Story in Brief:
In lieu of long and isolating working hours throughout the pandemic, overworked junior staff are quitting their jobs, which threatens to send the globe into a retention crisis.
Many of the world’s top professional service firms and banks are finding ways to retain their staff by way of luxury gifts and generous bonuses. Law firms in particular have experienced a year of high earnings after many people sought advice on corporate restructuring and deal-making throughout the pandemic, enabling them to invest in their junior workers. Certain elite US law firms have announced one-off payouts of between $12,000 and $64,000 for associates. Others, for example Jefferies, offer staff a choice off perks ranging from a Peloton bike to Apple products.
The pandemic has sparked a massive increase for certain workers, including an unexpected rise in work related to private equity deals and special acquisition vehicles. Therefore, the increase in hours and rising demand has put pressure on junior staff. The FT explained that data from Leopard Solutions shows that “the gap between lawyers entering the top 50 US firms by revenue and those departing hit its narrowest point in four years in 2020”. How firms, particularly smaller businesses, will continue to cope with the continuation of this retention crisis, and it possibly getting worse, will be of particular interest for many. Additionally, the ways in which firms decide to entice workers to remain will be important to consider. For example, UK lawyers are being offered “golden handcuff” bonuses that prevent them from leaving for rival firms, under the guise of a one-off payment of £5,000.