How Can Smaller Organizations Compete With Larger Firms to Recruit Top Legal Talent? 


I know the talent pool is limited in the current market, and many legal job seekers have multiple offers. I am thinking about expanding our team but given today’s job market, how can a smaller organization like mine successfully compete against larger employers to recruit top candidates? 



You’re wise to start thinking about your recruitment strategy sooner rather than later. More than half of U.S.-based lawyers polled in Robert Half’s most recent State of Legal Hiring research said their company planned to expand their legal teams in the first half of 2020, so expect the talent shortage we’ve seen in past years to persist.  


But that doesn’t mean smaller organizations are destined to miss out on the most skilled professionals; it means you have to find ways to sell your company to candidates to become their employer of choice. Here are three areas to focus on:   


1. Competitive compensation 


Research in the 2020 Robert Half Legal Salary Guide shows that pay remains the biggest priority for most legal professionals. Keep current with industry trends by consulting our Salary Guide, further narrowing down competitive compensation by city and state using our Salary Calculator


Your smaller organization may not be able to match the salary offerings of larger companies. However, you can sweeten the pot with incentives and perks that enhance work-life balance and are tailored to individual legal professionals’ needs. Some of the perks most valued by employees are flexible schedules, telecommuting and compressed workweeks. Enticing incentives include bonuses and profit-sharing.  


2. In-demand benefits 


An outstanding benefits package can also help you gain an edge over larger competitors. Naturally, you’ll want to provide health and dental, making sure medical coverage plans give employees access to care that’s both high quality and affordable. Other attractive offerings include employer-matched retirement savings plans and extra vacation days. 


3. Organizational culture 


Organizational culture is a make-or-break factor for many legal candidates when weighing job offers. In fact, more than a third of workers polled in a Robert Half survey said they would pass on a job if the role was a perfect fit but the company culture wasn’t.  


Here, size is on your side — smaller companies are known for being able to provide the aspects of company culture that workers most desire, including supportive, innovative and team-oriented work environments. Stand out to top legal talent by touting your office’s family feel, close-knit teams and independent workflows on social media, in job descriptions and when you meet with candidates. 


Don’t let size hold you back in the race to recruit top professionals. Sell the benefits of working for your small company to land big-time legal talent.