Written by:

Jane Oxley

HR Changes Your Small Law Firm Should Make Now

January 5, 2016

Time is a luxury most small law firm owners don’t have. Not only are you faced with the daily hustle and bustle of client work, but as administrative staff become increasingly uncommon at small law firms, you may also find yourself stretched thin trying to keep up with HR tasks and other operational concerns. Here are three changes you can make to your firm’s HR practices in 2016 in order to ease the stress of human resources responsibilities.

  1. Designate Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Designating an employee to focus on day-to-day HR responsibilities can help keep your small law firm afloat during even the most hectic times. It can be difficult for legal staff to find time to handle staff concerns, payroll and other office duties amidst the demands of their regular work, but setting aside at least 25 percent of an employee’s time for operational tasks can help them plan accordingly. You might consider changing the scope of work for a paralegal who is already on your team, or hiring someone new who has the ability to contribute to both legal work and operational needs. By establishing one point of contact to handle your firm’s daily HR needs, you’ll notice a dramatic increase in your firm’s productivity and your employee satisfaction.

  1. Establish a Consistent Recruitment Approach and Budget

Hiring top-tier talent is crucial for your firm’s success. However, many small law firms do not invest as much as they should in recruitment, which can lead to poor hiring decisions and high turnover. Establishing a consistent recruitment approach and a setting budget will position your firm up to succeed as you grow. Consider spending some time brainstorming with other leaders at your firm about the traits that are the most important to your organization. Once you have clearly defined a picture of your ideal candidate, you’ll be well-positioned to make smart decisions about how to target these individuals and attract them to your firm.

  1. Build a Strong Training Program

Developing a strategic training program will help you streamline the process of getting new and existing employees up-to-speed on workplace technologies and office policies. If your firm uses specific legal software, it may be cost-effective to outsource tech training to the company behind each tool. Many legal tech companies will be happy help.

Smokeball’s professional onboarding process exists to walk new employees through our software and help them get comfortable navigating document automation, matter management and more. All firms that use Smokeball are assigned a Client Success Trainer who will conduct training sessions with every member of your team. The best part? Onboarding your employees requires little to no effort from you!

While HR is often overlooked, a solid talent and culture strategy can help your firm’s productivity skyrocket and draw top talent to your team.

Are you investing in your firm’s talent? Download the Tharp & Associates Case Study to see how one small law firm grew its workforce by investing in a strong case management software and new talent.

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