This past week JJES escaped the winter snowstorms and attended the Marketing Partner Forum in Orlando, Florida. We enjoyed seeing some of our clients, plus old and new friends, while listening to many esteemed panelists share their perspectives on the state of our industry.
I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session with our very own Jennifer Scalzi who facilitated an interactive roundtable discussion surrounding the future of legal marketing recruitment, retention and talent development. She was joined by her co-panelists, Lisa Simon, Chief Client Development Officer at Lathrop & Gage, and Ed Ingram, Global Talent Manager at Latham & Watkins.
The group shared their insights on what firms will be doing in 2016 and beyond, including the prominence of focused, deep industry-specific business development additions to many teams, and the increased emphasis on client development roles, including client relationship, client feedback and, the newest entrant in this lane, client-facing roles.
The most prominent points that came out of this session were as follows:
- Sales professionals will increase exponentially in 2016 and 2017. These professionals are true business development, relationship-driven people who are not “salesy” or “schmoozey”, but who are good in these positions because they are organic and natural networkers who leverage relationships and make connections on behalf of their partners.
- Don’t start a new hire with a Job Description. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Its not, and here’s why… law firm marketers are very dynamic, extremely creative, and relationship driven individuals. Hiring for their softer skills, ability to connect the dots and project manage all tasks big and small is far more important than what any JD can translate. Great leaders look to the person first, and slot that within their existing teams strengths and skill-sets.
- Incorporate skills-based and personality testing to increase your existing team’s skill set. Retention and talent management is absolutely at the fore-front of visionary CMOs and Directors. Incorporating skill-based and personality testing to get the most out of your existing team, in addition to their development, is what its all about in 2016. Recruitment is the focus of yesterday, and the development and enhancement of your team, is where the focus now has to be.
- Being passive in your team’s development might very well be the downfall of any CMO. You must be proactive about your team’s development, otherwise people will look elsewhere for the next, more exciting and challenging opportunity. People are very thoughtful about their moves and what they need for their careers; leaders must recognize this conscientious quality.
- Recruit people into your team who are positive, happy people. Sounds simple, right? But the significance of adding people who love their jobs, exude positivity and take this attitude with them in everything that they do, can never be understated. And, these sorts of people are better hires, despite sometimes not ticking every technical box. Hiring for potential and the long term is critical for any CMO right now.
- Personal branding is essential. This is a small world and people do want to work for certain leaders in this industry because of their personal brand. Good market visibility as a team’s leader naturally generates followers, which is invaluable when looking at adding talent to your team. And, when selling your team and the role to potential talent, remember, marketers need to be marketed to.
We enjoyed the conference and having the chance to catch up with so many faces, new and old.