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The days of having the pick of the recruiting litter ended in an instant.

Law firms have largely relied on reaching a bigger pool of talent — with little effort to create inbound leads. Opening new offices doesn’t increase the flow of inbound candidates. The firms able to create a robust inbound flow of the best candidates will have a lasting advantage — and win the next and ongoing war for talent.

Here are 7 new and novel approaches to help you develop and continue to build out the tools for this coveted lead flow and win the war for talent:

Online Interview Fair

Block off 2 or 3 days where attorneys can select a time for a video interview from an online calendar. You can ask interviewees qualifying questions — but you will get a better response by allowing interested individuals to book a time without qualification. You can diplomatically end an interview in less time than it takes to review a candidate’s answers and resume.

You will attract more casual candidates who have not prepared a resume. You will also attract early-stage candidates who are exploring and may not reach out unless the process is made easy.

Contest for Most Referrals

Asking for referrals from inside the firm generally has a low yield. But create a contest out who refers the highest number of qualified candidates, and you will enjoy vastly different results. A contest brings out everyone’s competitive edge and turbocharges effort. Add a juicy prize, a deadline, and the date the prize will be awarded — and watch the referrals flow in.

No Resume Required

Invite interested candidates to reach out with no resume or paperwork. Casual lookers rarely have formal, up-to-date resumes. Filter your qualifier questions into the first few minutes of the discussion to ensure they don’t lose interest. Offer a designated email or open calendars for meeting requests.

Virtual Speaker Series

Offering a continuing lecture series online. They can be a combination of your top rain makers, outside speakers, and your leading associates.

Encourage open enrollment and use this as a magnet to draw in potential recruits. Market your online series aggressively as the opportunity to establish a leadership position for a not-to-be-missed speaker series is wide open.

Partner Face-to-Face Sessions

Offer the opportunity to meet firm partners and department leaders informally. Offer open hours online (or in-person if it works in your geography and firm) with no agenda. Actively invite attendees to join you and encourage dialogue and questions. This makes your firm more approachable, easier to access, and provides a sense of familiarity — all of which encourage applications and interest in working at the firm. It also demonstrates how your firm mentors associates — a highly valued activity by associates.

A Robust Associate Blog

Talk about associate development and challenges. Embrace both the common and the controversial topics. Create the must-read blog for aspiring associates everywhere. Offer commentary from all associate experience levels. The more frequent you post the more inbound recruits you will get.

LinkedIn Group for Associates

Keep your group fresh with content. Post questions and ask for comments. Answer, acknowledge, and respond to every comment. You can repost your blog and recordings of your virtual speaker series here to drive engagement and membership.

Be sure to invite associates from target firms to join your group.

The law firms using marketing and business development strategies are getting the inbound lead flow from the best associates. And as demand peaks and scales back the firms with these tools will still have the advantage. Each of the recommended steps above not only engages associates — but lets them learn just a little bit more about the best sides of your firm — making your firm more attractive against whatever the market conditions present.

Best in the market and recruiting ahead.

The Mad Clientist

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