First things first: if you’re a small law firm and you’re thinking about staffing, congrats! Growing to the point of needing to expand is no small accomplishment, especially upon the backdrop of the last eighteen months. Like all big changes, bringing new people aboard is risky business: more talent does not always equal greater success. Strategic law firm staffing isn’t just about scooping up the candidate with the best CV; instead, it’s about determining who will be the greatest asset to your team. Assessing a person based on this criterion is a more delicate calculation than simply looking at a person’s laurels. To help ensure you don’t flub one of your firm’s most important decisions, we’ve composed the following top four questions legal recruiters ask when assessing a hire.
1. Is A Good Hire in the Budget?
Strategic law firm staffing is all about timing and mastering this aspect is a demanding task. Just because you have the budget to expand, doesn’t mean you should. What’s more, not all help is created equal; different positions demand different costs and each provides distinct benefits.
Familiarizing yourself with current salary trends is important but if unaccompanied by a deep understanding of your firm’s specific needs, this information means little. Budgeting means not only assessing cost but calculating growth potential, too. Doing this well requires an outside perspective. A legal marketing specialist well-versed in market trends can provide an unbiased evaluation of your projected growth and assist with making a true cost-benefit comparison of different hiring options.
2. Do You Know Who You Need (and How You’ll Get them)?
The legal recruiter industry is booming as firms struggle to keep up with a fast-changing, post-pandemic job market. Not only have the last eighteen months revolutionized the expectations of top talent, but they have also forced firms to restructure and thereby reimagine their needs and priorities. Legal staffing agencies will insist it is a candidate’s market and firms need to act fast but this is only true if you have taken the time to assess your position. Just like good investors design a strategy and stick to it despite market fluctuations, so too does your firm need a strategy to guide you through uncertain times.
3. Are You Ready to Onboard?
Once you have figured out who you hope to hire and how you’re going to pay for them, you’re still one step away from casting your net. Before you can begin interviewing candidates, you need to design a robust onboarding plan. After all, landing top talent is only the half of it; the other half is retaining that talent. Doing so means investing in a thoughtful employee onboarding and development plan.
4. Have You Sought Help?
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, law firm staffing was a professional field of its own. Now, after so much disruption, this is doubly true. Digital platforms and an increasing interest in remote and flexible positions means managing a law firm’s staffing needs is an ever-shifting puzzle. As an attorney, you’re trained to practice law, not job market analysis. Attempting to manage hiring needs on your own—and hoping to land talent while doing so—is a recipe for half-baked success. A better bet is to seek help from an experienced legal marketing specialist who can manage hiring needs while you focus your energy on what you’re trained to do: be the best lawyer possible.
To learn more about the legal job market and to discuss your firm’s specific hiring needs, schedule a call with Hiring & Empowering Solutions founder Molly McGrath or dive right in and sign up for the Smart Hire Solution™ now.