An in-house counsel, also known as a legal counsel or in-house lawyer, advises their employer on a range of legal matters that apply to the business, products, or services of the company. It usually comprises a legal team which reports to the general counsel or legal head.
Hiring the right in-house counsel team is crucial to your business. With the constant review of documentation, streamlining processes, signing of multiple contracts and vendors, and more, it is important to have a solid team that can provide quality, accurate, and relevant advice to the business. Therefore, when finding and recruiting an in-house counsellor, here are some crucial things you need to keep in mind.
Communicate the Role to Candidates
When recruiting, it is important to be clear and set expectations from the get-go. This means explaining the roles and responsibilities of the in-house counsellor in detail, especially areas that need crucial attention. You can walk through the tasks expected of the candidate and of the whole legal team as well. Moreover, this will give them a better understanding of your company’s collaborative culture.
You will also want to walk your candidate through the team structure within the legal department and the organization as a whole. You can take the opportunity to talk about key clients if it’s not confidential.
In addition, while it is important to be clear about what you are looking for, also think about why a candidate would want to join your organization. To communicate this clearly, talk about the work itself, the company and its reputation, and the legal team’s role in the organization.
Find Candidates That Fit Your Culture
Building on talking about the company’s reputation, it is important to let your candidate know the kind of work culture in your company. Walk your candidate through the company values and mission statement. You can also use this opportunity to talk about the career development that this role could potentially offer. Most candidates are looking for career growth, and therefore, it is helpful to communicate the kind of growth the role brings if that’s an area of interest for them.
A candidate could have the right skill set but may not relate to the company culture. It is crucial to strike that balance, as company culture affects aspects of performance such as teamwork, collaboration, behaviour, motivation, and working style. Accordingly, talk about the culture of the company to your candidate to see if its values and mission resonate with them.
Use a Legal Recruiter to Help Find a Good Fit
Having an HR team help with recruitment can be effective, especially when it comes to communicating the company values and culture. However, using a legal recruiter can be more effective as they recognize the nuances and details of assembling the right group of candidates for the company’s in-house counsel. Their experience is specialized, which gives them a deeper understanding of the legal industry.
Having a skilled recruiter in the legal field not only helps in terms of advice on hiring trends but can also give insight into functions of legal tech, particular legal tasks, industry-specific knowledge, and more.
In conclusion, when looking for an in-house counsel, it is critical to have a well-defined role which aligns with the organization’s objectives. This role should be clearly defined in the job description and communicated to the candidates you are interviewing. Furthermore, finding a candidate that fits your company culture is essential as this helps them integrate well with other team members, work collaboratively, and feel more comfortable. Finally, you can always consider using an industry expert recruiter (i.e., a legal recruiter) to find a good candidate as they comprehend the finer details of hiring for this industry.
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