Macrae – The Talent Law Firms Want in 2021 with Joe Macrae and Suzanne Kane

We have a great show for you today! Joe Macrae is back on the show with us from Macrae, and we have another voice with us as well, Suzanne Kane. We’ve got a great topic in front of us as well, in terms of the talent that law firms want in 2021.


We’ll also get into the conversations firms are having in terms of recruiting through the lens of diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and equality.

Plus, how law firms and people in the legal industry have changed their approach to work due to Covid-19, and what they think is going to stick with us post-COVID as well.

Bonus: Joe tells us about how he held a Zoom meeting while sitting in a princess tent.

Listening time: 39 minutes


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Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The RecruitingDaily Podcast with William Tincup. Of course, comments are always welcome. Be sure to subscribe through your favorite platform.


William 0:33
Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup, and you’re listening to the RecruitingDaily podcast. We have alumni on today, Joe Macrae. And because he’s done this show before, so this is gonna be kind of fun. But we’ve also added Suzanne Kane, as well. So we’ve added another voice. So it’s gonna be interesting. And we’ve got a great topic in front of us in terms of the talent law firms. what they want in 2021. So without further ado, Suzanne, why don’t you start first introduce yourself and then Joe can introduce himself and the firm?

Suzanne 1:05
Sure. Hi, thanks for having us today. My name is Suzanne Kane, as you said, and I have spent a little over 25 years in law firm recruiting with most of that time being in house, large global law firms, some of the largest, in fact, some of the largest, most profitable firms in the world. And I just really had missed kind of being on the ground really working with candidates and helping people find their happy place and decided to jump to what I know all your internal recruiters out there call the Dark Side a few years ago.

And when I decided to do that, I was very fortunate to be able to go work with who I think are the most ethical and wonderful and talented, outside law firm recruiters, including my boss here on the podcast. Joe Macrae. So here I am today.

William 1:56
There you go. And Joe?

Joe 1:59
Well, William, thank you very much for inviting me back. And very briefly for anybody who didn’t have to endure my last visit, I’ll explain. I was a solicitor – actually an article Clark in London, many, many years ago in the 1980s. And then fell into recruiting in London in the 1990s and enjoyed the explosion in that market when all the US law firms arrived and opened the London offices many for the first time.

And then I was lured to Silicon Valley by a startup that didn’t do very well in the spring of 2000, but realized that there was a lot of legal recruitment activity in Silicon Valley in San Francisco, and that technology was only going to become more important in the decades ahead. So have been thrilled to be here ever since.

William 2:53
And just so we set to cover what Macrae does, as a firm, you’re correct me if I’m wrong. You’re You’re obviously looking for partners and Associates on the law firm side, but I believe you’re also looking for general counsels and help place general counsels on the client side, right?

Joe 3:12
So the answer is that on the law firm side, we actually don’t do associate work, we are –

William 3:19
Just partners –

Joe 3:20
Partners, groups, office openings, and then we do a small number of GC searches for all bases. But again, it’s not, not what we tend to compete for, we’re really more of a kind of one-trick pony on the on the partner and office side.

William 3:37
Right.Now that makes sense. So you Suzanne mentioned, ethical, I know, we’ve got another topic that we’re gonna start back with. But it’s it’s an interesting, it’s an interesting note to start with, because law firms and recruiting lawyers, especially partners, I would imagine that there’s there’s a lot of ethics that are involved in both how you approach candidates and also how you take them through a process.

Suzanne 4:02
Absolutely. And that’s why I mentioned it because as being known outside recruiter, or as you know, we like to be referred to by people as headhunters a lot, you know, being a headhunter, or, you know, being on the internal side of big firms. You know, I had the opportunity, I should say, the pleasure of working with, you know, headhunters literally all over the world.

And, you know, unfortunately, I found that a lot of them weren’t always behaving in a way that, you know, was ethical, not just by my standards, but, you know, by legal standards to your point, and that was something that became really important to me, and part of the reason to I felt like you know, when real the world needed, you know, one more ethical headhunters, so I should be that person, but it really is, it can be very tricky. And it’s unfortunately I found on the other side as a client, I did not find it to be the norm, that legal headhunters were, you know, working Always on an ethical level,

William 5:04
Which, which you think would be the norm? I mean, especially –

Suzanne 5:07
You would hope.

William 5:08
You would hope, right? Like, if there is going to be ethical recruiting somewhere in the universe, one would think that that would be –

Suzanne 5:16
In the legal world.

William 5:17
You’d think.

Suzanne 5:19
Yeah you would think so? It’s tricky. Yeah. And you know, what I will tell you, it’s, it’s, you know, when you’re, you know, as any service provider is, you know, you’re having to deal within agreements, B agreements and negotiations with clients you’re going to work with on the law firm side, in our case.

And, you know, there’s nothing more fun than trying to negotiate those fee agreements with lawyers, you know, yeah. We’re a real estate company, or a you know whatever.

William 5:46
Yeah I do not envy you.

Suzanne 5:47
You know, we are having to negotiate as a vendor, we’re having to negotiate agreements with lawyers, which is never fun. So you got to be on your game, you got to be cool. But you also have to be really smart. I think if you’re gonna be,

William 5:59
I do not envy that part of the process. Like every other part of the process. I would love it. But the contract negotiation part, I could see myself not. It’s like two diverse, diverse attorneys that are married, they get divorced. Like that I wonder –

Suzanne 6:13
Oh, yeah. Can you imagine?

William 6:15
No, no, I, I’d just give up. I just, here, take it. I’m leaving. So Joe, let’s, let’s talk a little bit about COVID. And how law firms have had have fared, you know, during COVID, and kind of the lessons learned that we think we’ve learned, but also some of the stuff that we think might stay post-COVID.

Joe 6:36
Oh, I mean, I think it’s a it’s actually a big and fascinating and, and rapidly changing topic, unsurprisingly. I mean, if you just sort of wind the clock back, only 12 months, there was a lot of trepidation in law firms, as they were in, in most businesses about what was going to happen as as the world locked down. And certainly, March, April, a lot of the law firms were saying to us, it’s unclear, we’re deferring partner called we’re pushing out associate payments, bonuses, and many staff. But during the summer, it’s almost like two people shook off some of the concerns by the autumn.

Some of the firms really had some swagger back. And then if you look at the numbers coming through, as most firms are on a, on a calendar year, the legal profession as a whole has had an extraordinary year, because very few firms were actually materially down on 2019, quite a number of firms have been up five or 10%. But one of the most interesting phenomenon we’ve seen is that a number of the stronger and elite firms in particular, have been up 20%, and in some cases 30% during the downturn, which is really extraordinary when you look at what’s going on in the world around us.

William 8:05
Do you think, and Suzanne, I’ll give you a chance to tackle this one? With remote work, you know, the the we don’t know what’s going to happen post-COVID, although we’re going to kind of dip into it in a second. I would assume that not going into the office would probably be a good, would be a good thing for some lawyers, maybe not at all. But but do you find it’s easier? Does it come up more from from candidates in terms of being able to work remotely or live, you know, obviously, live away from the office, etc?

Suzanne 8:41
Sure, I’ll jump in. You know, we’re seeing it’s been twofold. I think in the legal world, for lawyers, it’s been, if anything, a double-edged sword, because what we’re finding is that it’s it’s not for the most part making their lives easier. It tends to be that they are working, you know, Saturday night is Monday morning. And Monday morning is you know, Saturday night. And like Joe said, the good news is is our industry staying very strong, through 2020. And that made it so that everyone was very busy. And unfortunately, when you don’t, you know, have any breaks in what’s called the work day, you’re working a million hours. And we saw law firms step up.

You know, they stepped up and they provided a lot of bonuses to their associates, there were several spot bonuses. And we’re talking numbers of 20, 30 and $40,000 that they were giving to very junior associate lawyers for the extra work that they felt like they were doing and to help them do things like maybe get extra childcare if that’s what they needed or, you know, pay to have their groceries delivered, things like that. So that, you know, to frankly make it easier to work as many hours as they were working. But they could have also expected that without providing those perks. So, you know, we saw a lot of a lot of law firms, you know, step up, you know, at the same time, we heard from people who said, You know, I don’t like the way my firm’s handling this or I don’t I don’t like what they’re doing.

And, you know, that gave, frankly, a boost our business, some of those people felt like, this was something that they never saw coming. But now that they were experiencing it, it made them really question their firm’s management or leadership or their their sustainability as a company. And, you know, it made them come call us and say, I’d like to look at other opportunities at strong firms. And what we saw was absolutely a, you know, a fleet of strength. So we did see both sides of it.

William 10:46
I have a thought about that. And Joe, get your take on it first. I, I think that candidates, okay, post COVID, I think candidates are going to ask employers about how how they handled COVID, post COVID? You know, when we’re doing post COVID, I think it’s going to become a question of Okay, how did you manage? How did you manage transparency? How do you manage communication? How did you manage, you know, going fully remote? Like, how did you manage that?

And I think whether or not they do it through Glassdoor, or Comparibly, or LinkedIn, or whatever, they’re gonna find out. They’ll be able to suss out who managed it better than others. Is that, Do you think that’s true of the world that y’all play in?

Joe 11:32
Yes. So I definitely think that people will look back. And that will be one of the questions they ask. And you raise an interesting point as to whether, for associates and people in more support roles at firms, there are a number of other criteria that they will look at. About how the firm managed the virtual infrastructure for them to be able to communicate, leverage each other and also, some of the softer issues around morale and keeping people feeling connected to the organization. During, during all this period of remote working and associated loneliness for many.

I think, without subject, I think a lot of the partners will obviously look at those issues. But they’re also going to look at the economics and the payroll. That’s the law firm during COVID. And the extent to which it’s fared well in in their particular specialization, and demonstrated economic adaptability and changed circumstances.

William 12:38
That’s gonna be a really interesting analysis to be able to say, how did we perform? versus, and then juxtapose that with, okay, how do how did morale go? How did churn go? How did how did wellness or wellbeing or mental health like all these different ways that you can cut that. So firm was doing well, yet, downside, maybe some of these other things, maybe we need to tweak that. Or maybe both are okay, you know, maybe, I mean, I love the idea of spot bonuses, being able to fund some of those other initiatives. Like if you really need and want to kind of focus on wellbeing. Done. Like we’ll just fund it.

And this is the way we’ll fund it, then you can spend that money on wellness if you want to, or you can spend it on on other things. I like that idea of letting people do those things. Let me let me pivot real quick, too. Because some of coming out of COVID what you’re saying even during COVID coming out of COVID Okay, we’ve we’ve been through an election. Brexit is, you know, the new norm, right? Murder Hornets. I’m just kidding. We won’t talk about murder hornets, but like, what type of new specializations have y’all seen, that are just really picking up? And really in demand right now for your clientele?

Joe 14:02
Yeah. What, why don’t why don’t I take a first stab at that outside of the West Coast? And then Suzanne, I’ll invite you to talk about the West Coast just for the benefit of Williams listeners. We, we’re West Coast, DC, New York, and London. So although kind of east to west. But yes, from our London colleagues, you talked about the dreaded kind of Brexit term and it was going to drag on and what were the implications for the UK.

And so our partners there are telling us that actually, there’s obviously a high degree of relief that there is at least some degree of certainty. It’s now happened and people are moving on. And from a from a legal recruiting perspective, there’s a lot of interest around antitrust and Brussels. And what work is going to stay in London, what would what transfer to Brussels and we’ve seen a number of firms either growing or bolstering their presence there. It’s the place from which they will provide you legal advice due to the post Brexit changes. In New York, we see a market can be consumed by spax.

And I don’t know if that’s a term that is going to be familiar to a whole bunch of people. But you know, it’s this phenomenal boom in companies getting listed, and then going to acquire targets, right. And the identity of the people behind the spax is very important in terms of their perceived value and success. And for the lawyers, this has just been a bonanza of capital markets activity. So having not even heard the word probably 15, 16 months ago. It’s now something we hear all the time. And then in the US as well, with the change in, within government, a lot of talk about increases in antitrust work, and white collar. And then perennial favorites, like private equity, and mergers and acquisitions are all things we get asked about very frequently,

William 16:13
With, real quick with the, with the your folks, the European folks, you know, London and also at least Western Europe, with GDPR becoming kind of the new norm around data. Do you find I mean, it’s been in place for a couple of years.

So hopefully, people have got it sussed out. But you never know. Do you? Do you find that that data privacy coming up more for your, for your colleagues and, and clientele?

Joe 16:44
Oh, absolutely. And sorry, I thought you were getting back to the points on ethics and our business.

William 16:52
Oh, boy, we just had David deja vu didn’t we

Joe 16:57
GDPR was a very big thing for us on how we manage and share information. Right? Yes, in terms of lawyers who were on the most wanted list, thank you for picking me up on that. But certainly data privacy, data breach.

And then actually global transfer of data, because there’s a lot GDPR it’s if you’ve got this in Asia and Europe, I’m sending information or sharing information with the US is the kind of interface of the different regimes where data is is still something that’s far from harmonized and approach.

William 17:35
I love it. And Suzanne, what are you, what are you seeing from the western side of the US?

Suzanne 17:40
Yeah, I mean, everything Joe mentioned, obviously, I hear as well. You know, we’re, we’re hoping and seeing, you know, the defense bars, hoping that the Biden administration comes back to a bit more focused on the regulation, and then the regulatory side. And so we’re hoping to also see out in the West Coast, the same increase in areas like antitrust, and you know, general white-collar work and investigations. So we’re excited about that. It’s been a little slow out here on that in recent years.

But you know, the main the boom, we saw during COVID, on the west coast in law that will continue on, but was just crazy was, you know, life sciences side. So, you know, the Bay Area in particular is home to so many Life Sciences companies. And, you know, I even was talking to a partner the other day, who has had a client who was doing well and was kind of growing, and he had worked with them through startup phase. And as an emerging company, they were really working on medicines and approaches and testing related to eyes, ophthalmology. And they became a company that became one of the largest providers to the state of California in COVID-19 testing. And now will participate in the vaccine rollout. And here, this, this small client, we’ve taken out as a startup a couple years ago, you know, thought they were good, but who knows what they were going to go is now literally bathing in money, doesn’t even know what to do with all the money they’re making.

So a lot of these companies, these life science companies made a big pivot in the medicines, you know, the pharmaceuticals and just anything that technology they were working on, to quickly, you know, pivot to a COVID-19 need, and I mean, the work was just incredible. It was crazy. And in California, in particular, Joe was talking about privacy and data privacy. As he said, we had our own. We had our own California privacy law that rolled out last year as well. And that was a huge boom of work for, you know, Bay Area lawyers and clients needing to make sure that they were compliant with those needs. So I think those are the big ones that I think they’ll continue. We’re seeing a little bit of this interesting phenomenon out here. I’ll add it’s new for us. You know, we didn’t really have kind of traditional private equity up here for many years. It’s so East Coast focused and that makes sense.

But, you know, for big firms moved some of their private equity firm out here about a decade ago. And so now slowly, we’ve kind of grown our own homegrown private equity lawyers from junior associates, and they’re starting to come up. And, you know, we’re seeing some big firms who have private equity work from the East Coast open up now here on the west coast, mostly, again, in the Bay Area. So it’s an exciting time. It’s it’s new stuff. It’s It’s exciting. It’s different. It’s changing. And it’s been a long time. I think since you know, it’s been a long time, maybe since that first big tech boom in the 90s and early 2000s, that we’re seeing new and different areas of practice, and it’s fun.

William 20:36
I like that. So let’s, let’s talk diversity, and maybe some of the things that your clients are asking you more about, maybe now. You know, we had some of the social things that have #metoo, and #loveislove and Black Lives Matter. Love the things that are in the top of mind for us every day, you’re dealing with, you know, owners and partners of firms.

What, what are the conversations you’re having, in terms of, you know, bringing on or looking at recruiting through the lens of diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity and equality. And Joe won’t you take a stab at it first.

Joe 21:15
Sure. And I definitely want to leave some time for Suzanne, who’s been in the weeds of a lot of this. I, it’s something that, over the last few years, has been increasingly a focus of law firms and their recruiting about what we’ve seen in the last couple of years is that companies and probably mostly in the last year, companies are becoming much more stringent in their requests for, or even requirements for information, about the makeup of lawyers who will be pitching and then executing on on the work that they provide to the law firm.

And so law firms are responding to that aggressively by trying to make sure that they improve their diversity stats. And there is a limited pool of talent from which to draw. So unsurprisingly, the two things that happen are the diverse lawyers get a lot of calls, and firms are being aggressive in the compensation numbers that are getting offered, if the candidate is a right fit for the role.

William 22:30
I love it. And Suzanne, what are you seeing?

Suzanne 22:33
Yeah, I think I think I’ll kind of take on the other, the flip side of it, which is, you know, talking to so many of the attorneys and diverse attorneys, and it’s something that like Joe said, it was something that I was really passionate about when I was inside law firms.

And working on our diversity and inclusion and equity efforts at those firms. But, you know, talking to partners who, who are, you know, whether they’re a person of color, you know, they have a disability. Or they’re just, a woman, which women are still underrepresented in, in most big law firm leadership and partnership. Or, you know, an LGBTQ partner and talking to them.

I think the last couple years have been a total change. You know, starting with you mentioned the #metoo movement, I saw that we saw very much that it brought women to us in a much higher rate. I work very closely with another partner who’s a woman and in the last two to three years, our our placements at firms, our candidates have been majority, more than 50%, in some cases, more than 65%, partner candidates who, you know, were not for lack of a better way of describing it, who were not a white, straight male. Who were something other than that, right.

And so what we saw was those movements, so you know, started with #metoo brought the women partners to start questioning. Well, wait, why? Why am I making less than. Why am I not standing up for myself, and it’s okay to move and it’s okay to negotiate. So we saw that. Now, you know, over the past year, we’re seeing a lot of attorneys of color, you know, come to us and say, you know, I thought it was my job, right?

So first of all, that’s part of the problem. It’s like they thought, Well, I’m the attorney of color, the partner of color in my office. So I thought it was my job to make the firm be more diverse. And now I’m looking at what’s going on around me and in the world. And I’m having some realizations like, this isn’t, this is everybody’s job in my firm, not just mine, and I’m not seeing that from my firm. I want you to help me identify firms where I can be happy in my practice. But also be surrounded by other people who don’t think it’s my job as the attorney of color to promote diversity and make it better here.

So, you know, we’re seeing these movements, make these partners, these lawyers, have realizations again, about their firm and maybe how their firm has handled things and either said, I’m really proud of my firm and we’re doing a great job and you should send your great candidates here. And you should recruit for us and clients should hire us, you know, to the people who say I’m disappointed and finding those firms. No, everything I’ll add is, you know, I don’t have an exact statistic for you here.

But you know, knowing the market as well as we do, what I find, personally, my experience has been that the firms who are doing their best to think about pay equity and think about diversity in their leadership. They’re doing better, you know, those, were really making that point to us. And they don’t just say it, they act it, when they’re working with us, those firms seem to be doing better. And when they’re releasing their, their results, the years they’re doing better. And so you know, I, it, there’s my, you know, unofficial statistic that if you care about diversity, and you really do it, well, you’re gonna do better as a firm.

William 25:39
It’s, you know, first of all, it’s a long time coming, right. So, we’ve talked about this stuff for a long time. And I think people were just fed up. And so now Now you’ve got clients, the clients of your clients that are demanding change, and they want to see they want to see a team, that’s, that’s different they want I mean, it all starts, you still have to be competent. So like, we’re – no one joins them, no one’s gonna stop and no one’s gonna skip competence, you got to be competent. But let’s, let’s say competence is a given. They want to see people like them, they want to see people like their own customers.

So there’s pressure that’s coming there. There’s also the optics from the outside, it’s, it’s gonna be harder to recruit, you know, if you’re, and again, if you’re a bunch of middle aged, white, pear-shaped white guys, it’s gonna be harder to recruit people, because your candidates are going to want to see people like themselves. So it’s, it’s one of those deals, it’s adapt or die, which I wish we’d have done this 20 years ago, but we’re here now. And some, some some firms out assume some of your clients are thriving and doing great, and some are maybe slower on the uptake that that just happens.

Suzanne 26:56
It does. And it does take more work. There’s, there’s no question about it. Oh, and when you’re dealing with an, I know, from being an internal recruiter, when you’re dealing with a practice leader, who is, whose department is slammed, and he has the right intent, he or she has the right intention.

You know, they don’t want people to leave because they’re working too hard. They need you to get somebody hired. And you know, it’s taking the time and the thought to say, Well, if the first candidate whose resume drops in my lap is a non-diverse candidate who’s qualified, that’s great, let’s interview that person. But let’s also work really hard. And there’s so many things you could do, we could have a whole other podcast on this. So many things you can do to make sure that you’re also going out looking and recruiting and finding diverse candidates who are qualified for that role as well.

And the good news is, you know, it’s the numbers aren’t as good as we’d like them to be at law schools classes anymore, like there was a point where they were going up, and then they went down again, a little bit. But there is a much larger population now than there was even a few years ago. And that’s just going to continue. And, you know, you and I both have we talked about, we have teenagers, you know, their population, their generation is so diverse. Hopefully time will help solve that problem a little bit. But it’s an exciting time. I’m excited. Like you said, it’s long overdue. And it’s it’s wonderful.

William 28:14
I think one of the reckonings you mentioned it twice, is pay equity, is just getting that right. The stuff that’s historically and, you know, we’ve as recruiters, we’ve historically, you know, we offer a, you know, the jobs, we’ve got a budget for 270. We, we we offer up the job candidate says 240. Historically, we’ve looked at that as a $30,000 win for the company. And the problem with that mindset, and all of our hands are a little bit bloody with the staffing and recruiters alike and hiring managers, Is that’s not a save, it’s actually putting a person in a position where they’re automatically starting from behind.

And so, there’s a reconciliation that has to happen behind the scenes. And usually it’s comp people that have to deal with this, but on the comp side where they have to get right with ball. So there’s that. Joe, I want to I want to ask you a retention question, you know, again, we’re getting out of COVID. And then living in a post COVID world, what do you think retention for partners is going to look like like, what are they? What are they going to be looking for? And what do you think kind of the the either intended or unintended consequences of COVID? What do you think that that’s how that’s going to impact retention of partners?

Joe 29:41
So, I think, interesting question. I’ve made two sort of slightly distinct points on that. I think one is that the one of the impacts of COVID has been to loosen the cultural cohesion of firms and it’s about product of people sitting in their home office day after day, not being around the watercooler. Not going for lunch, not going to business dinners, in person pitches. And so that’s translated into a risk for furrows of cultural dilution, which different firms have tackled in different ways.

I suspect one of the benefits coming out of COVID will be that the greater in-person connectivity will fix some of that, but query how much. It will depend on on how differently people work after COVID. But I also think, and this just sort of harks back to a point we were discussing earlier, that the market will be impacted by the quite wide array of performance events in COVID, which means that the, the firm’s ability to retain their talent will impart depend on whether they’re seen as having managed that process, both in an economically sensitive or successful rather and culturally sensitive way.

William 31:09
I love that. Last question. I’ll start with Suzanne, the things that we’ve learned in terms of you know, in the last, let’s say, 18 months, what do you think sticks with us as we go forward? Now, I’ll give you an example. In this, last year, a business call for me would have started off with “Hey, how you doing? Great.” Right into business. There would have been, there would have been very little conversation on the front end, yeah, it would have been right into business and then then you know, they action whatever the call to action is, and, and now and again, COVID in during COVID is a lot of empathy.

You start off a lot of bit, at least I do, you start off a lot of calls with, “How’s your family? How’s everybody? How’s your kids? How’s your dog? How’s everything going?” And in the end calls with stay safe, wash your hands, social distance, get vaccinated? You know, there’s a lot of empathy, just dripping off what used to be boring business calls. Things that have to get done. I mean, the world works, you have to have those things. But what do you think sticks after? So we’ll start with Suzanne and Joe, I want to get your take, as we as we roll out? What do you think sticks?

Suzanne 32:24
I think it’s a great question. And we’ve been talking about it a lot on every level on every topic. And I think, I think the things that will stick are, you know, people are saying this out loud. You know, they’re saying, I’m not going to get in my car and, you know, commute an hour each way every day ever again. Not doing that. Or I’m not going to get on the plane like I used to I love you know, and it’s funny, because I’ll hear from some of the partners who are just workaholics anyway, they’re like, I get so much more work done, because I’m not traveling now.

You know, like, well, you could do other things. You could take up a hobby, whatever you like, you know. So I mean, we are I’m sure you’re hearing that across industries that’s uniform. But even with lawyers, lawyers are saying that. But I agree with you. It used to be. And I used to feel like people didn’t talk about their families as much in our business, because you’re supposed to be this very serious lawyer. She’s very serious, I’m all business.

And it’s it’s, I’ve absolutely seen the phenomenon, the phenomenon you’ve seen. You know, I do wonder, we saw that. We saw that whole moment years ago in the tech industry out here of you know, everybody, you know, tech workers started remote working. And then there was a backlash a couple years later, and they said, “No, everybody get back to the office” for the reasons that Joe said. Because I do think we are going to see some retention issues with people not having that water cooler talk. And that, “let’s get a cake for Brad’s birthday on Friday,” kind of thing. Right?

I think that’s going to hurt retention. And so I do think there’ll be a, you know, I think it’s a good year or two away. But I think there’s going to be a moment where they say it’s been there’s been too much remote, and we need to get in the same, we can’t collaborate like we used to, we need to get in the same room together. People get along get along as well and work as collaboratively when they haven’t been in the same room for a while.

William 34:10
I wonder how much candidates are going to drive that part of the conversation?

Suzanne 34:14
Yeah, I mean, I do think the Zoom, you know, we’ve now obviously hired people and you know, we’re talking about people who make millions of dollars a year.

William 34:21
Oh, yeah,

Suzanne 34:21
We have a lot at stake with their candidate or their clients, and they’re making job changes over entirely over Zoom. And that’s that that’s, it’s working. I have to say it’s working great. Much better than, no one would have ever done this. Had it not been for the pandemic. Never lawyers. And I think that’s working and I think there’ll be a little bit of that, that sticks. I don’t think people need to get on a plane and go fly to six cities to interview. You know, maybe in the future, they’ll go to one. Right one key office of another, of the firm to meet some people. But I do think that’ll that’ll stick I think it’ll be more Zoom.

William 34:58
And Joe, what changes? What do you think that’s gonna stick?

Joe 35:03
I got a I’ve got a secret weapon, which I’ll save until the end will end. But I think, to your point about how lovely it’s been to actually Zoom into people’s homes, see the pictures on the wall, meet the dogs, cats, walking behind to get stuff off the printer. In my case, they always seem to be about 150-page documents. But no, that the secret within our company has been the princess castle. So there was one on a Zoom in London. It was a lovely moment where one of my colleagues was making –

William 35:50
Oh. Suzanne?

Suzanne 35:53
I am still there. Did we lose Joe?

William 35:55
I think we lost Joe. That’s okay.

Suzanne 35:57
Well, I will tell you his great story, which was there he is, are you there, Joe? We lost him for a minute. One of our colleagues in London has the most adorable little girl named Sophie and she, we had one of our company meetings. And when her mom was speaking, we could see her giant pink princess tent in the background.

Joe 36:16
I’m back by the way.

Suzanne 36:18
You’re back, there you are! I told them about Sophie’s princess tent but you can tell them the rest.

William 36:22
Oh, that’s genius.

Joe 36:26
I know we’re out of time. But my high point on Zooms was I love this princess tent and the juxtaposition of a serious business point with stuff. When I opened the mail this morning, I had my own princess tent. And so I sat in it for our company, my wide meeting, and let’s just say it, um, it certainly made an impact. So I commend that to anybody who needs a bit of morale boosting or differentiation there. They’re cheap and available and cause a lot of fun.

William 36:58
Well, it’s interesting, because years ago, I would I think I remember a time where I would have been upset with my sons coming into the room while I was doing something, a work call or a webinar, or something like that. And it was a little bit before COVID I remember my youngest coming in, I was standing up doing a webinar for 2000 people on this webinar. And I’m fully into the bit right.

And Van Ollis comes up to me, he has no idea what I’m doing and doesn’t care. Like you know, I think he wanted like jello or something. So comes up to me and I’m like, excuse everybody, excuse me for a second my my son’s here. And then I just took off my headset and handed it to him. I said Say hello to, say hello to the audience. So he says hello to the audience. Hi, my name is Van Ollis. I need to get some jello.

Suzanne 37:51
Does anyone have any jello?

William 37:53
I’m like Alright, well, I’ll get that for you here in a couple minutes, I get my headset back on and I just go right back into the bit. And I don’t miss a beat. I just like Alright, well, you know,

Suzanne 38:02
You were ahead of the curve on that one William.

William 38:05
Oh my god, I got, the feedback I got from people that were just like, first of all, that was the funniest thing ever, you know that your son would just, you know wanted jello. And, and and again, you know, it’s just one of those deals like, we’re seeing, you know, like, I don’t read necessarily like the news. But like even when you turn on the news, people are like sitting in their library or sitting at their kitchen table. And it’s like, I kind of like that.

Joe 38:34
You missed one little cameo there because Mrs. Macrae is in the office next door, thought I was on a Zoom. We talk about her sneaking across behind. So a very hand-up sneaking motion, only to discover that we were on audio-only. So wait a minute. I suspect we burned through our time with you.

William 38:55
We did, we did, it but it was a good, this was a good use of time. Thank you both very much. I know that your time is precious. So thank you so much for the time and the education and until next time.

The RecruitingDaily Podcast

William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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