Summary: Make sure the best people are working at your law firm so it can continue to be successful. Use these six steps to accomplish this goal.
Your law firm is ready to grow, but hiring may not be your strong point. As a small business owner, hiring is often not your biggest concern, but it should be. You provide service to clients that you want to keep coming back, so you need people working at your firm that are exceptional. Here are six steps to help you hire the best people for your law firm, whether they are attorneys, paralegals, or secretaries.
- Have a well written and clear job description so that there is no confusion about what the job expectations are. This will attract the better qualified candidates and help you understand what it is you expect out of your employees. A clear job description will also come in handy during interviews. Include things like roles, responsibilities, skills and knowledge requirements, and personal characteristics.
- Create a hiring schedule so that you can be sure to find the time to conduct interviews. Chances are that if you are looking to hire someone then you are so busy at the firm that things are being overlooked. You have to take the time to hire a new person if you want your firm to make more money. Pick a date that you want to have someone working by and work backwards to set dates for application reviews, reference checks and interviews.
- Advertise for candidates in the right places. Posting online using LawCrossing will produce hundreds of applicants, so try starting out by marketing to your network or community. Check with any contacts to see if they know of anyone looking for a job that fits your needs.
- Enlist the help and participation of everyone working at your law firm. The new employee will be part of your firm’s team, so everyone should be involved. Receiving different perspectives on candidates may also prevent you from making the mistake of hiring the wrong person. You want someone that is a good company culture fit, otherwise they won’t stick around long and you will have wasted a lot of time and effort to hire them.
- Check references. There are too many stories of people that were hired because the company loved them on paper, so they skipped the reference check part and problems followed. You need to make sure the person on paper is real and that they haven’t made up details. Try not to lead the reference in the way you ask questions and listen for any nonverbal cues like tone of voice to learn what they may be holding back.
- Starting out with a contract position before jumping into offering a full-time job gives you more time to assess their performance and fit within the firm.