Linklaters Case Study

THE LAWYER OF THE FUTURE

THE LINKLATERS EMPLOYER BRAND

Linklaters approached us with a talent problem for the ages. They needed a whole new type of lawyer. The profile Linklaters recruited for in the past would no longer bring them the candidates necessary to secure and expand on their position as a heavyweight global law firm.

The world Linklaters was facing was one of rapid, multifaceted and unprecedented transformation. New technologies, sectors and innovations – that almost nobody had even imagined two decades previously – were disrupting the world everyone lived in and dismantling old assumptions about business success and the role of the law.

The lawyer of the future – needed today – was a nimble business advisor using their legal expertise and global mindedness to help clients navigate a time of huge complexity.

The challenge: every law firm in the world was chasing this new breed of lawyer.

The brief: define, promote and manage a compelling Linklaters employer brand, allowing the business to cut through the noise as an employer of choice in a ferociously competitive market.

KNOWING, NOT GUESSING

Our research took in the views and insights of hundreds of professionals in 20 Linklaters offices across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

Research stage one
We conducted one-on-one interviews and focus groups with:
• Recruitment partners
• HR managers
• Senior managers
• Associates
• Graduates and interns

Research stage two
We ran 17 focus groups in 13 offices with associates, trainees and support functions to sense-check the key themes that emerged from stage one. The output of this round gave us everything we needed to create the employer value proposition (EVP) and the framework of the brand on which to build our global advertising campaign.

CORE UNDERLYING MESSAGES

Every great employer brand is built on fundamental and compelling truths. Our research unearthed that:
• Linklaters is global firm with almost unmatched strength
across practices and geographies.
• Linklaters lawyers don’t just embrace the change, they direct it.
• They are at the epicenter of work that will shape law,
commerce, industry, the environment and society for decades
to come.
• The quality of training on offer and the caliber of colleagues
to learn from means those who join will never stop learning.

LINKLATERS EVP

We created an employer value proposition that was a combination of big picture philosophical and a Linklaters-specific selling point.

Great change is here

Message: Change is healthy and exciting, as well as unavoidable. Join this modern, international, hugely diverse cohort and you’ll have a truly influential voice that redefines the legal sector and sets you up for an ever-evolving career.

GLOBAL RELEVANCE

Because this was to be an international brand with very diverse target audiences, we built flexibility into our solution to allow our message to resonate widely across geography and culture.

We created four underlying message pillars that we could dial up or down as required:

Human experts – work with the smartest people on the most complex issues.
One team – our multi-jurisdictional work calls for a truly aligned and collaborative environment. We have it.
Innovation – your creativity will be trusted, whether you’re solving client problems or setting legal precedent.
Career platform – prominent projects, high-profile clients, training, support, early exposure, external secondments – you name it, we’ll invest it in your career.

MAKING IT LAND

We road-tested all of our conclusions with 17 focus groups in 13 international offices. This ensured we landed the right combination of messages with the right geographies.

GLOBAL TOOLKIT

This inspired a full toolkit explaining all the thinking, the EVP, visual advertising principles and the tone of voice to be used internationally. This was then rolled out to recruiters across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific so that local activity could be fully supported.

THE OUTCOME

The project was delivered on time and in budget and was a significant success. The project was shortlisted for Best Global Employer Brand in 2018 and the firm’s reputation as a graduate employer improved significantly over several years, rising 27 places from their 2016 position to 19th place in 2021. Glassdoor scores for Linklaters have risen by 8% in the last two years and, importantly, applications from female lawyers – which was a key objective – have increased since the EVP launch.