Ask any successful attorney what makes their firm great, and every single one of them will tell you that it’s their team of highly trained associates, legal assistants, and support staff. Top people make a top firm, and let me tell you…if you’re offering $19.00/hr you won’t be getting top people. Why? Because in today’s labor market any 15-year-old can make that kind of cash with full benefits and a $1.50/hour raise after a year. The best legal talent (in any aspect of the industry) is not going to settle for Chick-fil-A wages, which means you won’t be getting the best legal talent with such an offer.
This is not a knock against the service industry. It’s a knock against your business plan. If fast-food restaurants can set up an enterprise that pays their employees what they’re worth, you can do the same. In fact, you need to be doing the same. Failure to build a business that offers competitive wages will lead to nothing but a failed business.
If reading this is hitting a nerve, you’re not alone. Law firms nationwide are failing to pay their employees what they’re worth, and the result is a crisis in small firm success. If you want to avoid falling victim to this worrying trend, here’s what you need to do:
Three Steps to Building a Firm that Benefits Your and Your Team
1. Start Small and Play to Your Strengths
Success is addictive. Whether your firm is a new venture or a seasoned operation, the thrill of seeing dollars roll in is the same. Such success frequently leads to grand ambitions of expanding your services in hopes of an even greater windfall, and yet this is a mistake. When the going is good, your resources are best spent reinvesting in your firm. This includes professional development, marketing, and resources that benefit your team (both monetarily and otherwise). Do this, and when a slowdown inevitably arrives, you won’t be the kind of spread thin that forces you to make cuts that damage morale and—ultimately—sink your ship.
2. Reassess, Reassess, Reassess
Just like top attorneys, top legal aids and administrators are looking for more than just a salary in today’s competitive job market. This means that you not only need to regularly reassess your spending so that your hiring packages remain competitive, but that you need to likewise regularly reassess your firm’s culture in view of current trends and demands.
3. Hire Strategically
Bringing new talent aboard is an expensive risk. If the hire is a flop, you’ve not only wasted resources, but you now have to do damage control while rectifying the situation. Offering competitive wages helps avoid this by allowing you to attract quality applicants, but this is only a start. If you don’t have a robust onboarding program supported by consistent investments in employee well-being, well…sure, you might attract talent, but you won’t retain it, and this is nearly as costly as attracting no talent at all.
You’ve heard that it takes money to make money, and nowhere is this truer than in the world of law. Yes, landing quality hires come at a cost, but if done right, the investment pays dividends.
To learn more about how to build a team that is worth every penny spent, do not hesitate to book a call with me today, or register for our free 1-hour training session on November 4, 2021: The Employee Review Must Die: How to Transform Employee Reviews into Team-Centric Growth Plans