Law Firm Hiring and Staffing
Growing a law firm in a practical sense means bringing in qualified and motivated people to help manage an increasing number of clients. Law firm growth and law firm hiring and staffing go hand in hand. Even the best case results cannot be sustainable long-term if your firm lacks the manpower.
Hiring and staffing can be a challenging process, and even experienced businesspeople may struggle to bring in the right new talent at the right time. Here are some of the basics of effective and sustainable law practice recruitment to help your organization reach its maximum potential.
Knowing When to Hire New Employees
When it comes to supporting a law firm through new talent, it is not enough to just interview the first few people who submit resumes and hire the one with the most impressive credentials. Effective hiring and staffing for law firms is more a matter of finding the right people at the right time than filling organizational gaps.
Here are some questions to ask before committing to bringing in new talent:
- Is the current team able to handle the firm’s existing client load without any negative impacts on case management or results?
- Are individual workers—management and owners included—taking on too much work to sustainably handle in the long term?
- Is the firm turning down new work because it lacks the bandwidth to handle new clients?
- Are day-to-day operations overwhelming to the point that there is no opportunity to examine potential growth opportunities?
A “yes” to any of these questions means that it may be time to start looking for additional staff, whether in the form of assistants like receptionists or paralegals or more specialized workers with experience in marketing and advertising.
Building a Strong and Diverse Team
There are plenty of guides on how to interview effectively for open positions. With a few tweaks, these tips can be applied to businesses in every industry. However, something that is particularly important to consider during law firm staffing and hiring is diversity—not just in terms of demographics, but also educational background and working experience. Depending on what types of cases a firm takes, prioritizing diversity in hiring practices can improve results for current clients and lead to more success with potential future clients.
Making Smart Investments in Current Employees
Another crucial thing for legal professionals to understand about effective staffing is that, in many respects, the hiring process is not over once a new employee accepts an offer and completes the onboarding process. Investing in your staff in multiple contexts can be vital to decreasing turnover and increasing organizational efficiency.
Countless studies show that employees with clear and fair compensation structures, opportunities for internal advancement, and proactive and constructive performance reviews tend to be happier and more productive, no matter what kind of work they do. This is especially important for smaller firms, since the cost of one employee leaving and another one being brought in often outweighs the cost of improving the working environment for current employees.