Recruitment and law firms are facing big challenges. What can they learn from each other to help anticipate change?

06 March 2019

Anticipate change

At first glance, law firms and recruitment agencies may not have that much in common – but if you look a little closer, there are similarities to be found in innovation, efficiencies and development. Law firms have been pushed into tackling these issues head on and recruiters could learn a lot from them.

So to start, where do the industries align? There are two key areas to highlight:

  • Willingness to change; and,
  • Transparency.

In a recent article from The American Lawyer , Roy Strom noted that, “the legal industry is painfully slow to adopt major changes, and lawyers often say work can’t be easily categorized or simplified”.

We are all very familiar with the reasons as to why change can be held back:

  • “The model works as it is now!”
  • “It’s the way it’s always been done!”
  • “It’s too hard to change…”

But focusing on the benefits and changing in the right way will allow you to keep ahead of the curve and become more efficient. The American Lawyer article delves further into the need for metrics and standardisation in categorising work – something I won’t go into here – but the approach of assessment and innovation is something that if law firms don’t do it, then they’ll quickly find themselves behind the curve, less efficient and, ultimately, less profitable.

The same thinking applies to recruitment. Just because the traditional recruitment model has worked for years, doesn’t mean innovation won’t change the market and model. If you can provide a more cost-effective service to clients, keep your candidates happier and well informed, then you have an easier way to comply with incoming regulatory changes.

Going further, The American Lawyer article quotes one AM Law 100 firm executive who suggested that, “lawyers are able to charge higher rates due to a lack of understanding of the work they do”. In recruitment the low barrier to entry, coupled with a lack of transparency that sadly dominates agency recruitment, has tended to give recruiters leeway to charge high prices, control the market, and avoid innovation – why make changes, when it’s so profitable to you?

Law firms are having to change and adapt to market pressures as well as calls for efficiency – by developing new processes, investing in new technologies, and adjusting business models to keep up with market forces. Those who don’t are left behind, and then have to play catch up to remain relevant and compete. By embracing change, the lack of understanding mentioned above, is slowly being broken down.

The same process can be seen in recruitment. By using technology, opening up processes, providing transparency and relinquishing some control, the industry can promote trust, instil confidence, and create efficiencies – all while still providing a good service to clients.

At Route1, we realised that change was inevitable. If our clients are changing, so must our industry. Therefore we endeavoured to build Route1 for the future, meaning that technology, transparency, and efficiencies are at the heart of what we do. For example, we have built our platform with marketing analytics tools to understand what activities are working, and which aren’t. Our clients – both candidates and employers – deserve that. And, if the technology and desire are there to provide it, why shouldn’t we?

The Route1 Team

Route1 is an award winning marketplace for legal talent. For any questions, please contact our Engagement Team or visit our Contact Us page for more information.


We have big ambitions to permanently change the way people hire and get hired, both in the legal and other white collar sectors, using GDPR compliant, content-rich, value-added recruitment techniques. We place transparency, charity, and candidate control at the heart of our model.

Route1 was founded in the UK in 2015 and is headquartered in London. Our founders and investors include experienced lawyers, digital entrepreneurs, recruitment consultants and HR professionals.

Route1 is an award winning marketplace for legal talent. For any questions, please contact our Engagement Team or visit our Contact Us page for more information.

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