Legal development

Keeping the team together during draft season

building texture

    Post-pandemic, attracting and retaining staff is a key challenge for organisations around the world. The great resignation phenomenon swept through the US in early 2021 with 48 million people quitting their jobs in the wake of the pandemic. Australia has not escaped the trend, with the national turnover rate rising to 9.5% in the past year – the highest level since 2012.

    Ongoing low unemployment levels in Australia do not suggest a mass exodus of workers. Rather, they reflect employees’ sweeping refusal to work in jobs that don’t make them happy or that don’t suit their post-pandemic lifestyles. This is seen across the recruitment process, with 8 in 10 businesses reporting that they do not receive enough applications for job ads and that 59% of applicants lack the appropriate skills and qualifications.

    Skill shortages in the legal profession have plagued the Australian legal market for years and are now exacerbated by the current market conditions. All of this is creating a draft season for legal talent unlike any other.

    These challenges make it even more important to understand how to keep the team together during draft season. To tackle this issue, Ashurst Advance Reach recently hosted a series of roundtable sessions, in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), exploring how in-house teams can increase retention and attract key talent.

    Key insights of this report include:

    • When it comes to retention, culture needs to be front of mind. As one participant put it: “People who love their colleagues and respect their managers are far less likely to leave, even for more money”
    • Remote working and flexibility practices were key factors for staying, with one participant saying: “Covid peeled back what work actually is and made me question why I need to go into the office”
    • Incompatible management style and/or uninteresting work were leading factors for people seeking new opportunities. Several participants said they were exploring ways to reduce non-core work through investments in technology
    • Remote working, work-life balance and higher renumeration featured at the top when seeking new opportunities

    Author: Linda Grace, Head of Ashurst Advance Reach.

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    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.

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