We’ve decided to have a look into our recruiters’ crystal ball and take a moment to mull over what 2011 could hold for legal recruitment.

Like many of our rivals, we have enjoyed steady growth this year and are optimistic that this will continue next year. There has been an increase in volume for both in-house HR/Recruitment teams and recruitment firms across the legal market and, public sector cutbacks aside, this trend is currently showing no signs of faltering. In many ways the downturn itself is responsible for the increased activity, as recent substantial cutbacks have meant as the market shows signs of recovery some firms are now facing staff shortages particularly in the transactional areas of property and corporate.

There are also increasing numbers of candidates who battened down the hatches and stuck with their employer throughout the recession but now feel that it is time to move on. While salaries may still be a little suppressed, the need for change and new challenges is helping to drive the increased mobility we are seeing in the legal jobs market.

Many industry commentators are predicting big things for online engagement and social media in the legal recruitment sector in 2011 but we think this is already well underway (we are blogging, tweeting and linking-in after all) and we look forward to seeing online activity increase even more over the next 12 months.