A reliable staff is of the utmost importance to a thriving law firm. Without good people backing them up, good lawyers can be swept up in mediocracy, or worse, an inability to keep up with clients and ethical duties. Often, what we hear is that great paralegals and legal assistants actually “run the show” in a law firm, meaning that they keep things — including the lawyer(s) — working and moving properly. But how does a lawyer find and train staff to meet this high bar? Download our free guide to “Hiring and Managing Staff to Increase Law Firm Profitability” to learn several ways to ensure the people you hire, and how and when you hire them, only increases your firm’s efficiency and profitability.
“Hiring and Managing Staff to Increase Law Firm Profitability“ tackles the most overlooked issues when hiring and managing law firm staff. From pre-hiring process building to hiring, training, and risk management, the free legal eBook reviews the life-cycle of a successful staffing procedure. Continue reading for a summary of topics, and be sure to download the full E-Book,“Hiring and Managing Staff to Increase Law Firm Profitability“ today.
Good Staff Takes a Good Foundation
It doesn’t make sense to build a house on squishy, slippery mud, no matter how good the building materials. Why then would you try to build a firm with great people on a sloshy, muddy foundation? Before beginning the hiring process, you need to be sure that your firm is on solid ground in procedure- and process-oriented ways. There should be a process attached to each task done within the firm before new people can be properly plugged in. To attract the best new staff and keep them for a long time, processes must be reviewed and streamlined. As highlighted in the eBook, “[n]o one wants to work at a law firm that has inefficient or nonsensical processes if they don’t have to.”
Some tips for reviewing and rewriting your current processes include eliminating repetitive work, reducing the opportunity for error with legal document automation, creating a logical chain of delegation, and making training easy and fun. Creating processes with these things in mind will solidify your firm’s foundation, adequately preparing it for subsequent growth. Once hired, good staff will certainly appreciate logical and efficient processes around these core themes.
Remember, too, that a good foundation before hiring staff includes solid technological footing. You wouldn’t hand your compatriots on a mountain climbing expedition old, outdated, unreliable, and/or broken equipment — don’t do it to your legal staff either! Hiring and managing good people means that a strong technological foundation must be in place. For example, new computers, up-to-date Microsoft products, and a reliable legal practice management software all make your staff’s lives easier. Logical processes and reliable technology will draw and keep great people.
The Best People are Priceless
Law firm staff tops the list of areas you cannot skimp. High-quality work comes from high-quality people who should be compensated and treated as such. Smokeball’s free legal eBook lays out how to focus on talented individuals and reinforces the point that recruiting is just as important as growing your client base when you are ready to become a more mid-sized operation.
To draw the best people, you need to focus your funds in a couple of directions: good branding of your firm and competitive compensation. Your firm’s reputation and brand will draw good applicants and allow you to choose the best colleagues. Ensure that you are promoting the good work you do for your clients and utilizing client and former employee testimonials. Competitive compensation can mean several things. A good starting salary is important and can draw the best applicants, but you should also think about compensation holistically. Touting work-life balance, more vacation time, and remote work options may encourage great applicants to want to work with you more than someone paying more money in salary.
Invest in Training
What good are revamped and carefully-considered processes without proper training? Training is an investment in your staff members. It tells new hires that you care about their success, and it reinforces good habits for more seasoned employees. To properly train your team, focus on both “how” and “why”, pace training in a way that lets staff absorb and internalize processes, utilize training resources provided by your tech partners (like Smokeball coming to your office to work with your staff), and get feedback on the training process from your team to ultimately adjust, if necessary. Again, training takes time and effort; if it’s done right initially, your staff will be more efficient and feel less disposable.
Investment in initial training will also yield the ability of certain staff members to take ownership of training new staff members as you continue to hire and grow. Ensuring that your core staff is on board with how you want things done and why means that they can happily pass it along to newer employees, making your continuing training responsibilities diminish over time.
With Smokeball, you and your team are taken care of with dedicated account management from the award-winning Smokeball Client Team. You get full onboarding and ongoing training, plus Smokeball business reviews to ensure you and your staff is getting the most out of the software.
Grow Smartly and Manage Risks
Growing your small law firm means that you need terrific people around you to help manage risks and avoid mistakes. You can set the table for tremendous growth with logical processes, good hiring practices, and considerate management. If your staff feels invested in the life of the firm, there is a much greater chance that they will jump into the trenches with you to protect and grow it.
In all, hiring and managing staff that will help grow your law firm centers around including and valuing your team. A valued employee will work harder and have your back because they know you have theirs. Organized and logical processes, good technology, careful recruiting and hiring, and investment in training are all key ways that will make staff feel valued. The better you do these things, the less you’ll need to.
“Hiring and Managing Staff to Increase Law Firm Profitability,” is a must-read for any small law firm poised for growth now or in the future. Setting yourself up for growth and profitability can never start too early. Download the new eBook here!
To learn more about Smokeball and the productivity, organization, and profitability it provides small law firms each day, schedule a quick demo so you can see the software and how it can work with your firm.