Turtle, Dové’s struggles with retention were exceeded only by its struggles with recruiting.

“There’s clearly a gap between expectation and reality with our prospective new hires, but it’s just not big enough”, complained TD’s Chairman Ophelia Smarm to newly-tapped recruiting partner, Les Hygiene. “Your job is to fix that, or our motto, ‘TD – It Doesn’t Get Any Better’ may prove all too true”.

The winter 2023 recruiting season was in full swing, and Les knew he had to act fast if they were to meet their hiring target of 20 new associates by Christmas.

He decided the first thing to tackle was the “Working For TD” portion of the website.  The “Working For” section was a typical genre piece, full of staged-candid photos: shiny, happy associates (all sourced from a modelling agency) in tasteful, sun-flooded conference rooms advising clients who gave them their rapt attention; partners and associates sitting shoulder to shoulder engrossed in a document, as if working as equals; and young lawyers gazing thoughtfully out of towering windows at the cityscape arrayed before them, seemingly contemplating the Rule of Law in all its glory, or possibly lunch.

And the accompanying text was the usual generic blather, a gushing fountain of clichés about fulfilling one’s potential, respect for work-life balance, pro bono opportunities, and challenging and meaningful work.

Les, who was known to be forthright to the point of bluntness, who advised associates to “do as I do, not as I say”, and whose personal motto was “res ipsa loquitur”, practically swooned at the cognitive dissonance of it all.  “Maybe”, he thought to himself, “we are doing something wrong here”.  

With time against him, Les worked through the night to swiftly revamp the entire “Working For” section in the spirit of radical candor: instead of beautiful and well-coiffed masters of the universe, the site now featured images of Gollum-like troll-lawyers toiling away in a vast gray expanse of fluorescent-lit cubicles while portly partners took retro three martini lunches followed by detox sessions of hot goat yoga.  

And the text was entirely re-written to emphasise TD’s firm commitment to the three core values of “Hierarchy, Leverage and PEP”.

The new site went live at 8:30 in the morning and, to Les’ pleased astonishment, by noon of that day applications started pouring in. And by Christmas the firm had turned away twice as many applicants as it had hired. Moreover, the slew of January departures that usually followed the annual bonus announcement was considerably less than usual. As if by some Christmas miracle, Les had found an answer both to TD’s recruiting and retention problems.

Chairman Smarm, obviously pleased but also puzzled by the results, asked the head of HR for an analysis.  His candid reply: “Zillennials – they really think they know bullsh*t when they see it”.  And thus was launched TD’s proud new motto: “TD – It Can’t Be That Bad”.


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