Law Firms Need to Get Creative in Hiring Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

While COVID-19 is making its way across the US, law firms need to get creative in making sure their hiring process does not become interrupted while protecting the health of its employees. There is still legal work that needs to be done and at Kinney Recruiting we have seen an uptick in the need for attorneys in the areas of antitrust, restructuring, capital markets, data privacy, and technology transactions. So what is a law firm to do?

1. Postponement

We have candidates who are scheduled for in-person interviews in NYC this week, but with the 24-hour news cycle reporting the increase of infected persons every hour, some law firms have decided to postpone in-person interviews to a later date. While this may sound like common sense, these candidates are actively interviewing elsewhere and the law firms who postpone the interview process will end up losing out on the star candidate to a competitor who got creative. At some point, COVID-19 will go away (soon, hopefully) and everything will be back to business as usual.

2. Video Conference

With the increase in technological capabilities and reliability of video conferencing software like GoToMeeting, Zoom, BlueJeans, Google Hangouts Meet, etc., there are a lot of choices for law firms to ensure they get to have the in-person meeting without actually having the candidate step foot in the law firm’s physical location. Candidates need to make sure they have an excellent WiFi connection [link REK article to this one]. With remote work becoming more popular and having employees succeed in getting work done without ever showing up at the office, this may end up being the future of work.

3. Phone Calls

Law firms can do it the old fashion way and use the good ol’ phone. While phone calls may not be the best technology in getting a candidate over the finish line to getting hired, it is definitely an excellent first step in the hiring process. Even before COVID-19 hit the US, law firms were using phone calls as the initial step to hiring for candidates who lived outside of their market or to save time and money. Scheduling a phone call is a lot easier than clearing out your calendar for one hour or two (including travel) to make it to an initial face to face meeting. Phone calls can then be followed up with the video conference call because in the end, everyone wants to at least “meet” the person they will be working with.

In the end, the most important lesson is to not panic and to make sure your law firm has the technology it needs to conduct its lateral hiring successfully. There is still work to be done and attorneys to be hired.

For interview tips see our post Video Interviewing for Legal Jobs – It’s a Reality Now.

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