Page 6 - CCCA 247020 Magazine Spring 2016
P. 6

{ HuMan resourCes }

reCruiting Your next

in-house tAlent

By Lynne Yryku

“Best team ever” is the goal of any legal department. This is how
Karen Hacker, former SVP of Human Resources and Volunteers,

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at the Toronto 2015 Pan/
Parapan american Games, describes the in-house counsel team
she hired for the games last july. But it wasn’t luck that brought this
group together. It took a clear understanding of the business needs,
and a strategic plan for recruitment, hiring and retention.

the groundwork tegically,” says Dal Bhathal, Managing
The hiring process starts with a business Partner of The Counsel Network, a lawyer
need. First, assess how a new or vacant recruitment frm. Consider the long-term
position complements the current team career path of the candidate before you
and helps the legal department fulfll the post the job ad. How will you measure
organization’s strategy. culture ft? What opportunities can you
Dedicate time to this process. Air offer in the future in terms of career de-
Canada, for instance, spent signifcant velopment and advancement?
energy on streamlining its hiring pro-
cess—and increasing its success rate. Ac- posting and screening
cording to David Perez, Deputy General “The key is timing and casting an effective
Counsel, Corporate and Commercial, net,” says Perez of advertising an opening.
hiring someone new begins with build- While HR may initiate the search, he likes
ing the business case. to be highly involved in the legal depart-
“We are more and more focused on ment’s recruitment process, personally
gathering good data,” Perez explains. looking at all the resumes except those
This helps identify the real need. For ex- clearly unqualifed. Not only does it give
ample, a couple years ago, employees in him a solid sense of the candidate pool
the legal department prepared detailed but it also helps HR get to know what he
reports over a period of time to assess the and his team are looking for: “Well worth
amount and type of work done by law- the investment of time.”
yers and administrative staff. The results “Recruiters [internal or external]
showed the need for a paralegal to better can take a search only so far,” Hacker
use lawyers’ time. explains. “There are intangibles on a re-
In-depth analysis such as this also gives sume or with a person that only you can
you better insight into your ideal candi- discern, particularly when looking in a
date in terms of skills, values and work specialized area like legal. You have to
ethic. “It is really important to hire stra- own the process.”

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