The survey suggests in-house legal departments have a strong desire to bring on in-house talent, with 65 per cent of respondents saying they would prefer to bring additional talent in-house instead of relying on outside counsel. Nearly one third of respondents would consider using contract lawyers during their continued search for an appropriate full-time hire. Furthermore, over half of the companies surveyed are planning to grow or would consider growing their department in 2018.
Salary is not the biggest draw for talent though, with only 13 per cent of respondents citing compensation as a top reason for working at their current company. Benefits like flexible work arrangements (23 per cent) and long-term growth opportunities (23 per cent) feature strongly. Amanda Ellis, senior vice president at Special Counsel, explained: 'Following suit with other industries, in-house legal departments are now offering alternative perks to compete for and retain talent.' However, as is the case in many industries, the human resources department is not everyone’s favourite, with 56 per cent revealing they are not confident in their HR or Talent Acquisition department's ability to staff legal positions, citing lack of expertise. Over 500 in-house counsel, including general counsels and chief legal officers, participated in the survey which was carried out by Special Counsel, a US provider of legal staffing and eDiscovery solutions.