Legal recruitment e-report 2015 - Page 2

Special focus: Legal recruitment Talent spotting With workflow increasing at law firms in Spain and Portugal, many are looking to increase the size of their teams in the coming year as the battle for the best candidates intensifies A pipeline of transactional activity has led to a more optimistic economic outlook and law firms across Iberia are stating their intention to increase headcount in 2015. Indeed, last year, a number of firms said they experienced a growth in personnel of more than 20 per cent. This represents a contrast to the restrained approach to recruitment in recent years. Jones Day´s Madrid-based partner Miguel Bermúdez de Castro says the firm will be increasing the size of its office as “we open new practices and grow existing practices”. He adds that the firm will be looking to expand in a number of areas including banking and M&A. “If we find a lawyer with a new set of skills or speciality that we don´t currently offer, and that we see a real need for, we are keen to hire.” Lois Thornton, a recruitment consultant at Taylor Root, confirms that, while recruitment across Spain had previously been very slow due to the global financial crisis, firms are now increasingly making lateral hires in response to a “generally improving market and in an effort to ensure that the relative experience levels of their teams is well balanced”. Filipa Mendes Pinto, a partner at recruitment firm 52 • IBERIAN LAWYER • January / February 2015 FIND in Lisbon, agrees with and postgraduate courses. “Our this analysis. “In 2014, firms strategy is to recruit the best showed a greater will to make young talent, to train them inlateral hires,” she says. “The house and to offer them a clear reasons included: the feeling of career plan,” he remarks. “The some economic recovery; the firm has its own recruitment lack of junior lawyers, namely department which coordinates in corporate/M&A and IP, presentations, open-day sessions, due to the strangulation of the attends job fairs, coordinates recruitment of trainees; the need to Laterals have to be open have new teams that minded and pro-active, but the strategically firm must work on the had been integration identified as relevant Manuel Santos Vítor for the PLMJ repositioning of the firm in the market; and normal replacement moves.” the recruitment process, Recruiters and lawyers and organises written tests, identify M&A, tax, real estate interviews and our summer and dispute resolution as trainee programme.” the practice areas in which It is a similar scenario in lateral hires are most likely Portugal. João Caiado Guerreiro, to take place. Historically, managing partner at Caiado many firms have handled Guerreiro, comments: “We want their human resources (HR) to keep the Caiado Guerreiro matters themselves with a focus ´one team spirit´ so we normally on hiring younger lawyers. recruit trainees. That also Adela García de Tuñón, Hogan marries well with our organic Lovells’ HR manager in Madrid, growth strategy.” Meanwhile, explains: “Normally we cover Manuel Santos Vítor, managing any vacancies internally. Our HR partner at PLMJ, says his firm´s team is specialised trainee recruitment strategy in the selection involves a dedicated committee, and hiring led by three senior partners, with process and an additional support team that knows the includes a HR advisor working market exclusively in the legal market to well. recruit talent. Also, we believe our Firms turning to recruiters own professionals The legal recruitment market is are the best getting more intense and when ambassadors for sourcing candidates, especially transmitting and mid-to-senior level lawyers, promoting our culture.” some firms do not solely rely on This organic approach is personal relations and in-house mirrored at Uría Menéndez, expertise, instead turning to where general secretary recruitment agencies to manage Icíar Rodríguez Inciarte the high volume of candidates says the firm very rarely and filter applications. uses legal recruitment Bermúdez de Castro says his agencies, preferring firm’s strategy involves the use to recruit young of personal relationships as law graduates well as recruitment agencies. from university “At partner level, [the strategy] “ ”