BRINGING BACK BONUSES: Nearly Eight in 10 Employers in Legal Field Planning Bonuses and Raises, Robert Half Legal Survey Shows

TORONTO, May 30 /CNW/ - As business conditions improve and the employment market rebounds, compensation is re-emerging as a crucial retention strategy for many employers in the legal field, a new Robert Half Legal survey indicates. Seventy-nine per cent of lawyers polled said their law firms or corporate legal departments plan to award their associates pay raises and bonuses, while 15 per cent said that no additional compensation would be given.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 150 lawyers at the largest law firms and corporations in Canada.

Lawyers were asked, "Does your law firm/corporate legal department plan to offer its associates raises and/or bonuses this year?" Their responses:

    <<
    Yes ....................... 79%

    No ........................ 15%

    Don't know/no answer.......  7%
                                ---
                               101%*

    *Responses do not total 100% due to rounding.
    >>

"Although many law firms and legal departments were forced to reduce staff and freeze salaries in the past few years, retention of top performers definitely remains a priority, especially as the economy recovers," said Anne Edmonds, Canadian regional manager of Robert Half Legal. "Employers in the legal field are increasingly strengthening their retention programs, including offering raises and bonuses, before employees consider other opportunities."

"Oftentimes, the costs of recruiting and training new hires exceed compensation-related expenses for current staff," Edmonds added. "For those companies with smaller budgets, other non-monetary incentives such as telecommuting, additional time-off and flexible scheduling remain great options to reward hard-working staff."

Robert Half Legal offers these additional tips for retaining valued staff:

    <<
    -   Promote professional learning. By emphasizing training, organisations
        demonstrate they support the long-term success of their staff. Cost-
        effective ideas include supporting mentor relationships and online
        classes.
    -   Provide well-defined career paths. Challenging assignments enhance
        employee job satisfaction and also serve to identify future leaders.
        Consider how tasks might be reassigned to advance someone's career
        goals.
    -   Emphasize your firm's culture. Remind employees about those aspects
        of your work environment that are hard to find elsewhere.
    -   Publicly praise contributions. Appreciation and recognition can go a
        long way to foster loyalty. Publicly acknowledge individual and team
        successes to let employees know their efforts are appreciated.
    >>

About Robert Half Legal

Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, law clerks, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Robert Half Legal, Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com


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