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In a recent article, Calibrate Managing Director Haley Revel speaks to the legal industry’s rebranding of human resources and the emergence of a strategic approach to managing talent.

In an effort to improve the employee experience and retention, law firms are now taking a more holistic approach to managing an employee’s career life cycle. This shift has largely been size in larger firms, where titles such as chief people officer and chief talent officer are commonplace, and is now expanding to midsize firms.

“Midsize firms may face challenges related to resource constraints and brand recognition, but they also benefit from agility, flexibility a close-knit culture, and entrepreneurial opportunities. This flexibility allows for more personalized approaches to talent development and the ability to provide this foundation to all employees, not just their lawyers.”

Revel describes traditional HR functions as transactional, answering employee questions about paid time off, payroll and benefits. The new paradigm for HR functions takes a long-term view for managing talent in alignment with the firm’s long-term strategy.

“Talent management is not just encompassing a near-term directive to react to the needs of employees of the firm; it’s also about looking at what is the long-term strategy and what are goals that we can set for the firm. When you think about the talent space, you’re layering on the next step in talent management: employee wellness, integration and holding hands of employees from start to finish.”

Revel says the focus on hiring talent development professionals represents a recognition by firm leaders that they need business professionals to operate a competitive business. While HR and talent functions may be perceived as an operating cost, Revel believes there are significant opportunities for firms to leverage them as “revenue-enablers.”

She goes on to note that more and more law firms are assessing administrative departments such as human resources for efficiency, where low-visibility, low-impact functions, such as scheduling interviews with candidates, can be automated so professionals can focus on high-visibility, high-impact work, such as building relationships with law schools and hosting recruiting events.

“There is a bottom-line cost [to professional development] but it’s about how do we enable teams to be aligned with the firm’s strategy. They’re operating most effectively if they’re not just transactional. That is your traditional HR model.”

Let’s Connect

Interested in learning how Calibrate can help deploy Talent Management initiatives in your law firm? Contact Haley Revel, Managing Director of HR/Talent Management.