What are the best hiring practices for law firms?

Many law firms struggle with the hiring process. Lateral, associate, partner, even clerical staff — hiring often takes unexpected turns and is overshadowed by other work commitments. This process should not be rushed, and there needs to be a degree of care taken when attempting to fit a new puzzle piece into your office. You don’t want a piece that doesn’t fit, right?

Here are some steps to take when hiring new employees or contractors:

  • Make sure you have a process:

You would be surprised how much hiring is done by a partner who had the task handwritten onto his To Do list by a secretary. Perhaps that partner is looking for an associate and wants to make sure that their personalities gel, but there needs to be an outlined system for hiring. If not, then the chance of mistakes abounds. A candidate who is moving along in the process might be left hanging for weeks or even months if there isn’t a person dedicated to onboarding. There is little worse than being excited for a new job and then hearing nothing. (And you don’t want to be known as a firm that keeps several people on the back burner while conducting interviews.)


  • Revamp your hiring announcement:

When you put out notices saying that you want to hire someone, this is a marketing opportunity. You are telling the legal market all about your firm and what you practice. Many people will realize, “Hey, I’ve never heard of this firm.” Don’t just use it to screen candidates.


  • Research appropriate compensation:

Even if it hasn’t been long since you last hired someone, make sure to investigate what people are being paid in comparable firms in your area. You risk insulting applicants if you try to pinch pennies this way, and you certainly don’t want to be known as a stingy boss

If all of this sounds daunting, that’s because it is. Hiring the wrong person is exhausting, expensive and demoralizing for everyone. Getting someone to do this on your behalf ensures that mistakes are not made, and that the applicant will fit into your office culture.

Try working with a recruiter (for instance, SuitsOn Staffing) if you would rather focus on your legal work than dealing with this, contact us for help. We would be happy to assist you.

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