Law firms and practices in Wisconsin report alarmingly high turnover rates for assistant district attorneys and staff in general, CNN reports. Most turnover in law firms — whether in Wisconsin or elsewhere — is easily preventable. Law practices can lower turnover rates and improve overall employee satisfaction by avoiding common hiring mistakes:
Mistake One: Passing Up Qualified Candidates
An increasing number of law firms are passing up perfectly capable candidates. The reason? Law firms are attempting to address disturbing trends. They are not, however, doing it well. CNN reports that more lawyers are committing suicide. In fact, those in legal professions are the fourth most likely to purposely end their lives, CNN adds. Some are tempted to try to weed out depressed candidates early-on. Experts suggest, however, that this is the wrong approach.
Top legal recruiters know that symptoms of depression do not always manifest straight out of law school. Legal recruitment consultants recommend conducting interviews and hiring based on experiences and qualifications. Depression and suicide, on the other hand, are issues many law firms now address on an ongoing basis. “California, Montana, Iowa, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina added a ‘mental health’ component to mandatory legal continuing education. Kentucky starts its annual conference on continuing education with a presentation on behaviors that increase the risk of suicide,” CNN reports.
Mistake Two: Taking a Chance on the New Guy
Above all else, legal recruitment consultants and interviewers need to look for candidates with experience. Clients are looking for lawyers with a proven track record, and they are also much more likely to trust lawyers with years of experience under their belts. Many firms are even choosing to hire laterally, or hiring partners from other firms.
Reducing turnover rates and hiring lawyers for the long-term is more than plausible. Consider experience and qualifications above all else, and consider implementing depression awareness programs to retain current employees.