How is the Scottish Legal Market Reacting to Candidate Shortages?

Kirsty McFarlane

In a candidate-short market, what can you do as an employer to attract potential candidates to your firm, and why is now the right time to consider your career options if you are a potential candidate?


What can you offer that is different to your competitors, and what do professional and qualified candidates actually want?

Agile and Flexible Working

The survey of more than 1,000 workers carried out by Family Friendly Working Scotland (2018) found that 95% believe that work life balance is at least as important as salary, including nearly a third of the population who feel it is more important. According to a recent survey in The Scotsman, only 1 in 8 advertised jobs in the Scottish professional sectors mention flexibility at the point of hire. This means that many employers are missing out on attracting key talent. The assumption that flexible working is about mothers and part-time hours is outdated. The ability to work flexibly – even small changes to start and finish time – is wanted by men and women and is sought after by workers of all ages – parents and non-parents alike.

What are the benefits for you? The YouGov poll of more than 1,000 Scots showed that among those who already work flexibly, 77% say they are more productive and “go the extra mile” for their employer.

Have a Personal Touch

Candidates have more choice than ever before. Your people and your culture are what makes your firm unique and feel different from the rest. Scotland is a finite market, and your reputation and perception in the market is crucial to engage with the right match of candidates. For the vast majority of candidates whom I represent, who they will be working with and reporting into is one of the first questions that they ask when discussing an opportunity.

Be Prepared

As firms are desperate to hire, so they are desperate to retain their existing talent. Be prepared to deliver and commit to the career development of each individual; candidates at all levels of seniority are seeking to keep learning and develop their own skillset; as well as mentoring and managing more junior members.



You are not unhappy in your current role and not actively looking for a move; why is now a good time to take stock and consider your options?

You Have More Options

The demand for good quality talent is increasing, which means that there may be more options open to you than you may have otherwise thought.

No Pressure

You do not need to make a move and considering the job market from this mindset allows you to view potential roles objectively and consider opportunities that will genuinely benefit you and your career, not just because you have to.

Knowledge is Power

We live in a world that is ever changing and always evolving. Talk to experienced consultants to discuss information up front about what employers are doing and what is actually happening inside their organizations; with so much demand for qualified talent, now is a great time to gain insider information on how employers in your sector are changing and adapting to market trends, and their plans for the future.

Whether you are hiring or considering your own career, get in touch to discuss your recruitment needs and I would be delighted to help: 0131 357 5333/ 07823 414 141 / 


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