Here are my best tips for performing at your peak during an interview:
KHS People has previously covered the salary history bans, along with the debate highlights and the impact on hiring managers.
It's timely for a further review as there is now an added step of compulsory salary disclosure in some cities and States.
First, below is a table of the updated various States and cities impacted by region. Note that this table only includes established bans that impact professional services firms.
FIGURE 1: Salary history ban laws in effect
Secondly, below are the areas that now have salary range disclosure laws in effect. This means that firms must provide the salary range for the role to the applicant.
Some areas have conditions, or quirks, to note about this request.
The biggest region to be included to date is New York City, which is expected to come into effect later this year.
FIGURE 2: Salary range disclosure laws in effect
I've shared previously about the causes as to why BD and marketing titles create confusion.
One way out of this title confusion is to standardize titles and reset on the purpose and experience requirements for each level. This will look different for large and smaller firms, although, it doesn't necessarily have to be.
We hear this word frequently, but let's hone in on what that would actually look like.
This below uses a larger firm as an example:
Makes sense. Keep going...
Now let's take this one step further.
Consider for a moment if there was active management of this career path. This means clear decision points along the way to help the marketer play to their strengths. This benefits the marketer and the firm; more professional satisfaction makes for less turnover in firms. It is this turnover that has rocked the legal marketing industry since 2020.
The first decision point could be relatively easy. It would also allow the firm and individual marketer to consciously discuss and decide on the type of Manager both think is appropriate.
The second shift is more significant and will likely mean a cultural shift for many. Having said this, it doesn't have to mean "the addition of sales". A far more subtle and finessed shift would be the better option for many.
It does give both the firm and the marketer a more active and controlled role:
For the firm
For the marketer
What is the current path of a marketer? Are firms mostly in line with this?
Watch this space...
This confusion results from:
Interesting problems. So, how has this played out?
Consider this table...
This is a comparison of the level of experience titles traditionally had; compare this to current day.
How do we alleviate this confusion? Can we standardize?
Watch this space... and here it is.
This article was sponsored content by KHS People written for the Legal Marketing Association Midwest region. Publish date March 3, 2022.
With C-Suite contributions by:
The year 2022 for the legal marketing industry is, once again, very different. It has unparalleled challenges which are exacerbated by the unrelenting workload.
There are big challenges facing our industry. I talk about two of these challenges below: fatigue and the management of people. I talk about the issue at hand and what solutions we can deploy against the backdrop of yet another unique and unprecedented year for legal marketers.
Importantly, I ask for input from C-suite legal marketing leaders to share their comments. I thank Christie Cáceres, Murray Coffey, Julie Cole, Lee Garfinkle, Lisa Olney and Bob Robertson for their time and insights in contributing to this article. Your practical and innovative takeaways are invaluable to us all - my sincere thanks.
Issue 1: Industry Fatigue
I see three main reasons for our current industry fatigue:
1) Unrelenting workload.
The workload and expectations of marketers has increased exponentially. This is a positive move for the legal marketing industry overall. What must now follow this move is the appropriate amount of time and bandwidth to complete it.
Without any outlet, or a properly staffed and structured team, it is only a matter of short time until fatigue sets in. Without a proactive and visible plan to deal with that fatigue, it turns to burnout, lower morale, and ultimately, disengagement from the industry.
Cáceres shares: “CMOs can create awareness early and often before burnout happens. Creating cross-functional teams to work on projects that keep it interesting and fresh; many of us have experienced “SWAT” teams during COVID that required quick assembly and execution. Amidst the chaos, some of those projects really intrigued people and kept the creative juices flowing.”
Another CMO, who asked to remain anonymous, shared that their team is entirely overwhelmed because of the workload. Without the end in sight, this quickly impacts their ability to do the work and use their relied upon judgment and subject matter expertise. Even after several hires to try to combat these issues, this team’s capacity reached 100% again very quickly. The same problem then starts over.
2) Clear priorities and expectations.
Legal marketing roles are at greater risk of a lack of clear prioritization of tasks and responsibilities due to their constant evolving nature and far-reaching scope. Most Job Descriptions I see include an extensive list, including nearly every task or duty thinkable, ranging from tactical to strategic. Setting clear priorities helps to manage everyone’s expectation.
This doubles as an effective upward management tool. Marketers and partners need to clearly communicate their priorities and expectations on timing in year one, year two, and so on. Without this ranking of tasks by nature of importance, marketers end up being busy on everything with little big impact. Marketers can show partners their project map so it can be easily seen what is being done and by when.
Robertson shares: “What has (and continues) to plague marketing and business development roles in a number of law firms is a lack of clear focus and prioritization. The absence of both prevents having meaningful benchmarks to aspire to and be measured against. This results in roles that are mostly responsive and generally rudderless, exacerbating burn-out, dissatisfaction and fatigue.”
3) Boundaries matter.
Our current working life is our actual life. There is no work / life balance; we work from home and we live at our work. Small daily breaks we never thought about – commutes, lunch breaks, coffee breaks – gave us perspective and a fresh mind. Now, for many of us, that small break is used to answer emails or pick up a child from school.
It is critical for our team leaders to lead by example and put in place protocols for busy periods and encourage check out times where needed. When legal marketing professionals don’t have this type of support from the top, they leave the firm. Worst case scenario, they leave the industry altogether.
Cole says that her corporate experience enables her to approach some of these issues from a different angle. For example, she used contractors to augment staff in a prior role and is introducing that approach to be more nimble. She believes being clinical and quantifying workload increases for leaders helps them understand because you are speaking their language when you show hours.
Issue 2: People management
Why is this important?
Developing the non-technical skills of marketers, including people management, is not something law firms are set up to do (and in my view, rightly so, given their focus). So, given this, it is on our leaders to actively manage this issue. What makes this task even trickier? Even people managers need people management training.
Olney says it best: “Promoting someone who has excellent technical skills but no experience managing others and expecting them to “figure it out” may work occasionally, but it’s rare. And the consequences can be devastating, because ineffective managers can slow down or demoralize a whole team.”
Olney further adds that tying this essential skill into the responsibilities of team leaders is a critical piece to getting this right: “Leaders have a responsibility to not only model good people management themselves, but to make training around this crucial area part of the skills building for their department. Junior marketers can be trained on how to effectively communicate, and later how to handle difficult conversations with colleagues and internal clients. Training on how to be a contributing member of a team project can transition into how to lead one, and then how to formally manage those involved. We should ensure the building blocks to become a manager are in place and demonstrate through our actions and by who we choose to promote the value we place in these skills.”
Lee suggests that we should normalize how difficult this training can be: “It’s not uncommon for a new manager, particularly someone that now needs to manage former peers, to struggle a bit in the beginning. It’s important for them to recognize their role has changed and motivating, challenging, and helping your team members grow is one of their new top priorities.”
An added layer to this already notoriously tougher learned skill is the virtual nature we all pivoted to overnight and its impact on this issue. On this, Lee shares: “There have been few things during my career that have been as challenging as supporting people during the pandemic. It required diligent and consistent focus on how team members were doing, addressing their concerns, and making sure they know you are there for them. It’s critical that the team knows you have their backs, and you are thinking about their growth even though you’re not physically together.”
Why do firms struggle to add experienced people managers into their marketing teams?
It is a combination of three things:
Law firms don’t typically focus on this, nor do they nurture this. In my view, people managers within marketing who have a track record of success in managing others should enter a different and higher salary range. Firms only reward technical skill, not management skill. In marketing, we hire for both technical and soft skills.
On this point, Coffey shares: “Not only do firms not nurture it, they attribute almost no value to it. I think many firms have endemic people management problems because the person at the top of a given department has never been compensated for their management skills and do not know how to identify people with good or promising people management skills. The opposite of a virtuous cycle. And in most law firms the HR function is focused on, and rewards, risk management.”
Olney also adds that what does seem to get attention quickly is when marketing department leaders see behavior, communication styles, or work product that is not at the level it needs to be for our internal clients, the attorneys. She says we must “bring the same level of vigilance to what’s happening within our teams, because that’s ultimately what has the most impact on the team’s cohesiveness and ability to provide solid work product and strategic guidance to the attorneys.”
Next up? One of our biggest challenges yet…
The inaugural KHS People Salary Survey for legal marketing professionals was conducted during June and July 2021. 405 respondents provided their input.
The purpose of the KHS People Salary Survey was to capture important data to help educate and drive our industry forward by ensuring there is transparency and equality.
A summary of the results will be available to everyone. Specific, curated data will be provided upon request.
The survey questions
Each respondent answered these eight simple questions:
It was a requirement to answer each question, and each question had a multiple choice format to ensure accurate and clean data at the conclusion of the survey.
The sheer volume
Eight simple questions multiplied by 405 people produced a wonderful plethora of data. This data is expansive and can be viewed from different angles, depending on your purpose.
When looking at the data points relevant to you, keep in mind that they are accurate snapshots of salaries at this moment in time. For some, the data may be validating. For others, the data may be surprising or even disappointing. Remember that this data is a guide only.
Voluminous data can be viewed differently by different people. It is possible for each person to have a different interpretation; there will be context for each interpretation. This is perhaps both the best and worst thing about salary surveys.
The "lagging effect"
As this data is an accurate snapshot of salaries at this moment in time, know that this means it does not give you data as to what may be achieved if one were considering a move to a different role at a different firm. We're calling this the “lagging effect”.
What is - and is not - provided
Given the volume of data, decisions need to be made how best to present this data for the majority.
The KHS People Salary Survey reveals the median salaries. This means that the data is not skewed by especially high or low salaries. For this reason, the median is typically seen as a more neutral data point; it can't be pulled higher or lower (unlike an average).
The higher and lower ends of each range are not shown. This decision was the hardest one to make when presenting the data points. Ultimately, while helpful to some, these more extreme data points are simply too open to interpretation without the proper surrounding context. We are happy to provide this context and these data points to any person who wishes to see this. We have said from the start that a summary of the results will be available to everyone and, specific, curated data will be provided upon request. Let us know what specific need you have.
To ensure accurate and clean data, the survey questions relating to salary and bonus asked for a number range by way of an answer.
These ranges were very small so they would not impact the quality of data. For example, the majority of the salary ranges provided were in ranges of $2,500 each (such as: $100,001-$102,500 and $102,501-$105,001).
Therefore, where you see data points ending in “001” or “501”, this is the reason.
Where it seems to us that revealing a particular data point will jeopardize anonymity, this data point has not been revealed.
As a general rule, we applied the “less than three respondents test”. That is, if there were less than three respondents on a particular data point, it would not be shown in order to protect the confidential information and identity of the respondents.
This piece is of the utmost importance. And - given this - not every single data point is available.
The responses span 33 different cities.
The bigger cities naturally attract the bigger number of responses. The smaller cities naturally attract a smaller number of responses. In this context, we reiterate our comments above: where a data point in a smaller city may jeopardize the anonymity of the respondents, it has not been provided.
Please reach out to us with your specific request if this applies to you. We will provide some general salary information and greater context to assist you.
We sincerely appreciate the CMOs and Directors who gave their feedback on the initial points of this survey. Your independent and wise comments helped guide this end result, and for that we express our heartfelt thanks and genuine gratitude.
We also wish to encourage legal marketers to reach out to offer their feedback on this final product. The KHS People Salary Survey will be run each year, and hearing from you as what was helpful, what wasn’t helpful, and your thoughts on tweaks going forward to continue to provide rich and quality data is a very important part of this process.
We will always value your feedback: email@example.com
Data by title & firm size
FIGURE 1: CMO & Director
FIGURE 2: Managers
FIGURE 3: Pre-Manager
Data by title only
FIGURE 4: Title only
Specific city data
Your specific city
FIGURE 5: Additional qualifications
FIGURE 6: Gender
FIGURE 7: Race
What else do you need?
This data would not have been possible without you
We thank the 405 respondents who provided their data to make this survey relevant and rich.
We appreciate you.
In January 2021, the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) published our article on virtual networking. This article provides insights on:
Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm for BD and marketing people in professional services firms. Kate has done search and recruiting for 12 years and prior to that was an attorney. She loves what she does, and is always open to continuing the discussion: firstname.lastname@example.org