By Jessica Higham
Jessica Higham works in the marketing department of Sellick Partnership, a recruitment agency specialising in the finance, accountancy, procurement and legal sectors.
According to a recent report published by the Legal Ombudsman, 1 in 5 legal complaints they receive is in relation to residential conveyancing. After the previously shaky housing market began to stabilise, a higher volume of work – and, consequently, higher pressure on residential conveyancing solicitors – is understandable, with people rushing to secure their ideal property.
People naturally want what is best for them, but what impact is the stampede for housing having on the conveyancing market?
The effect appears to be two fold; lawyers are at risk of rushing house purchases through in order to keep up with demand, meaning firms and public bodies are looking to not only hold on to the highest-calibre candidates who can cope with the number of instructions, but also bring in temporary support for their teams.
When it comes to attraction and retention policies, organisations have begun to recognise and reflect the needs of their employees. The newly introduced flexible working policy for all workers across the UK should mean the promotion of a better work-life balance for all, though this ultimately depends on the willingness of each professional body to implement the changes going forward.
Other elements being reviewed by employers - especially firms wanting to hire on a permanent basis and retain the best conveyancers on the market - include salary levels and opportunities for bonuses, annual leave allowances and pension packages. Not only are there more jobs on the market as demand grows, but candidates have the opportunity to be increasingly selective when it comes to deciding which offer they accept.
Demand for locum conveyancers has also picked up, with an unsteady number of instructions and need for cover during times of increased annual leave, such as summer holidays and sabbatical. Whether lawyers work on a locum basis to gain the elusive work-life balance, a change of professional scenery, or to take advantage of the often better rate of pay, they’re sure to find themselves in a strong position in the current market.
If you’re looking for your next move in conveyancing, it is important to consider your options and ensure you’re securing the best placement for you. As ever, the legal sector is changeable, with factors such as legislation, the economy and legal proceedings affecting the most in demand areas of law. The impact at this point appears to be positive, but it is hard to predict what specialisms the latter 6 months of 2014 will require.