ALL SIGNS point to change within the legal job market, according to experts at Hays Specialist Recruitment.
Main findings from the Hays Legal Quarterly Report indicate that top-tier firms are downsizing, partners are on the move and the contract work sector is in an upward growth spike, creating new grounds for those looking to leverage the current job market.
According to Hays Director of Queensland Darren Buchanan large multi-nationals are beginning to reduce their reach, allowing for mid-tier competitors to cut bigger slices from the job market.
"We've seen some of the top-tier firms downsize, which has given opportunity to the mid-sized legal firms to pick up some good candidates," says Buchanan.
"Any salary growth has been primarily in that boutique firm area where larger firms have been enticed to move to a progressive mid-tier style, offering cost effective solutions to their clients."
Also highlighted in the report is a growing market turnover trend created by partners consistently changing firms, often taking legal teams and clientele as they do, to both positive and negative effect.
"It's tricky when a partner leaves a firm and takes their team with them, due to the fact firms may lose a lot of business in one fell swoop as a result," says Darren.
On the surface such a changeover could seem negative for potential job seekers, but Hays assures the modern legal company is becoming more versatile and tend to recover well from staffing shifts.
"When partners or teams look for work elsewhere it gives firms the opportunity to bring in new skills, new ideas and new outlooks all at once which can prevent the company from becoming too stayed in its approach."
Aside from permanent career ventures, Hays have confirmed that contract workers are in far higher demand than in recent years previous.
Firms are more consistently offering stints of work, often on single projects, averaging between 6-12 months full time without the final guarantee of permanency to accommodate different lifestyles, levels of skill and areas of expertise.
"Predominantly firms are still employing permanent workers but the contract style of employment is now becoming a far greater part of the nature of the workforce," says Buchanan."It was previously thought that contract work didn't really factor into to the industry or client expectations, but now that is beginning to change."
Visit hays.com.au/report for a complete summary of the findings from the Hays Legal Quarterly Report.
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