Crafty Counsel have been partnering with Montesor Legal since 2021, and in that time they’ve shared many insights into the world of in-house recruitment. We’ve pulled together some of the key moments from some of our videos with Montresor Legal. Sharing everything from an overview of the recruitment landscape and what that means for in-house teams, to how you can retain your talent and keep morale high.

The recruitment landscape

During one of our events last year, we spoke with Montresor Legal’s Director of In-House, Andrea Hutchinson about the recruitment landscape last year. She provided an overview of the salary inflation which we saw at the time in private practice and the impact it was having on the in-house legal market. 

But why was there an increase in salaries? In our conversation with Andrea, she pointed out two main reasons behind this increase.

  1. “The sheer number of opportunities in the market which makes competition for top candidates even more fierce.”
  2. “Law firms salary inflation”. US law firms in particular have significantly raised their salaries.

However, almost a year on from this video, Andrea’s advice for in-house legal teams who are looking to hire remains relevant. 

Insights on the in-house legal recruitment landscape

Both of these factors are making hiring even more difficult. Businesses can often find themselves struggling to compete with salary offerings so established, larger companies many are using wider package offerings such as carry, higher bonuses and co-investment options as a way to make their opportunities more competitive. Naturally, the next question is how can in-house legal teams hire in this unpredictable market?

Andrea shares her two top tips on what an in-house team can do if they are experiencing problems with hiring in this current market.

  1. “If you are struggling to get budget or sign off for a permanent hire, hire a contract or interim secondee – making sure that you have close relationships with your external law firms so that they see you as a huge value add to the wider firm and are able to send out associates”
  2. “As the old adage says ‘time kills deals’. Ensuring key stakeholders know your plans will help you secure candidates before they are involved in other processes. Your process also gives candidates an insight into how your company is run. For example, someone we worked with for an in-house role had a two week delay between interviews, the lack of momentum caused them to pull out of the process.”

Retaining talent and creating a positive culture

Once you have secured your next hire, how do you create a positive culture to retain legal talent?

Andrea and Billie Partidge-Naudeer, Consultant at Montresor Legal, both agree that creating a culture where people can voice their needs and also feel a sense of community is vital to retaining talent.

Mental health and disability is a topic gaining more and more interaction within the workplace. With this in mind, it is important to remember that people have different needs in the workplace. Billie spoke about the D&I survey they ran last year which explored big topics such as mental health and ableism They found that 18% of the workforce had a mental health condition that they reported had impacted their work and/or personal lives.

Creating a positive culture to retain legal talent

Being a company which invests time and resources into creating an inclusive workplace makes a massive impact in your ability to retain talent. But how can you make sure you are supporting your employees? Billie shares her tips on what you can do to help.

  1. Have systems in place that allow people to work in a way that they can achieve their full potential.
  2. Allow an open forum where people can ask for what they need.

With the increase in remote or hybrid environments, candidates often express feeling a lack of community or team feeling. Andrea’s advice to clients is “go above and beyond rather than just having a team legal day, look at the wider business and the key stakeholders who are influencing the culture of your business and invite them as well”.

Keeping morale high in a downturn

With a period of turbulence last year, which seems to be continuing, we were joined by Montresor Legal’s Director Joshua Blake who shared his insights on how you can keep morale high during a downturn. How can you keep your team’s spirits up?

  1. Be transparent! Keeping people informed on major decisions and being open has a much more positive reaction.
  2. Celebrate the small wins! Being able to get a deal over the line, avoiding a potentially costly case, finding ways to be more efficient, these successes can really help keep a positive and driven atmosphere.
  3. Show your appreciation. Have a team day out to show your team how proud you are of them (We can’t help but recommend Crafty Fest – tickets on sale now!). Even a pat on the back will help.

The in-house legal market is an incredibly resilient sector, having faced the 2008 financial crash, Brexit, and a global pandemic. What remains throughout it all is the consistent need for top legal talent.

Keeping your legal team’s morale high

If you’re looking for your next in-house hire you can advertise your role for free on our jobs board.