This month, Felix Hebblethwaite, Global Head of Recruitment and Resourcing at law firm Linklaters, talks to us about…
Felix Hebblethwaite has been at Linklaters since 2003. He has been Global Head of Resourcing and Recruitment at Linklaters LLP since June 2015.
…HIS ROLE AT LINKLATERS
I have overall responsibility for the way in which Linklaters is positioned in the market as a potential employer as well as how the firm assesses the suitability of applicants for a diverse range of roles, from entry level graduate to lateral partner. Whilst we recruit in all 29 of our offices, our recruitment “hubs” are located in Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London and New York.
…CHANGES IN THE WORKPLACE
Since joining Linklaters in 2003, I have seen the firm become increasingly focused on how to always achieve the best for our clients. We have also adopted a much clearer framework in terms of what we offer our people and what we expect in return.
…TECHNOLOGY IN THE LEGAL SECTOR
Technology can provide a real opportunity to drive efficiency and adopt new ways of interacting with clients and colleagues. At Linklaters, we were one of the first law firms to offer clients the opportunity to sign legal documents directly from their smartphone, tablet or desktop. We also recently ran a firm-wide crowdsourcing initiative exploring people’s views on work-life balance.
…STARTING A CAREER IN LAW IN 5 YEARS’ TIME
There are two things I would recommend:
- Undertake as much legal work experience as possible to ensure that law is really the right career for you. Don’t just consider private practice; also consider in-house roles and the Bar so that you understand the different career options available to you.
- Explore how you can develop your future client skills and broaden your outlook on life at the same time. Working in a café or volunteering for a charity are equally relevant and will provide you with opportunities to interact with people from all walks of life. The client service skills you learn will make you a better lawyer and will differentiate you during an interview.
…FILLING ANY ANTICIPATED SKILLS GAPS OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS
We are always looking for people who possess the ability to influence, engage and build relationships - skills which are increasingly hampered by an over-reliance on email and technology.
…DIVERSITY IN THE WORKFORCE
As a firm, we look at every situation from a gender perspective with the ultimate aim of retaining more female employees within the business. It is something I am personally very committed to and it is important that we remain focused on the topic. From a recruitment perspective, we also aim to attract candidates from the widest possible talent pool and, in the UK, ethnicity and social mobility are two particularly important areas of challenge.
…THE EFFECT OF RISING PROPERTY PRICES ON OFFICE SPACE AND ATTRACTING TALENT
For many organisations the current trend is to move out of the City, but Linklaters has had an office in Colchester for many years, so I feel we have been at the forefront of this change. In London, we are considering going open plan in certain areas, which should provide real opportunities in terms of collaboration and information sharing.
…SUGGESTED REGULATORY OR POLICY CHANGES
It has always been important to Linklaters to be able to recruit talented people from all over the world to work in the UK, so that the firm can benefit from different cultures and experiences as well as enable us to develop individual careers. Following the decision that the UK is to leave the EU, I hope that these opportunities will be maintained for future generations.
…A KEY FUTURE TREND OVER THE NEXT 10-15 YEARS
Data analytics will have a positive and important impact on how we do business in the future by providing easy access to accurate data to enable organisations to make better decisions.
…HIS FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF WORK
We hear a lot about the challenges of managing different generations within the workplace, but it is worth remembering that, regardless of generational differences, employees have had a consistent desire to be provided with interesting work and be appropriately recognised and rewarded. These desires haven’t changed over time; they are just expressed in different ways.
If you are a HRD and would like to share your own thoughts on the future of work in your industry, please do get in touch here.