Hiring needs in 2020 vary across a wide spectrum, with some firms busier than ever before and needing additional hands on deck, and other firms seeing fewer clients, and therefore little need to consider a plan for hiring. The InterActive Legal Content Team felt that the guest blog post below would be helpful to those of you who may need to add resources to your estate planning team now, and that those who are not currently in hiring mode could keep it in mind for when your need to hire returns. The step-by-step approach discussed may be a new way of looking at hiring while considering the bottom line, overall team billing and work efficiency, and best practices.We hope you find this information helpful, as another tool for building and improving your practice.
How to Develop a Law Firm Dream Team
1. Service Analysis Best Practices.
|TRUST PLAN NEEDS ANALYSIS
||Who||Time||Labor Cost/Hr||Labor Total Cost||Hourly Billable Fee||Total Billable||Overhead (Non-Labor)|
|Strategy/Design Meeting||Staff Attorney||2.00||$100||$200||$300||$600|
|Package Creation||Legal Assistant||1.10||$25||$25||$135||$135|
|Document Review||Staff Attorney||0.75||$100||$75||$300||$225|
|Funding Mtg and Prep||Paralegal||4.00||$50||$200||$220||$880|
Your Labor cost
in non-labor overhead
WARNING: Don’t get distracted if your processes, times, or type of cases are different than those illustrated. This works for all areas of practice – even litigation, flat fee matters, and contingency matters.
Complete the Service Analysis Worksheet for each of your most common services.
For example, if you have four common services: trust-based estate plan, simple will-based, probate, trust administration, complete four Service Analysis Worksheets, one for each service.
List the big picture tasks for each step to fulfill this service.
Identify the lowest paid competent role to complete each task.
Jot down how long, on average, it takes the person in this role to fulfill the task. Yes, time tracking needs to be consistent in all firms.
Add up the hours for the tasks of each role per month for each service.
Multiply by the number of these same services you provide each month.
Add the hour totals of all common services for each role.
Observe where you need more support.
To keep it simple and as an example, if your firm does 15 trust-based estate plans on average per month with no other services, the paralegal role has 157.5 hours in one month. This is 39.36 hours per week which is too high for one person with no room for growth.
Hot Tip: Hire way before you’re desperate and your current team is exhausted and ready to quit. Look to hire at least 3 months before you anticipate needing that help because it takes time to hire and train for the way you do things.
Make the decision to hire (because it’s time for another paralegal).
2. Advertising Process Best Practices Checklist
Request applicants upload a video explaining why they’re excited to work at your firm.
3. Hiring Process Best Practices Checklist
4. Onboarding and Training Process Best Practices Checklist
5. Retaining Process Best Practices Checklist
When you follow these checklists, you’ll have a stronger chance of getting the right person in the right seat with a much lower chance of hiring someone who will only last a few weeks or months. Bad hires costs real money – typically about 6 months of salary, so your investment in getting it right and keeping it right has a strong return on investment. You can do this.