Are you ready? Legal hiring trends to look out for in 2021

Markets expect the world’s economy will bounce back once vaccination programs are underway. Once economic activity increases in the post-vaccine period, we believe that hiring activities will go back to the pre-Covid-19 level.  We have continued to see good levels of recruitment activity in Asia since Q4 2020. Both recruiters and jobseekers should be well-prepared to embrace a busy year. Let us wrap up 3 new hiring trends in the legal industry expected in the year 2021.

New Talent

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the legal industry due to the social distancing requirements. Law firms and companies may move client-facing and back-office functions to the Cloud, virtual assistants and remote employees will become more common. Digital, data privacy, and cybersecurity lawyers will continue to play a critical role this year. Also for law firms, non-lawyer hires will move beyond the traditional focus on paralegals; IT and tech administrative/supportive staff will be in huge demand.

Pre-recorded Video Interviews

Under tight social restrictions, law firms and companies are searching for an interview system that can reduce the cost of hiring, personal contact risks, and increase time-efficiency. Video interviews are the new norm of today’s recruiting process. Candidates are increasingly invited to take videos of their answers to pre-set questions at their own pace to test their techniques, which are reviewed by recruiters as well as assessed by hiring personnel. Instead of traditional in-person/phone interviews, firms and companies no longer need to schedule a specific date and time for a specific interview. This offers a much easier, more flexible and faster way to get additional data on candidates to make for a better screening process.

EQ monitoring

Whether you like it or not, live/recorded video interviews will not go away soon. With the extensive growth of use of digital tools in the hiring process, demand for recruiters to be able to gauge emotional intelligence levels in video interviews is evident. Candidates in general feel more casual in video interviews than in-person one they may feel more comfortable answering tough interview questions in such a scenario. Recruiters need the skillsets to evaluate each of self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Since firms and companies have been more selective and strategic about engaging external recruiters, several hiring managers confirm that they only use recruiters to assist with difficult-to-fill business-critical roles. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have seen many clients cease recruiting or at least reduce activity significantly. Many good candidates are waiting for new positions. When supply starts to outweigh demand, law firms or companies will turn to a select group of trusted search firms to satisfy their needs in a modern fashion.

Should you have any recruitment needs, please feel free to contact our well-versed consultants at

Published by Hughes Castell

Asia's Premier Firm for Global Legal, Compliance, Risk and Regulatory Executive Search

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