22 Jun Employer brand and the candidate experience

22 June 2021

The firm’s brand reputation, team reputation and the candidate experience are vital when hiring for your team. How firms managed COVID-19 is not just important but questioned by candidates when considering a move.

Firms are developing savvy strategies to understand their brand as an employer of choice for BD professionals. More thorough exit interviews are taking place and firms are approaching us directly to seek positive and negative feedback. During our many conversations with clients, we speak openly about their reputation in the market and gather information that we can share with our network, for example exciting developments within the firm.


  • Increased competition and firms fighting to retain good employees at all levels.
  • Firms recognise the need to proactively shake off an outdated and unjust brand reputation.
  • Partners see the value of high calibre BD, marketing and communications experts.
  • Recent restructures across various professional services firms have created an even greater need for stability within teams.

What do these strategies look like?

  • Faster recruitment processes (e.g. max two interviews), especially at junior levels.
  • Generating excitement by having senior team members play a part in recruiting at all levels.
  • Coaching Partners to impress during interviews and genuinely sell the firm and role.
  • Using the interview process, sometimes through informal coffees, as a firm branding exercise, before a role is signed off. This allows positive messages to be shared with potential candidates that will be disseminated into the market.
  • Highlighting case study examples of success stories within the team, such as multiple promotions or overseas moves.
  • BD and marketing leaders becoming advocates for their firm by speaking at leading industry events.
  • Offering further flexibility and a great work-life balance. For example, working four days in five to allow for late starts/leaving early arrangements.

“Building a brand takes time and I believe people; our team and our clients, are our most important assets. We continue to be advocates for the firm because we believe in ourselves, each other and what HSF stands for. It is truly inspiring to be part of a motivated, intelligent, empathetic and high-performing team of BD, professional colleagues and experienced lawyers who are always looking to the future, and this is illuminated to everyone we encounter. Connecting with peers, being involved in the industry, a respectful and collaborative nature and generally being curious are some attributes I look for when hiring into the team.”

Chele Dore, Chief Business Development Officer at Herbert Smith Freehills.

Next steps

If you’re interested to learn more about opportunities we are currently working on or to understand more about the market and current trends, contact a member of the Dalton Handley team for a confidential discussion and expert advice. Email: australia@daltonhandley.com Phone: +61 2 8042 7970.