Q2 Italian legal recruitment market update: July 2023

July 4, 2023

The positive hiring trend started in Q1 continued throughout the second quarter of 2023. So, the market remains busy, and this is reflected by the fact that unemployment rates in Italy have been falling. The industries that have been most busy with legal hires have been renewable energy, life sciences and FMCG.  Most vacancies coming to market were for mid-level lawyers although there have been some Head of Legal roles.

This is therefore an excellent time for those lawyers who are keen to embrace a new challenge and take a step forward in their career: both professionally and financially.

However, even against this market backdrop, candidates are not so eager to make a move: online applications have dropped and when approached, candidates are shy, almost reticent, to explore a new job opportunity. This is the biggest challenge businesses and law firms are facing in the current legal recruitment market.

Candidates want to remain in their comfort zone and do not always see the personal and professional benefits that a change of job could bring to them in such a buoyant market. In some cases, candidates spend time and energy going through an exhaustive interview process but ultimately reject the offer because of a variety of reasons.

This can be explained in two ways: on the one hand, COVID and the years that have followed have been exhausting for many and it is now easier to stay in a role where they know the business and the work. Another reason is the global political and financial context is not reassuring, and candidates feel it is safer to stay where they are. As a result, flagging internally the news of an external offer is a strong means for candidates to negotiate their internal position without the need to change jobs and invest time and energy in a new opportunity.

This translates in recruitment processes being long and complex as corporates and law firms are having a difficult time in attracting candidates. Now, not only does their financial offer need to be competitive and a good 20% increase to the current base for their desired candidate, but the role and long-term prospects need to be attractive too.

As the market remains busy at the mid/junior level – the war for talent continues.

If you would like more information on the Italian legal recruitment market or to discuss your hiring needs please contact Nicoletta Ravida.

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