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Public sector legal staff would change roles for better flexibility, new survey reveals

The majority of public sector legal professionals would consider moving to a new role that offered more flexible working conditions and better career progression, a new survey has shown.

The results revealed that 70% of solicitors, lawyers and legal executives working in the public sector would move jobs for the prospect of better career progression. In addition to that, nearly half of those polled (45%) feel they are unable to advance in their current role.

The survey also showed that public sector legal staff are increasingly motivated by a desire for flexibility and control over their own hours. 67% want to work at least three days at home in their next role, compared to only 5% who want to be in the office full-time, while 76% said enhanced flexi-time (fitting working hours around individual needs) is a perk they will be looking for when searching for a new role.

These findings come from a broader survey – which can be found here – carried out by recruitment specialists Sellick Partnership to better understand what today’s legal professionals are looking for when weighing up their career options.

Sellick Partnership’s survey also revealed the following key findings:

  • 76% said that a failure to include salary information in a job advert would put them off applying for that role.
  • Other benefits cited as key motivators to apply for a role include free parking (59%), more annual leave (52%), additional training opportunities (39%) and private healthcare options (36%).
  • Additional factors that put people off applying for a role include too many specialist skills being required (37%), overly generic job descriptions (35%) and a lack of detail in the listing (30%).

Sara Robinson, Principal Consultant for Public Sector Legal Recruitment at Sellick Partnership, commented: “The findings of our survey have revealed some important insights into exactly what is motivating legal professionals in today’s jobs market – and offers an indication of what public sector employers need to offer staff in order to entice them.

“Since the pandemic started to ease, there has been a massive surge in demand for skilled legal professionals across both the public and private sectors. As a result, public sector employers have found it difficult to compete for the limited pool of available candidates – especially with the private sector typically holding an advantage in terms of what salary can be offered. 

“Our survey shows that non-salary factors are just as important in influencing an applicant’s choice of role. In the wake of the pandemic, it is no surprise that greater job flexibility and career progression have become such key priorities, as our consultants have observed just how important a good work-life balance and a welcoming professional environment are to today’s candidates.

“By working to deliver a better package for prospective candidates that properly reflects what they are looking for, public sector organisations will give themselves the best possible chance of attracting the talent they will need to succeed.”

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