Quick, think of a law firm that is funky, cool and hip to work for. I wouldn’t blame you for writing all law firms off that list, whether you spent five minutes or five hours on it. Traditionally, the legal profession is well, still traditional and professional (if you exclude the vulture type behaviour in such a competitive environment). You need sharp minds to attract, engage and retain the new generation of legal professionals. How can you rewrite the books on recruitment?
Werkmans Attorneys is as old as the written word and like other firms in the industry, fiercely competes for students in their final years of study. Recruitment battles for top talent are not for sissies. The brand image was recharged in August 2010;tied tocredentials and timeous insights.
To stand out from competing graduate recruitment campaigns, the firm launched “The Candidate Challenge 2012”. According to the website, the firm is looking for the “best of the best”.
Law students are invited to register, upload their CV and academic transcripts and a motivation. Over a dozen candidates qualified for the shortlist and their profiles were appeared on a microsite. The next round went to the public; they had to vote for their candidate. Having the public vote for candidates only on the strength of their motivation, is far removed from other talent contests. It is like a pop idol telling you that they can sing, but you’ve never heard them. Maybe if the candidates participated in a real life legal challenge or a simulation and voting was restricted, say to legal professionals, the vote would have been meaningful. After judging, based upon the public votes and input from the leadership team, one candidate would win an interview with the CEO and the opportunity to join the firm (no guaranteed job).
It is commendable that a legal firm departed from the traditional (read: boring) recruitment approach of their competitors to position themselves as an employer of choice and engage Generation Y through social media. I’m sure they have given other professional firms, from auditing to engineering, enough reasons to venture beyond the graduate recruitment fair.