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Corona: impact and trends for businesses and lawyers

That corona has a huge impact on our lives, no one doubts it. But corona is also causing changes and shifts within companies. How this translates in the demand for legal support and on the way of working within organisations, you can read here.

Changes in permanent recruitment for lawyers
We see the biggest increase in demand for CORP M&A and real estate lawyers. And this in both corporate and law firms. But also within IT and pharma there is more demand for lawyers with specific skills. Initially, there was also a rising demand in food in early 2020, but this soon subsided. One sector where corona had no impact was notarial: demand for suitable profiles remained as high there.

Surprisingly, demand for lawyers in labour and social law rose only slightly. This is in contrast to other financial crises in the past, where the increase was spectacular. Although we are now seeing this gradually change, as many companies are starting to prepare for the social law aftershocks that corona will undoubtedly provide. Government support measures will soon be scaled back, which will cause a lot of shifts in the corporate landscape.

Overall, the demand for specialised lawyers and lawyers is increasing, but those profiles are also becoming scarcer and more expensive. A trend that The War For Talent overshadows continues, including postcorona.

Changes in temporary recruitment for lawyers
At the beginning of the corona crisis, there was a drop in demand for interim lawyers, but that now seems to be reversing. A first rise was noticeable at the end of 2020, followed by a second rise in early 2021. Companies therefore need lawyers they can deploy immediately. Usually, there are many good reasons for hiring an interim lawyer, but now we distinguish two main reasons: the internal pressure of the crisis on companies on the one hand, and the fact that companies are currently reviewing their organisation and operations on the other. An interim lawyer is then the perfect solution. Both for temporary reinforcement of a team and for eliminating legal risks. At Nonzerosum, top experts work at home in various fields of law, which means we add value here for many companies.

In addition to expertise, attitude is becoming increasingly important
A lawyer’s expertise is very important, but companies and service providers increasingly focus on attitude, skills and personality when hiring. Since the crisis, people are looking even more for profiles that are willing to share the organisation’s common values. Trust is key here, because the crisis brings with it many uncertainties. Companies want the right person in the right place for the long term. A trend we can only welcome at Nonzerosum, as sustainable recruitment is also among our objectives.

Candidates focus more on the content of the job
The fun at work usually falls by corona, and so the content of a job becomes more important to candidates. And they are quite critical about that. Moreover, in early 2020, many candidates also had a lot of uncertainty and were less likely to change jobs. But since 2021, many are still taking the plunge. The market is picking up, and this positive turnaround is radiating into candidate confidence.

More trends within recruitment
In general, the workload is often higher for lawyers within companies, but on the other hand, there is also less budget at hand Finding the balance in this can be a challenge for lawyers. This high workload is also most often met by an interim lawyer, which companies as well as lawyers and notaries appeal to.

Furthermore, applying digitally and even onboarding is no longer an exception. Certain sectors, especially IT and multinationals, have even very readily adopted this new way of working. Although it remains a challenge to find the connection with the team, both for the candidate and the organisation. Moreover, working from home blurs the line between work and private life. People live and work in the same space, making the off switch sometimes difficult to find. No easy feat when social outlets are also lost.

As a company, you could look for creative solutions that increase engagement, but even there the options were limited. Virtual games such as an escape room, virtual team building sessions, getting to know your team through their favourite songs, virtual wine tastings, … All fun, but not comparable to real contact between colleagues. Most therefore yearn for the return of working in the office.

Working from home versus working in the office
Working from home is definitely here to stay, although many candidates are also coming back to working from home full-time. You might get more done, but you also miss the contact and connection. Many candidates therefore see it as an interim solution for the future, and companies are best considering their policy now. With one or two days working from home, you choose the middle, combining the best of both worlds. Our tip? Consider already how you will organise working from home practically. Everyone in the office on the same days or flex-days to work from home? Because what works for one person is therefore not the ideal situation for another. So food for thought. And we can already help you draw up that homeworking policy.