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As the need for high performing Pricing and Client value candidates continues to rise, I took to wondering how can supply continue to meet demand – if indeed it even is just now.
De Beers famously restricted the release of diamonds from a plentiful supply to keep the price high and their commodity precious.
Unfortunately, in our Pricing world, there is not a hidden pool of quality pricing candidates ready to be released – or is there?
For years now, more than any other industry, Law Firms prefer to hire middle – senior management that has law firm experience. There is a feeling within the legal industry that non-fee earning staff, especially those within Pricing and Finance, have to have previous law firm experience to be hired.
Why is this?
I have spoken to numerous Heads of Talent, COOs and Practice Managers about this, and the answers are all the same. "Any manager coming into our firm needs to be able to show credibility". "This credibility only comes with matter knowledge". "How can they price a matter if they haven't done it before?". "How can they liaise with a Partner about a litigation matter if they haven't done it before?"
But if firms were willing to look outside the industry there is a reservoir of Pricing Talent from Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Retail, Telecommunications as well as Professional Services to name but a few.
And it can be done. I was delighted to see recently that a top US Law Firm have hired a Pricing Manager from a leading US retailer. They had wealth of pricing knowledge, working with internal and external senior stakeholders. The hiring Firm have simply tapped into this and now given the new incumbent the opportunity to learn the intricacies of the legal industry.
In recent months I have spoken to numerous Pricing and FP&A Managers who have comprehensive pricing knowledge as well as staff management experience. They are ready, able and willing to move into the legal sector and bring plenty of new skills and ideas with them.
So, what could someone from another industry bring with them? It has long been suggested that some Law Firms are slightly behind other industries when it comes to Innovation and Tech - I've talked about this recently. It begs the question, what are we missing in terms of knowledge and innovation by not inviting talent from outside the industry in? Law firms have admitted that if they improve tech, reporting processes and efficiencies then there are more savings to be had. Let's give ourselves more opportunities to make this happen by increasing the talent pool.
In no way am I underestimating the importance of law firm experience or the benefit of someone being able to hit the ground running. But if firms were willing to consider hiring employees from other industries, then there are clear benefits to be had, not just in levelling off salaries but increasing the exposure to new ideas and ways of working.
Through research, utilising LinkedIn's insight talent pool analysis tool, the following results were obtained for the US market
Number of people with a job title including Director of Pricing, Head of Pricing, Strategic Pricing Manager Pricing Manager, Pricing Specialist or Pricing Analyst in the US = 24,984
With Law Firm experience = approximately 1000
This leaves an awful lot of outstanding candidates that potentially won't be considered 'right' for your Firm.
This is where Boston Hale come in; we have the dedicated time, resource, insights and tech at our disposable to source high-quality candidates for you with or without law firm experience.
Give us the brief, and we will go out and map the market for you to ensure you get the very best talent available in terms of skill and culture. It's then up to you to harness, cultivate and nurture this talent whilst moulding them to your requirements.
If you would like to discuss this topic further or you need any other information, I would love to hear from you.