The Canadian Bar Association
Legal Suppliers

Law firm employees reveal what's important to them

Toronto legal recruiter and lawyer Joanne Rossi remembers a time not long ago when the only information needed to fill a job was salary and benefits.

That basic information isn’t enough in today’s world, says Rossi, CEO of JTF Recruitment Consultants and Employment MadeEZ

“Many times when companies are looking for new personnel, they only give you a job description, salary and benefits,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“But potential employees are looking for much more than that. They want a healthy work environment with open communication; a place that provides rewarding work and the independence to get their work done in a reasonable number of hours so that they can maintain a healthy work-life balance.”

Things are very different than they were 10 years ago, says Rossi.

“When I was practising law, there was no such thing as work-life balance. It was work, paycheque. There was no balance. You arrived at work at 7 a.m. and you were still expected to be there at 10 p.m.

“That’s called face hours. It was about making sure that you were on the premises as much as possible so that your bosses could keep an eye on you. But that culture of face hours is changing. We have families and we want to be a part of them.”

Rossi did an informal poll of some job seekers to find out what they consider when looking for a new job. The most important thing named by lawyers and clerks was work environment.

One person describes it as the “fit” with a new workplace, adding “getting along with the people you are going to work with on a daily basis is a huge plus for a firm.”

Another said “There’s nothing worse than feeling unappreciated at work, except worrying about your job security every day. As you know, we spend most of our time with our co-workers and oftentimes it works out to more than we spend with our families."

Coming in second was the quality of the work. 

“That seems to matter more to lawyers than clerks,” says Rossi, “but they both note it in some shape or form. They want challenging work that interests them and keeps them coming back.”

She says she’s not surprised that salary and benefits came in third.

“Everyone thinks that’s the most important thing, but it really takes a back seat to respect, work and culture. It’s still important, but they all leave it to the end. It’s an afterthought for all but one clerk.”

Not all firms have adapted to the changing times — and that’s what makes hiring such a tricky thing, says Rossi. Placing a lawyer who’s looking for work-life balance at a firm with no tolerance for life outside the office isn’t going to work.

She says finding the right fit just means asking more questions. She often compares her job to matchmaking — finding out enough about each side to ensure a long, happy relationship.

“It means shifting my attention to the things that matter and understanding what is important to both sides before proposing a long-term relationship,” says Rossi.

To Read More JTF Recruitment Consultants, Employment MadeEZ Posts Click Here
Lawyer Directory
BPFG: NEW AD TO ROTAE MONTHLY WITH BICOToronto Lawyers AssociationMKD InternationalFeldstein Family LawInfoware Canada Gene ColmanShekter Dychtenberg LLPBales Beall LLP