Your law firm lives and dies on the strength of your legal talent. Because that’s true, you invest deeply in attracting and retaining top recruits. After all, the future success of your firm depends upon those efforts!

Although you have a recruiting section on your website, you’ve historically relied on a number of in-person events, such as campus visits and summer associate programs, to drive your recruiting efforts. But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many of your usual initiatives are currently off the table.

For the time being, all of your recruiting activities must now be digital. So how can your law firm effectively pivot and stay top of mind among the most desirable law school graduates? Which digital channels should you invest in to nurture recruits into a deeper relationship with your firm?

Strengthening Your Digital Recruiting Now Yields Lasting Benefits

The coronavirus pandemic represents an unexpected challenge. It’s forcing most businesses to change the way they operate. And your law firm is no exception. You must now funnel all of your marketing and recruiting efforts toward digital channels.

Shifting in this way is required, at least for the time being. But there’s a silver lining. Upping your digital recruiting game isn’t just a short-term necessity that will become a wasted effort once the pandemic is finished. When you invest in digital recruiting, you strengthen your recruiting efforts for the long haul.

Keep in mind that the millennial generation is made up of digital natives. They already had a “digital first” mentality well before COVID-19 erupted. So while the pandemic is absolutely forcing change, in terms of recruiting it’s really only accelerating a trend that was already in motion.

That doesn’t mean campus visits, meet-and-greets, and other in-person events are sure to fade into permanent obsolescence. But if they remain the only substantive tactics in your recruiting arsenal, your law firm just might.

How to Strengthen Your Law Firm’s Digital Recruiting Muscle

Without the usual roster of recruiting events to fall back on, your law firm must quickly chart a new course. In the immediate term, this will likely mean translating your usual events, such as your summer associate program, into a digital context. But you shouldn’t stop there.

Your big-picture goals are twofold. First, you must build each new recruiting class’s awareness of your law firm. And second, you must convince them that your law firm is the best place to invest their time and talents.

To accomplish these goals, you’ll need to craft a savvy digital recruiting strategy that:

  • Meets recruits where they already “live” online.
  • Cuts through the noise and enables your firm to stand out in a crowded playing field.
  • Highlights your firm’s unique value proposition as an employer.
  • Reflects your recruits’ values when it comes to the workplace.
  • Invites recruits into an ongoing relationship with your firm that deepens over time.

Suffice to say that if you want to make all that happen, you’ll need to do much more than just publish a post or two on LinkedIn. You’ll need to create a fully functioning digital recruiting ecosystem, including a strategy-driven website, an intentional content plan, and a promotion strategy that leverages email and social channels.

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Your Digital Recruiting Efforts Start With Your Website

Your strategy-driven website forms the hub of all your digital marketing and recruiting activities. It’s the first place your potential hires will go to learn about your firm. If your website looks dated and reads like a static brochure, your discerning prospective hires will be quick to dismiss your firm outright.

Your first order of business, then, is to make sure your website is strategically designed to elevate your firm’s differentiating factor. That differentiation should carry over to your recruiting section. This section must tell a compelling story about what makes your law firm such a great place to work.

Keep in mind that the millennial generation has a certain set of priorities when it comes to assessing potential employers. They value diversity, work-life balance, a firm’s commitment to pro-bono work, and the opportunity to contribute meaningfully, even in the early stages of their careers.

Your recruiting section must speak to the qualities that set your firm apart as an employer. One of the best ways to engage potential recruits is by producing a recruiting video that showcases your firm’s unique staff and culture. Regardless of format, make sure to spell out the programs, activities, and opportunities you offer your junior staff. Do you have a mentorship program for new associates? Do you give associates time each year to volunteer within your local community? Be specific and don’t be shy about sharing details.

Beyond Your Website: Creating a Digital Recruiting Ecosystem

Your firm may have a lot of work to do to get your website where it needs to be. But the truth is that your website is really just square one. In order to design a holistic digital recruiting ecosystem, you’ll need to fire on all cylinders, including email, LinkedIn, and review sites such as Vault.

To start, you must engage with your potential recruits where they already hang out online. To do that, you’ll need to build out a number of digital channels, including email and LinkedIn. Finally, plan to produce high quality, relevant content to drive your marketing efforts.

It boils down to this: You need to have a reason to reach out and capture your potential recruits’ attention. Each and every time you make contact, you must have something relevant and valuable to say.

Content marketing is the key to doing this right. So your next step is to develop a content strategy. Your goal is to develop and publish thoughtful content geared toward your recruits (and, of course, your prospective clients, too) on a regular cadence. For example, you might create a video about your summer associate program, share information about your associates’ community involvement using a unique hashtag, or host a webinar in which you interview a handful of junior associates.

Over time, as you continue to engage, your prospective hires will gain a deeper understanding of the authentic qualities that set your law firm apart. Do that well, and you’ll strengthen your recruiting pipeline for years to come.

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