To integrate properly, communication and negotiation skills are required
When new talent joins an organisation, the integration process can be difficult. In the case of lawyers joining a new law firm the pressure can be overwhelming. An adequate selection process in line with the firm´s strategic goal and choosing a candidate who has the right mix of hard and soft skills could make the process smoother.
Filipa Mendes Pinto, CEO of recruitment agency Find, believes that the effort to integrate a new lawyer requires a strong investment that could be completely frustrated if unsuccessful.
“The newcomer may cause anxiety among other team members and that should be properly managed,” she summarises. “They can create instability or even contribute to decisions which might be less desirable. Lateral hiring should be done only when it makes sense within the strategy of the law firm, should it be in terms of internal growth, or new areas of practice, or to satisfy the reinforcement needs with a specific seniority.”
When hiring for talent, most law firms easily spot the technical skills of a candidate but, according to Mendes Pinto, their soft skills should also be identified as they play an increasingly important role. In her opinion soft skills can and should be trained, adding that Find now offers one to one coaching session for candidates.
“In order to integrate properly into the firm, communication and negotiation skills are required. Potential recruits at all levels of seniority should be ready to prove that they are team workers, and also that they have good time/priority management skills, commercial awareness, leadership, attentiveness and learning capacity” she explains.
Mendes Pinto suggests that a major trend clearly shows that the lateral recruitment market in Portugal is becoming more sophisticated, which makes everyone who has a role in it more “responsible for the quality of the work delivered”.
“There is no place for lack of professionalism or lack of knowledge. Every decision taken has a huge impact on the organisation, so it needs to be deeply matured and fully efficient,” she concludes.