Is Your Corporate Legal Department Setting Proper Goals?


The market for legal support professionals in Toronto can be a competitive one. Most corporate legal departments know they need to focus on finding the best talent for their needs, but they may not realize how important it is to set clear, specific goals in order to improve their hiring results.

Here’s how to determine whether your legal department is setting the right goals for your needs:

  1. Determine Your General Direction

“We need to improve our hiring” may be on everyone’s mind, but it’s too broad an idea to support strong goal-setting or defined, purposeful action.

Instead, start by looking at the parts of your hiring process that need the most work. For instance, you may notice your applicant pool is filled with unqualified candidates, or your top choices frequently drop out of the hiring process before you can extend a job offer.

Once you’ve pinpointed specific problems, your team can start to determine methods for changing them.

  1. Get SMART

Goals work best when they meet the SMART criteria: They’re specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-related. These five criteria help ensure that each goal your team sets can succeed and you’ll be able to determine when success has occurred.

For example, imagine a legal department has determined its habit of posting job openings to the same public job boards has resulted in an applicant pool that is overwhelmingly unqualified. A SMART goal to address the problem might be, “We will post openings to three new sources each month that are specific to the legal field, and we will determine the posting is a success if 75 percent of those who respond to it each month are qualified for the position.”

This goal sets specific tasks to perform, provides methods of measurement, is achievable by your staff, relates to the goal of building a more qualified applicant pool, and sets time frames for performance and evaluation.

  1. Choose Metrics for Success

While setting SMART goals, remember that metrics for success should be objective and quantifiable whenever possible. While pursuing change, remember to track and evaluate your chosen metrics regularly in order to determine whether the group is heading in the right direction.

  1. Seek an Outside Perspective

Finally, don’t hesitate to talk to your staffing partner about goal-setting for better recruitment and retention. Your recruiter can help you diagnose problems and choose solutions with a proven track record.

Find Top Talent Today!

At Kent Legal, our recruiters help law firms and legal departments in the greater Toronto area determine their staffing needs, set clear goals, and create a path to achievement. Contact us today to learn more.

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