“Firms that invest in staff are the ones that will benefit in the long-run”

The challenges of the last two years have led to some serious self-reflection across our industry. While many of us have re-evaluated our work/life balance, others have reconsidered their career path and training prospects.

With so many conveyancers leaving the industry over the last five years due to stress levels and unrealistic caseloads – me nearly being one of them – staff have questioned the motives of their firms and what level of investment they’re getting back. On the flip side, business leaders have been forced to rethink how they are finding, training and retaining the best talent.

Firms can no longer get away with recruiting staff by offering attractive training and development packages before piling on the caseloads, leaving no extra time to study. I’ve worked with businesses who have promised qualification prospects and found myself drowning in files with no time for learning.  It happens all the time and leads to brilliant conveyancers choosing alternative career paths.

While we know that job flexibility is a pre-requisite with the modern workforce, we also see that the talent coming through the ranks at Aconveyancing are ambitious. Career progression through structured training is one of their biggest priorities. I am in the process of finishing my CLC level 4 qualification. There are another four employees at Aconveyancing training alongside me. Learning and development is part of the culture here, we bring each other up and celebrate the achievements of staff as they reach their goals and move onto the next one.

Personally, I’m proud that my children at home can watch their mom continue to enjoy learning, it’s important for them to understand that a successful career is an ever-evolving thing. But also, training benefits the business as much as it benefits me. It makes me a better employee, manager and decision-maker.

A business is only as good as the investment it makes in its staff. What’s clear is that there’s not a “one size fits all” model anymore which does make it more challenging to recruit, so business leaders have to be prepared to adapt. If employers are smart, they’ll invest in their staff’s professional development and reap the rewards in the long-term.

The pandemic has allowed people the space to re-evaluate their professional goals. For the young law students looking to get into conveyancing, make sure you have a clear route to qualification agreed with your employer from the start. That includes time to study factored into your working week, allowing you to still enjoy a work/life balance. You have a right to understand where you’re going in the business and your employer has an obligation to invest in you. If not, you’re in the wrong place.

Sarah Coldicott is a residential conveyancer at Aconveyancing


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