May has been a busy month. Not as busy as previous years – at the height of the recession in 2008 we had our busiest month ever with over 60 interviews, albeit with less take up than hoped for! Recruitment has started to pick up after all the interruptions of the various bank holiday periods thrown in, but of course the half term gives us another break.
A couple of interesting pointers – firstly, crime recruitment this year was very quiet indeed. Very little movement occurred on duty solicitor jobs before the LSC deadline at the start of May, which was surprising, but similarly fairly predictable because of the ongoing uncertainty with the LSC. Secondly the property market has not yet picked up. Not exactly surprising you might think, but considerable movement took place in conveyancing posts in March/April and a good number of vacancies came in. As we have progressed through the year, this has again died off. There are rumours from some areas that the property market is busy, and in others that it is still very quiet.
In May Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment had 21 vacancies registered, 17 interviews and 104 candidate registrations (solicitors, fee earners and legal support staff candidates).
In quite a large number of areas there is plenty of activity for solicitors between 1 and 10 years PQE, and most of our business is still from our candidate updates and firms making speculative enquiries about these or by searching our candidate database. Solicitors with following or fee earning potential are becoming the one main area of recruitment for a number of small and medium sized practices and NQ level solicitors are still struggling to find very much out there at all.
In terms of location, London and the South East remains busy, with the North West and North East being the areas seemingly most badly affected still with not much sign of any pick up in the legal job market yet.
We have revamped the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment website after 11 years of trading. Our site has remained in a timewarp dating back to the late 1990s and because of our strong organic Google page rankings we have always been very reluctant to do anything too drastic. Ten-Percent has over 2000 pages of content, including an online careers shop, a careers forum and pages for vacancies. This is Phase 1 of our Project to change our structure. Phase 2 is a move towards subscription-based recruitment, which we hope to launch in the next four weeks.
Jonathan Fagan, MD Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment.