In an interview with Manage HR, Kathryn Holt Richardson, Founder, Principal, HR Legal Search, sheds light on their approach and expertise to connect employers with top-quality attorney candidates.
What are the challenges that law firms and companies face when it comes to hiring diverse candidates for their organizations?
Finding the first diverse lawyer, be it the first lawyer of color, first woman lawyer, or the first LGBTQ lawyer, is often challenging. Therefore, I always encourage clients to share their struggles and have candid conversations about them so we can solve them together. We collaborate with our clients to help them diversify and grow. Whether it is clients who are starting at ground zero or clients who have a vision of what their legal departments or law firms should look
like, our experts can support both. Together, we work on actualizing and bringing clients’ visions to fruition.
Could you tell us about the approach you take to fulfill the clients’ vision?
Apart from helping our clients identify diverse lawyers in the marketplace, we also help clients coordinate their go-to-market messaging, as most of the time, it is not about who you know but who knows you. We support clients in communicating their commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and wellness. Diverse teams are happier teams, and happier teams are more productive teams. We believe diversity, belonging, equity, inclusion, and wellness are a single loop.
Could you share a customer success story?
We have made about six or seven placements for a client in the past few years. The client had diverse stakeholders, but they wanted to reflect the diversity through their legal department as well. We worked closely with them to successfully diversify their legal department. We continue to work with them and other clients to help them source candidates in Texas, across the U.S., and internationally as well. Since remote and hybrid is a new normal today, it provides us with enormous opportunities to creatively recruit diverse talent. We don’t need to find somebody that will physically move to a place where they’re underrepresented.
How has the journey been so far for HR Legal Search, and what are the factors that stir you ahead in the competition?
HR Legal Search is a wholly woman and minority-owned company. We have been voted the best legal search firm in Austin since 2011. I was recently awarded the prestigious Pathfinder Award by the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association and was recently recognized during Black History Month by The University of Texas School of Law for excellence and achievements as one Texas Law alumni who is impacting society in Texas and around the world. I am also facilitating health and wellness retreats in Barbados for lawyers, Chief Diversity Officers, and Chief Talent Officers.
HR Legal Search is a wholly woman and minority-owned company. We have been voted the best legal search firm in Austin since 2011
What differentiates us from others in the marketplace is the fact that we are not just recruiters or headhunters; we are matchmakers. Our goal is to strike the perfect match and ensure that the match is long-lasting and mutually fulfilling. We spend significant time actively listening to both candidates and employers. We never force a deal that is not suitable for any of the parties. We only move ahead when we feel the candidates and the employers are closely aligned and it is going to be a good long-term fit. Further, we focus on delivering an elevated bespoke experience for our clients. As a result, we have repeat happy clients. Many clients have been with us since our inception due to our high touch, active listening, and long-term fit approach.
What does the future look like for HR Legal Search?
We are committed to recruiting and continue to do so. But we are also expanding our offerings portfolio. I have started leading global women’s wellness retreats in partnership with a former general counsel. We co-facilitate wellness retreats primarily for lawyers, recruiters, and DEI professionals. We are committed to this as we believe our health is our wealth. No matter how much money we make or how fancy our clothes are, everything is worthless if we are not healthy. The war for talent is escalating rapidly due to the Great Resignation and other incidents. This has put tremendous pressure on recruiters—making wellness retreats more crucial than ever to prevent burnout.