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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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4 commercial reasons why it pays to grow your own partners


Over the last few months, after the publication of 'How to make partner and still have a life' I have been having many conversations with law and accountancy firms about 'growing their own' partners. This article, gives you 4 hard-hitting commercial reasons why it truly does pay to develop and invest in your own high flyers to help them progress their careers within your firm.

1. Lateral hires are expensive

Senior level lateral hires, either at director, partner or senior associate level, costs money. Even if you can avoid the 25-40% 1st year salary fees charged by recruiters, you still have to factor in the costs involved in on-boarding and getting your new member of staff to be productive and working at 100% capacity. In my days at Tesco we used to work on a cost per new hire of 100% of their first year salary. This is a pretty reasonable estimate, when you consider the time and resource it takes to:

  • train and get them set up on your firm's systems;
  • immerse them in the firm's culture and 'way of doing things';
  • introduce them to accounts and clients they will be working on;
  • get them fully networked across the firm;
  • start billing and bringing in their own work;
  • actually recruit them in, e.g. meetings, interviews etc;
When you add up all the figures, it then makes a lot of commercial sense to invest in 12-24 months of external executive coaching for your firm's most promising future partners.
2. Internal promotions help to boost staff engagement
Most professionals within a professional services firm want only two things to be satisfied:
  • interesting work
  • to be able to progress their career within the firm

When your younger (and even senior) members of staff can visibly see the firm investing in developing it's own people, it sends a message that they are valued - and it is possible to progress your career in this firm. Those two factors are great for staff engagement and morale.

3. Your employee turnover drops
Those firms who visibly invest in developing their own talent tend to keep more of their better staff. After all, what's the incentive to change firm if you can see (and want) a good career path for you at your current firm? If you take the yardstick of a cost of one year's salary to recruit in a new member of the team, it makes fiscal sense to try to minimise any external recruitment.

4. Less risk of diluting what makes your firm great

When you grow your own partners you preserve your own firm's unique culture and values. The risk is when you bring in senior lateral hires, you dilute the firm's values and culture. Or worse still, the new recruit never quite fits in and leaves fairly early into their employment with you.

How does your firm invest in its own talent?

2 Responses

  1. I can’t seem to be able to edit this post…

    apologises for the formatting errors! I will be highlighting this technical problem to training zone.


  2. In every business we can

    In every business we can found certain rules and barriers to protect the interest of business ventures and partners. Investment is seems to be one of the biggest reason that helps to grow every business firm. Therefore business owners are pay for every liability to develop their business firm through following the above steps.

    Recruitment Database

Author Profile Picture
Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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