A law department that has run into difficulties recruiting the right talent might consider granting rewards to employees for introductions that result in permanent appointments (See my post of March 26, 2007 with data on employee referrals.). According to the Fin. Times, April 16, 2007 at 6, “Almost half of UK employers offer staff an incentive to solicit job applications from friends and associates.” The savings that accrue from not paying the fees of search firms and other costs can be as much as 50 percent. Another benefit is that the new employee is more likely to share the culture of the recruiting firm, because an acquaintance identified the person, although some people worry that diversity of viewpoints will suffer.
If a law department can offer hiring bonuses on its own, it still needs to treat each candidate on the same basis as all other candidates and to conceal the source through which a referral has entered the recruitment pipeline.