Stand out to avoid conveyancer burnout

Burnout.

It’s a short but powerful word that means so much and is particularly pertinent to the conveyancing sector at the moment – and particularly in relation to recruitment and retention.

The extension of the so-called Stamp Duty holiday and then the coronavirus lockdowns have piled on the pressure for conveyancers.

According to the Government’s own statistics, the “provisional seasonally adjusted estimate” of UK residential transactions in March 2021 was 190,980. Compare that figure to the previous month and it’s a rise of 21 per cent. Go further back, and it’s more than double the same number of transactions than in March 2020.

There’s no doubt about it at all, whether they work in a high street firm or a much larger corporation, many conveyancers are feeling stretched.

Now, for the employers, this presents both a major challenge and an opportunity.

Challenge and opportunity

Search for conveyancing vacancies and you will find them in abundance. We, for example, have opportunities across the country, in senior roles and more junior positions.

But, it’s a difficulty sometimes finding the right people to fill those roles. Some conveyancers might be feeling the pressure, but are too scared to make the move, particularly as we are in uncertain times. And, there are so many opportunities, perhaps a vacancy isn’t standing out as much as it should – or could!

It’s certainly a tricky conversation for some firms, who think they are doing a great job, have work, but simply cannot find the right recruits.

This gives forward-thinking employers an opportunity though. In order to recruit the right talent, or retain great people, they need to be offering something special. And that’s not just financial. Of course, money is an attraction, but it has to be more than that.

It could be more flexible working, not just from home or the office, but around school hours for example.

Staff have a job to do, but workloads and KPIs have to be carefully managed, with great support from forward-thinking and proactive HR departments.

Take a look at some “opportunities” by doing a web search. How many vacancies go beyond merely talking about a nine to five role with a lunch hour? Not many. How many talk about proper investment in training and development? Not all of them.

How many talk about the environment in which people will be expected to work, and then back it up with certificates or trophies that have been genuinely earned? Not that many judging by evidence we see.

Another example is line after line about job responsibilities and what is expected of the successful person (who will of course be “driven” and be expected to “hit the ground running” as soon as they start).

There is simply nothing to make the role or the employer attractive and make the conveyancer look to change employer.

Stand out from the crowd

So, the conveyancing firm needs to stand out and be seen to be doing so – by actually doing so. It might mean that technology is developed that not only helps conveyancers to do their jobs properly and more efficiently, but actually helps the business and the client too. Online case portals for example, or integration with the Land Registry systems.

It could be that a firm explores the idea of transferring part or all of firm ownership to employees as an incentive. Some do of course, but not all and this is certainly a stand-out option.

We have recently seen the Mental Health Awareness Week, and it’s crucial to ensure that the staff mental health and wellbeing is taken seriously and that they feel personally supported.

After all, putting aside the paperwork and processes, conveyancing firms are people businesses and we hear so many businesses refer to people as their best assets, but if we don’t put people first and nurture and support our best assets, then it just  doesn’t make much business sense.

Get the processes and technology right, get the right people in your business, and you will have a business that is going places and delivering outstanding customer service.

And – you’ll have a business where people actually want to come and work.

Today's Conveyancer