Filling vacancies at professional firms (part two)

Nov 7, 2007 | Recruitment

Since posting the first part of this blog on filling vacancies at professional firms I have been delighted by the general agreement that has met my observations. I have also received a number of requests to share what I think could be included on professional firms’ websites to attract the best candidates. And let’s be clear, in some cases we’re not just talking about staff and managers. Some firms are keen to attract prospective partners.

Your website is your first chance to impress anyone who has seen your advert, been approached by a headhunter, or been referred there by a colleague or a recruitment consultant. You will also want your website to reinforce the positive image presented during an interview, whilst networking or through third party referrals.

We all know how important this can be in converting prospective clients and most websites attempt to do the necessary in this regard. But it’s equally important to do the same to attract prospective candidates to fill vacancies. Get it wrong and your website can damage your branding, counter any good impression given previously and negate your recruitment efforts.

What sort of things might you consider including?

  • Pictures of the office environment – inside and out;
  • Details of any social arrangements that the staff enjoy – eg: football team, quiz nights, regular post-billing celebrations;
  • Quotes from happy staff – especially from some who have joined you from bigger firms and why they prefer your firm – also from some who have joined you from smaller firms and why they prefer your firm;
  • Anything that YOUR STAFF have told you makes your firm special and different;
  • Pictures of happy, smiling partners and evidence that they are nice people to work for;
  • Summary of standard benefits that you provide;
  • A mention of any exciting or unusual clients (eg: TV actors, sportspeople, MPs, models, cartoonists);
  • Evidence of how and when staff can expect to benefit from personal development as well as technical training;
  • A note of the firm’s commitment (if any) to personal coaching and mentoring by a reputable third party;
  • The team spirit that permeates the office;
  • The firm’s commitment to effective communication using an intranet;
  • How the firm endeavours to remove the drudgery of basic tasks – eg: through outsourcing or specific computer programmes;
  • Whether home-working is permitted and, if so, the IT links that facilitate this;
  • Evidence as far as possible to support what are probably pretty standard and common assertions about working at the firm;
  • Reference to any awards for which the firm, partners or teams have been nominated and/or won;
  • Comments that evidence the firm recognises that the quality of its service to clients and its long term profitability are dependent upon the quality and happiness of all who work in the firm;

Overall the aim should be to make it quite clear that prospective staff, managers and parters are just as important an audience as are prospective clients and that you offer careers rather than just want to fill vacancies.

If you’re aware of good examples of this sort of thing or can think of anything I’ve omitted from this list please add your comments and links to this posting.

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