The former lawyer turned legal recruiter and consultant Filipa Mendes Pinto treated the Lisbon conference of Interact Law to an inspiring presentation about millennials at the workforce. She spoke about how to attract talent from this cohort. Pinto compared the fleeting work posture of millennials to snowflakes, which move like they’re dancing in the air without following a straight path towards their goals, often disappearing or fading out rapidly.
Treat millennials differently from the way you were treated once
Filipa also stresses why you need to treat millennials differently from the way you were treated by senior partners once. Millennials, she says, want work-life balance, growing opportunities and challenging experiences, but above all, they want to be heard. In return, they are willing to give it all, including learning new skills, bringing in or acquiring digital awareness, and providing a competitive and innovative mindset. They are also committed to doing things right, says Filipa, quoting these steps from an article on how to attract and retain millennials:
Eight Steps Law Firm Management Should Take to Attract and Retain Millennials:
- Provide meaningful work experiences, making connections between the legal project and its relevance to the client, the client’s industry and the eventual outcomes and benefits.
- Restructure work assignments for millennials to work in teams with ongoing mentoring and real-time feedback built in.
- Train partners and other supervisors to be effective coaches and mentors and to provide continuous, effective and constructive feedback (we will write a future blog post on effective feedback). Millennials want to learn and grow from feedback.
- Refine, articulate and execute the firm’s core values and mission. Make sure this is clear on the firm’s website and through its initiatives and news.
- Involve millennials in ways to improve and “live” the firm’s mission and include them in other aspects of firm management and innovation.
- Provide opportunities, recognition and role models for charitable and civic work. Design a structured corporate social responsibility initiative, which is a particularly mature feature of UK firms, such as Freshfields, Clyde & Co. and Allen & Overy.
- Create a flexible or agile work environment. Millennials will get the work done but may not do it all in a linear progression or situated only in their offices.
- Pay attention to the changing law firm model and develop alternative career options and paths.