Quarter 2 sees more considered hiring by top firms but with increased departures

Quarter 2 sees more considered hiring by top firms but with increased departures

Insource has just completed analysis of the quarter 2 (Q2) hires and leavers from the Top 6 Australian firms and the Top 7 New Zealand (NZ) firms.  Analysing just the top firms in both markets is a good indicator of what the market as a whole is doing.  Interestingly, Q2 shows a much more considered approach to hiring across both countries when compared to the first quarter of 2023.

Comparing Q2 to quarter 1 (Q1) of this year (2023), hiring is substantially down for both Australia and NZ top firms while the number of lawyers leaving are up.  For NZ top firms, there were more than twice as many leavers in Q2 when compared to Q1 this year – with over half of those departing in Q2 falling into the 2-6 year PAE bracket. This trend will likely compound existing issues sourcing quality talent at this level.

  Q2 2023 v Q1 2023 Hires (% change) Q2 2023 v Q1 2023 Leavers (% change)
Australia top firms -39% (decreased) 28% (increased)
New Zealand top firms -63% (decreased) 164% (increased)

Anecdotally, this is a trend we’ve heard directly from many of our customers – that they are not simply filling seats when they become empty.  They are carefully considering whether there is a need in those teams.  They are taking a long term approach in ensuring they identify and hire the right quality talent for those vacancies.

This trend is further reinforced by comparing Q2 2023 to Q2 2022.  This comparison potentially indicates less movement in the market with a reduction in total hires and few lawyers leaving those top firms.

  Q2 2023 v Q2 2022 Hires (% change) Q2 2023 v Q2 2022 Leavers (% change)
Australia top firms -50% (decreased) -17% (decreased)
New Zealand top firms -63% (decreased) -27% (decreased)

Since the COVID pandemic, we have seen a lot of ‘panic’ hires happening with the quality of hires in terms of training and experience being in question.  While those two things can be improved once lawyers have joined a top firm (depending on the capacity to train and develop), there is always a higher chance that they won’t be the right fit. 

This trend shows that firms are starting to consider their hiring more and (hopefully) shows they are taking a longer term approach.  

The need to transform your firm’s approach to recruitment continues to be so important in this current market.  Firms that aren’t considering recruitment needs until there is a resignation are forced to wait for quality hires to appear on the market (if at all) and are subject to paying high recruiter fees and the volatility of the market.  Our recent Insight further expands on The Power of Pipelining: Why your law firm needs a continual recruitment pipeline.

Insource empowers firms to take control of their recruitment and provides the tools and methodology to prospect and pipeline a pool of quality talent they can draw on for future hiring needs. 

To discuss how Insource can help your firm build its talent pipeline, contact us today to book a demo.

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