The 2019 Law Firm Recruiting & PD Industry Snapshot

We wanted to share the combined findings from our salary surveys in the 2019 Recruiting & PD Wisnik Industry Snapshot. The results are available here. These finding are based on the responses of 508 Legal Recruiting/PD professionals at top law firms in 6 major markets: the Bay Area, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. The surveys were administered in each market between 2018 and 2019.

One of our Industry Snapshot’s main goals is to capture compensation data and provide valuable benchmarks. We believe that the salary and bonus numbers in this Industry Snapshot reflect the current market accurately. If a firm were to call tomorrow and ask us what they needed to pay a Recruiting Manager in Chicago, we would confidently quote them the numbers in this report. Some Industry Snapshot trends around compensation include:

  • Salaries have increased an average of 4.6% since 2016;
  • Managers salaries rose 10% since 2016, the highest of all levels;
  • Salaries vary significantly based on location—for example, NYC Directors came in as the most highly paid at $234K on average, vs. Philly Directors who were paid $144k.

Legal Recruiting/PD has seen a tremendous uptick in new roles over the past year. Since January 2019 alone we have received 29 new positions, representing 40% of all new jobs, many of which have been at the manager level. There is a “war for talent” occurring! For the first time in my 23 years of placing recruiters into law firms, we have many more jobs than experienced candidates. As for junior recruiter roles, for the first time since 2007 we are seeing an active market for new grads! The Industry Snapshot findings validate what we are seeing in the hiring marketing place and indicate that:

  • 42% of respondents reported that their Firm’s departments increased in size;
  • 42% of respondents were prompted with a title change in the last 2 years;
  • 17% of respondents are new to the industry and joined Recruiting/PD in the last 2 years.

Other interesting findings include:

  • The average Manager has over 11 years of experience in law firm recruiting;
  • The average recruiting professional works 48.1 hours each week;
  • Nearly 30% of recruiters have either a Graduate Degree or JD;
  • 58% of respondents, especially senior-level ones, are satisfied with their compensation.

We hope that you find the enclosed information valuable. My advice is that if you have great recruiting talent, do whatever you can to keep them!


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