Review in the time of Covid
As we enter what would normally be review time for a lot of firms, there are rumblings of as well as overt statements that reviews are to be postponed, differed or cancelled altogether this year.
Law firms, like all businesses, need to make profit. It is also relatively easy to adopt a blanket, ‘one-size fits all’ approach. However bypassing those groups, teams or individuals that have achieved or exceeded budget (and have a pipeline that indicates they will continue to do so) seems punitive.
So how do you maximise chances of getting a review?
Here are some key considerations; -
- Preparation is key
- Understand your numbers; have you hit budgets, achieved / exceeded?
- Attracted any clients? Quantify those fees
- Get some face time with your Partner
- Set aside some dedicated time over a coffee (whether in person / virtual) or a drink
- As a fee earner, it is unlikely you will have the same level of access as your partner to the inner circles; get a sense of what they hearing, is there scope for wiggle room outside the official line?
- Get a read of whether you will be able to rely on them as an advocate in a process – how far can or will they back you?
- Consult a Recruiter
- Any recruiter worth their salt will be able to give you advice that will allow you to go into the internal processes
- What is the market rate at your level?
- Options in the market – is my skill set in demand? Yes, there are freezes out there but if pipeline in your discipline has meant you’ve hit budget for the year, likelihood is that there will be options
- Understanding your alternatives going into a review meeting allows you to negotiate from a position of strength
- Ensure you get an opportunity for review
- Even if it the final position of the firm is that no financial or promotional uplifts can occur this year, push for an opportunity to have a review meeting so you still receive the valuable feedback on your development
- Positive feedback can be retained and useful when further reviews or later uplifts do occur
- Similarly, if there is constructive criticism, you then have a chance to address those points ready for the formal review process when come around putting you in good stead for a better result at that time
If you remain unimpressed with the response of your firm after taking these steps, circle back to the recruiter who advised you for a confidential review of current roles.
You will only move for an improvement in the conditions of a role. Worst case, you can be kept informed of your ideal role as it does arise.
Ultimately, it may prove that your best chance of a financial increase for FY20/21 is through an open market process.
For a confidential and obligation free conversation around the above and what we are hearing around 2020 reviews get in touch. I am happy to set up an after hours consultation if needed. (Phone or VidCon) to make it easier for confidentiality.
0416 963 992