The power of confidence – legal recruitment numbers soar

  • Guy Emmerson
  • 03/06/2015
  • 11:00
  • Adecco Group

Confidence breeds success. On a personal level, this is often manifested in a spring in your step or a smile on your lips. But what about companies?

When companies feel confident, when they believe they will meet or beat their targets, they demonstrate their confidence by hiring new staff. Just as an economic slowdown can be measured in job losses, an economic recovery can be measured in new appointments.

At Badenoch & Clark we have witnessed this growing confidence first hand, as the professional recruitment market has grown in terms of absolute job numbers by 12% so far this year.

This increased confidence and surge in hiring is particularly evident in the legal sector. The end of Q1 saw a flurry of activity with demand for new hires across the sector. But it’s not just employers who have taken note of the improving economy. Job seekers will have noticed a change with a slow and continued rise in base salaries being offered by employers across the sector, as they try to encourage potential employees to join their organisations. Our teams are also reporting increased base salaries being offered by leading City law firms.

Despite this rise, job seekers expectations have not always been met and there remains a noticeable disparity between salary expectations and employers budgets. It’s a tricky situation, as confident candidates who are aware of the positive shift in the market naturally have high exceptions of what it means for their remuneration package.

For some employers these are the first new hires in a number of years – since they battered down the hatches to ride out recession – and as a result budgets are being calculated with outdated market knowledge. Ultimately to get the best candidates, employers have to increase their budgets.

Another noticeable result of the increasing employer confidence is the speed at which job offers are being made. With more firms looking to recruit, higher calibre candidates are often receiving multiple offers. Firms therefore have no choice but to move quickly when making an offer or risk losing a candidate to a competitor firm.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this increased demand has led to a skills shortage in certain areas. For example there is an evident shortage for Residential Property specialists.

Overall the indications are that recent increases in hiring will continue throughout the year, creating new and exciting opportunities across the legal sector. Confidence in the industry is back – and I for one hope that we can build on this encouraging first quarter.