Things to Consider Before a New Hire

//Things to Consider Before a New Hire

new-hireWhether you’re starting a new law firm or expanding, analyzing the costs and benefits of taking on new staff can help keep you on track financially. Let’s take a look at a few best practices for costs/benefits analysis.

Brainstorm Cost

Before you commit to hiring new staff, you should brainstorm the costs of doing so. Some of the most common and expected costs are:

  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Recruiter fees
  • Training costs
  • Relocation costs

There are other costs that you may not have considered such as the cost of new equipment—laptop, mobile phone and even the cost of a desk and chair. You should also consider if adding a new employee will require you to get more office space and increase the cost of leasing. Also, think about what it will cost to keep valuable new hires. Eventually, you will need to give raises or your skilled employees may decide to go elsewhere. And don’t forget about those ongoing costs such as subscription fees or other annual costs. These recurring costs must be included in your cost estimates.

Brainstorm Benefits

When you’re brainstorming how you might benefit from hiring a new employee, you must analyze both tangible and intangible benefits. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Increased revenue. Hiring an administrative assistant might free up attorney time so that they can focus on billable hours. Also, hiring a new associate could allow your law firm to take on more cases.
  • Expand services. Closely related to increasing your law firm’s revenues, adding another associate with skills in a different practice area could allow you to offer a wider variety of services to clients.
  • New ideas. Bringing in people with fresh perspectives is an intangible benefit that can greatly improve your law firm. Fresh perspectives can help you solve problems that have been plaguing your law firm.
  • Promote valued associates. If you’re a small law firm with experienced associates, hiring new associates may allow your experienced staff to take on more responsibility.

Try to think of as many benefits as possible then assign a monetary value to benefits and costs.

Counting The Money

As you examine your costs and benefits, assign a monetary value to both.  For costs, this should be relatively easy with a little research. But for benefits, you will need to think about what each benefit is worth. For example, how much is it worth to have an administrative assistant if it allows associates to bill more hours? Don’t skip this part because an accurate assignment of monetary value will give you the information you need to determine if hiring a new employee is really worth it. Once you’ve assigned all costs and benefits a monetary value, add it up. If the benefits are worth more than the costs, it just may be worth the effort to hire a new employee.

Doing an accurate costs/benefits analysis of hiring new employees will help you make better staffing decisions in the long-term.

By |January 12th, 2018|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.

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