Designed to support councils with the recruitment of legal professionals, this scheme will run a national recruitment drive on your authority’s behalf and give you the chance to connect with experienced barristers, solicitors and legal executives.
The scheme is free for councils and will help you to hire legal professionals whilst avoiding agency and recruitment fees.
What does my involvement look like?
Signing up to the Return to Work – Legal scheme means that you will receive free support from the LGA to fill vacancies in your legal teams.
You will be given access to the LGA’s online recruitment platform and be able to search for returning professionals in your area. You will then be able to review our candidates’ CVs and reach out to those who best fit with your organisation.
As there is usually a fee to advertise your vacant positions on our job vacancies site, this is a unique opportunity to use our recruitment platform free of charge. You will also be able to hire our candidates without incurring the additional costs associated with using recruitment agencies.
With the LGA completing a nation-wide recruitment drive on your behalf, you can focus on developing your COVID-19 recovery plans until such a time that you are ready to select and interview one or more of our candidates.
As the platform is designed to provide ongoing support to both councils and candidates, there may be new professionals for you to engage with on a regular basis. We cannot guarantee employment matches, but we are pleased to offer you a way to connect with committed professionals who are eager to join councils.
We recommend that you complete your usual recruitment checks on your selected candidate(s).
What are the benefits of signing up and employing a returner?
Tackle agency spending
Signing up to this programme will give you access to a national pool of skilled, diverse and committed professionals, who are completing training to refresh their skills and knowledge.
Our aim is to help you avoid the costs associated with recruitment drives and hiring agency staff, which cost councils £335 million in 2017/18.
Signing up to our programme is a cost-effective way to bring experienced employees into your organisation, compared with using a recruitment agency. Through our government-funded programme, you will not incur percentage-based fees for successful hires or any fees at all.
Improved gender, age and cognitive diversity
Programmes that help people return to work after career breaks for caring responsibilities, have a positive impact on diversifying organisations.
According to the Office of National Statistics, 89 per cent of people who are out of paid work for caring responsibilities are female. A large number of these women have professional/managerial experience.
Hiring ‘returners’ can therefore help you expand your female talent pipeline, boost the presence of women in your management teams, and have a positive effect on your gender pay gap.
Hiring returners can also improve the age diversity of your organisation, bringing in individuals with high levels of experience, maturity and commitment.
The GEO also note that returners tend to offer a different way of looking at problems and situations, which can help enhance your organisation’s cognitive diversity.
Access to a new high-calibre talent pool
A large number of returners come with high levels of skills, education, and professional/managerial experience. Taking a career break has enabled them to gain new skills and enhanced life experience outside of their vocation, which can broaden the skill set of your teams.
Improved employer brand/image
Employing a returner can have a positive impact on your image as an employer, signalling that you are a flexible organisation that supports parents and carers in the workplace.
It can also show that your organisation is open to and accepting of non-linear career pathways and values the role that caring plays in society. These images play a key role in both the recruitment and retention of talented employees.
Stage 1 – candidate application process
Dates: From 29 September 2020
To encourage experienced legal professionals living in your area to apply for our scheme, please read our Communications Toolkit for Councils. In this guide, you will find templates for multiple communication platforms to make sharing the scheme as simple as possible. Please feel free to tailor the examples to suit your area and organisation.
Stage 2 – council sign-up process
Dates: From 12 October 2020
To sign up to this free scheme, please visit our Return to Work – Legal webpage and select the ‘Sign up’ button. You will then be taken to our job vacancies site, where you will be asked to register and complete an online form. Should you need any support with completing this form, please contact the LGA’s Return to Work team.
Stage 3 – connecting with professionals
Dates: From October
At this stage, you will be given the opportunity to review the CVs of experienced professionals who have registered for our scheme. We recommend that you complete your usual recruitment checks on your selected candidate(s).
If you recruit any candidates from our scheme, please let us know by emailing our Return to Work team.