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How to retain your top Legal BD and Marketing talent

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A lot of things have happened in recent months.

England came tantalisingly close to their first World Cup final, Trump visited for a round or two of golf and to pass on advice about suing the EU, and Britain basked in the longest heatwave for 42 years with Margate as hot as Marbella.

Salaries are up, experience is down

Whilst many things have changed since the summer, the legal BD and marketing recruitment world has stayed very much on the same trajectory; job flow high and candidate short.

There has, however, been a recurrent trend that has been steadily increasing in pace across the legal sector over the past 6-12 months; salaries are going up and the experience required is going down.

Seems odd right? Not many industries replace the former incumbent by paying more money for less. However, this is what is happening across the Legal BD and Marketing world right now, fantastic news if you’re a candidate – frustrating if you're hiring.

Two approaches to the hiring process

The main attributing factor for this trend has been individuals being unengaged when presented with an opportunity that they perceive as a lateral move.

This has consequently led to many firms taking one of two approaches to their hiring process;

  1. Increasing salaries to attract candidates with the experience they require

  2. Look at taking someone with less experience that fits the budget

Whilst conforming to either approach does generally offer a solution to the problem, it can also create challenges within the existing team.

Focus on your current talent 

As someone working in recruitment, (finding external Legal BD and Marketing talent is my job after all) this may seem a strange admission to make, but I believe that a greater emphasis should be put upon engaging and upskilling firms’ current employees.

Yes, not everyone can get that promotion and naturally a degree of staff turnover is to be expected across any Legal BD and Marketing function, however, a focus on retaining the individuals you really value should be a priority for any Legal BD and Marketing team.

Judging by the number of counter offers that follow an external offer there must be a fair amount of them around.

Reasons for moving on

Many individuals often cite three main reasons for wanting to move on;

1. Money

The perception that other members of their team are on a different pay-scale, although they have the same title.

Individuals may also be seeing similar roles to their own being advertised at a higher level and feel they are being underpaid.

2. Lack of professional development 

Feeling that they will be stuck at the same level for the foreseeable future with no short to mid-term career development opportunities.

3. Firmwide culture

A Collaborative BD and Marketing teampartners bought in and flexible working are just some of the elements that play a part in an individual's happiness at work. If they feel as though something is missing, candidates will start looking to move on.

Admittedly, not all issues are rectifiable and there will be other reasons for individuals looking to change company, but by consulting with your star performers across these 3 areas on a regular basis, you can be happy you've done your utmost to retain that sought-after talent. 

About the author: Ben Curle is an experienced recruiter and Managing Consultant for the Legal Business Development and Marketing sector.  If you are currently recruiting for a new member of your Legal BD or Marketing team, or are looking to move on from your present role, feel free to contact Ben for a confidential discussion at or on  0207 430 7287.

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