The legal contract recruitment market is growing as companies are attracted by the flexible and scalable nature of structuring their teams for specific projects, to undertake time critical or specialist tasks or to meet set goals. Legal professionals are more mobile and agile than before, and private practice and in-house teams are finding they are more able to respond to market conditions by accessing an exceptionally talented workforce that is available on demand.
The process of hiring legal professionals on a contract basis tends to be much faster than hiring additional permanent headcount. Organisations are able to bring in the specific skills they need for a particular project despite the timeframe. There is a pool of candidates, albeit relatively small, which is open and interested in contract roles for several different reasons.
The benefits of using contract professionals.
There are many benefits of using contract professionals, but we have found that clients typically request help for the duration of a project, temporary cover, or in a period of rapid expansion.
Specialist & experienced talent.
Contractors have the specialist skills and knowledge to undertake specific tasks. Bringing in this level of expertise mitigates the risk and cost of training or developing an exisiting team member over the short term. Contractors are experienced in-house lawyers with a proven track record in their field, bringing with them strong technical skills as well as the personal attributes needed to segue into a role.
Contracts can vary greatly, both in terms of duration and workload. They can be a few months in duration and act as a temporary resource that helps ease the workload during busy periods, sickness/maternity cover or fulfil any required work with minimal disruption.
It is a well-known fact that lawyers work long hours. When deadlines are approaching and business-critical negotiations need to be handled, lawyers typically work around the clock, sometimes to the detriment of productivity. In the event of these busy periods, bringing on temporary staff will help ease the workload to alleviate the pressure on the rest of the team.
It will also be a great boost to team morale, demonstrating the firm values and respects the current workforce to bring on additional manpower and spread the workload — overall improving the firm culture and ultimately productivity.
Speed of response.
Contractors can be deployed quickly. If a team needs someone urgently, this is a clear solution, and reputable staffing agencies will have a stream of suitable candidates ready to start a project.
Ease of sign off.
It is far easier to bring on a temporary contractor than a permanent headcount. It is also the case that the pressure on legal teams can be greater when there are restrictions on hiring for permanent positions as employers do not feel confident in committing to long term resources in fluctuating markets. Companies can choose an interim resource as they monitor market conditions while at the same time ensuring current workload is fulfilled.
Contract lawyers are typically paid a higher hourly rate than a comparable permanent headcount, however, when you consider the placement in the long-run it actually becomes more cost efficient. Although they get paid more by hour, it costs less to deploy as they are only utilised per project.
Furthermore, the hiring firm does not have the long-term commitment that is required of permanent staff as well as the commitment of resources to train and develop the contractor.
Your recruitment partner does the work.
Organisations can choose how to partner with Aquis Search to hire contractors. We work with clients to recruit in the same way as hire permanent staff, or we can take on the responsibility of the contractor from beginning to end in line with industry best practices. In short, the cost and liability of the contractor can rest solely with Aquis Search if required. Once they have commenced a placement, we maintain regular contact with both the client and the contractor to ensure the relationship is overseen for the duration.