new market entrants were keeping firms up at night, attitudes have shifted in the past 12 months.
When it comes to the top two risks to their businesses, firms are in agreement on what matters most, highlighting talent retention and the threat of fraud and cybercrime as the top two concerns going into 2020.
As part of this inward focus on talent, 71% of participating firms and 60% of regional firms are making plans to increase their level of agile, remote and virtual working and 41% of all firms are planning to update their people strategy in the next 18 months.
Having identified cybercrime as the other major threat to their bottom lines, many are undertaking periodic reviews of their digital hygiene. Ultimately, visible robust data and transactional security may become one of the defining factors for law firm clients when they choose an advisor.
Regional performance remains encouraging. 2019 saw a bounce-back for local firms whose top lines increased to 78% (up 7% from the previous year). Just under half of regional firms enjoyed growth in PEP of more than 10% with the overall growth rates for regional firms for this year higher than those in the Capital - a reversal of last year’s position and indicating a level of self-confidence and optimism for the coming year.
EMPLOYERS ARE REGULARLY 'GHOSTED' IN THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS
Four-fifths (84%) of UK employers have experienced a candidate ‘ghosting’ them at some point during the recruitment process, according to new research from law firm Joelson.
The term ‘ghosting’ was traditionally used to describe the practice of serial daters trying to terminate a conversation or relationship without an explanation – it has moved into the working world, leaving some employers and recruiters severely in the lurch.
Candidates or new employees failing to turn up, either to an interview or to work, can cost employers between £2,000 and £5,000, according to a third of surveyed employers (31%).
The ways in which employers and recruiters have been ghosted varied, with the survey pointing to 62% of employers trying to contact applicants two or three times after they had gone silent and heard nothing, with a further 62% observed a no-show on the new recruits’ first day of work.
According to 52% of respondents, employees have ghosted their employers by simply not turning up for their shift and failing to provide any resignation note or explanation as to their absence.
Nella Share, Director at MET Recruitment Ltd based in Dudley and Wolverhampton shared her thoughts about the problem, “Both direct employers and recruitment agencies are being hit hard by the backlash of ‘ghosting’ and the associated costs both in monetary terms and lost time are rising rapidly.
“The current recruitment market is highly candidate-driven and as a result of this candidates are now considering several employment opportunities, in many circumstances, they are also fortunate to be considering more than one job offer. There has never been a time when building a strong candidate/employee relationship has been more important.
“This is a recruitment wide issue that is on the rise and I can’t urge recruiters and employers to engage with and understand and connect with their candidates/employees more, I believe this is key to turning the issue around.”