Are Counteroffers Really a Bad Idea?

Is Taking a Counteroffer a Bad Idea?Have you ever Googled the question, “should I take a counteroffer?” 
If you have, you’ve seen article after article from recruitment or staffing firms claiming that 80% of people who take a counteroffer are no longer with their company after 6 months and that it’s the worst idea ever. We’re not going to use that stat. However, we do know from experience that taking a counteroffer isn’t a great decision and neither is offering one. It mainly has to do with what resigning and then taking a counteroffer does to the relationship between employee and employer: trust erodes, and things usually never feel the same.

Think of your best breakup. Maybe you mutually decided to part ways and you remained friends. But what if your ex asked you to stay with them and promises to change – he’ll take you out to eat more, she’ll give you more space; you’ll each make compromises? You might give it a go, but if you do, would you really be happy, or would the things that bothered you before creep back in and make you leave in a few months?

This is the general claim of the “never take a counteroffer” argument. And while it may seem unscientific, unproven, or silly, in most cases this tainted relationship is the reality that makes taking a counteroffer a bad idea. So rather than giving your employer the chance to hire your replacement on their timing, take a moment to evaluate a few things:

1. Why do you want to leave your current role?
Before you even accept an offer and hand in your resignation, think about your reasons for leaving. Did you apply for a job on whim, or were you truly dissatisfied with other aspects of your current role? Did you not like your responsibilities or the company culture? Was it just about your pay, or were you feeling under appreciated in other ways? Sorting through these questions will help guide your decision when it comes to taking a different job.

We recommend you work through this process before you reach a counteroffer stage. After thinking through your reasons for leaving and deciding to move on, politely resign. Don’t talk about money or factors that your current employer could—in theory—change. Instead, share that you’ve accepted an offer for a position that’s aligned with your career goals, or is best for your future. If your time of reflection leads you to decide that you don’t really have good reasons to leave, decline the opportunity you’ve been pursuing, and talk with your supervisor about the things you’d like to change. In either case, by avoiding the counteroffer situation to begin with, you’re not burning bridges with either your current or potential employer.

2. What’s your relationship with your manager like today?
If the relationship with your current manager is part of the reason you’re looking to leave, chances are they won’t be happy to be put in a situation where they need to “bribe” you to stay. This type of manager will usually offer you more money or changes in your position to get you to stay not because they can’t live without you, but because they need to buy some time to find your replacement. If you already have issues with your current manager, staying because of a counteroffer isn’t likely to improve it.

If you are one of those lucky individuals with a great relationship with your current manager, they may want to keep you on board and could be more lenient about receiving your resignation. But from our experience, it’s much more likely that this type of manager won’t make a counteroffer at all, and instead will be supportive and encouraging of you making a career-move that will benefit you long-term.

3. What happens if you stay?
We’ve already discussed the change to your relationship with your supervisor, but this isn’t the only relationship at risk when you choose to stay. You’re considered a fidelity risk by your boss and viewed as disloyal by your peers. In addition, your coworkers may harbor resentment against both you and your manager, causing significant tension in the workplace. You’re also potentially damaging your relationship, and any possible future, with the firm where you accepted, and then rescinded your acceptance of their offer.

Staying for higher pay? It probably won’t last long. We’ve heard time and time again of employees staying for an increase in pay, and then receiving a smaller raise – or no raise at all – when that time comes around. The company needs to recoup the extra cost they incurred to keep you and will justify their actions by reasoning that they met your desire for higher pay just a few months prior.

So, I’m a Legal Tech Pro, Should I Take a Counteroffer?
From our years of helping technology professionals gain new opportunities at top law firms and advising them toward career success, we’d suggest it’s never a good idea to take a counteroffer. Remember: your firm made you a counteroffer because they don’t want to lose you now—but what really makes you more valuable today than you were yesterday?

It’s a competitive market for hiring technology professionals right now, so law firms are particularly eager to hang on to the individuals they already have on board. If you’ve decided to move on to greener pastures, but in your resignation left room for your manager to think you’d be open to a counteroffer, you’re likely to get one. When you’ve reached this point you’re already in a lose/lose situation for law firm and employee. Instead of leaving that door open, make it clear to your current employer that you’re thankful for the time you spent at their firm but that this career change is something you can’t pass up. As a legal technology professional that has worked hard to obtain a new role, stick to your decision and you’ll be happier in the long run.

If you’re thinking of making a career change, our recruiters are here to help.
Contact Us Today For Free Career Advice

 

This blog was originally published in 2011 and has been updated to reflect current trends. 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

How to Align Your Technology Department to Your Law Firm’s Strategic Plan

Aligning Technology to Your Strategic PlanIn a survey of mostly AM LAW ranked firms, 97% of law firms claim to have a written strategic plan, and 70.4% of firms invest at least 3 months in creating that plan. However, only 3.2% reported achieving almost all of their strategic objectives. The reporters of the survey estimate that larger law firms invest approximately a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of partner time when creating strategic plans, yet so few of these plans actually get implemented fully. So how can you be one of the 3% achieving their strategic goals? One part of the equation is ensuring your technology efforts are aligned to your strategic plan.

As technology has become integral to every area of a law firm’s function, the responsibilities of a CIO have evolved. Gone are the days when CIOs were responsible solely for managing their law firms’ technology teams and implementing and upgrading technologies. CIOs are now additionally responsible for focusing on helping firms deliver strategic value and competitive advantage through technology. It was always important for a law firm’s technology plans to be aligned to business objectives, but it has never been more essential to a law firm’s success than it is today.

How do you align your technology function to your partners’ strategic plan and avoid the pitfalls of misalignment? It is simpler than you might think:

Do You Have The Right Technology Leader?

Puts the Firm’s Needs First

Whether your firm has a CIO, a Director of IT, or a CKO leading your technology efforts, you want leaders who make technology decisions based on what’s best for the firm. Your leader of technology should have a proven track record of learning a firm’s strategy and helping the firm achieve their objectives through technology. You’re looking for a leader who, when talking about their accomplishments, demonstrates the ways in which their work helped the firm meet their goals, increased revenue, improved the client experience, or improved efficiency for lawyers. If they’re only talking about how great their technology implementations were, they might be more interested in their own career trajectory than in meeting the needs of the firm.

Strategically Selects Trends

Your CIO should be aware of trends in technology and strategically think about how these trends might apply to your law firm to help attorneys grow their revenue and win cases. This means that they evaluate upgrades and technological advancements in the context of what it will bring to the partnership. For example, will it save attorneys time and effort so they can focus on more important aspects of the case? Will it mitigate risk for file security or help you deliver information to your clients in the way they want? They should be proactive in their recommendations and clearly demonstrate the value tech changes would bring to the partnership.

Communicates Clearly and Effectively

It’s also essential that you have a strong communicator in your technology leadership role who can clearly explain the strategy and objectives of the firm to their technology team. A skilled CIO is capable of explaining the various needs of the attorneys to their technology team and in addition, can clearly communicate any strategic goals associated with an implementation of new technology, as well as the specific value of the work they are doing. Conversely, your technology leader’s communication skills should include the ability to demonstrate to the executive committee how the work that the technology department is doing contributes to the success of the firm and aligns with the law firm’s goals.

Do They Get A Seat At the Table?

Understands the Strategy

Partners can ensure their technology leadership is aligned to the firm’s strategic plan by inviting them to participate in executive committee meetings. This doesn’t mean the individual necessarily gets a vote, but involving them in conversations around the law firm’s strategic plan and the needs of the practice is a great way for firms to improve the alignment of technology with the firm’s objectives. When they hear about your goals firsthand, they are more likely to buy-in to those goals and fully understand what your firm is trying to achieve. CIOs who truly comprehend the needs of the partners will be motivated to examine their technology options more carefully and only implement what will truly benefit the law firm.

Impacts the Strategy

When you invite them into conversations about the law firm’s strategy and business objectives, you also give them the opportunity to make recommendations based on the needs of the firm. Perhaps one of your objectives for the year is to improve efficiency. Your CIO might suggest a new AI solution that could cut document retrieval time in half, or an upgrade to your email server and storage system that would minimize downtime and increase download speed. If your CIO isn’t in the room, it’s less likely that your technology team will be able to help you achieve your objectives, and more likely that they’ll take on technology advancement projects simply for technology’s sake. In addition, technology now impacts every area of your practice, from client interactions to how discovery is handled. With the right CIO in the room when you’re discussing strategy or issues to overcome, you’re likely to find better solutions based on their knowledge of current and upcoming technologies.

Executes the Strategy

Finally, giving your CIO, Director of IT, or CKO a seat at the table helps demonstrate to your firm the importance of technology to the practice’s success, which will allow them to better execute the technology requirements connected with your law firm’s strategic plan. Many law firms fail to make it clear that leadership and attorneys recognize that the work the technology department is doing is important and valuable. This can leave a technology team feeling unappreciated, which can lead to retention problems. When given a seat at the table, your technology leader has the opportunity to help that value be understood. Even more importantly, the leader can share with the technology team stories of their efforts being commended by the executive committee. In addition, because they’ve had a voice in the law firm’s strategic planning, your CIO will be invested in that strategy and eager to get buy-in from their managers and individual contributors. With everyone working towards the same goal and understanding the meaning of their work for the firm (which is highly important to millennials), your chances of strategy success soar.

The Right Technology Leader in the Right Seat (At the Table)

A lot can go wrong if your technology plans are misaligned with your law firm’s strategy. For example, you might incur unnecessary expense with an upgrade that doesn’t add value to your attorneys. Or your technology department might spend time and resources on projects that do not do anything to help you meet your strategic goals.

It may sound simple, but the best things you can do to align your technology department with your law firm’s strategic plan is to have good technology leadership involved in the strategy conversations. In fact, you’ll get much more than alignment: your business strategy will benefit from having the right technology leader, who thinks strategically, puts the law firm’s needs first, and communicates clearly with the CEO, COO, other department leaders, and their team.

The right CIO on your team can help you implement your strategic plan. Don’t wait to find the right technology leader for your firm.

Learn more about Executive Search

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

4 Tips for Attracting & Retaining Legal Tech Millennials

how to attract and retain millennial legal IT pros

It’s traditionally acknowledged that the legal industry can be a bit conservative when it comes to technological adoption. A few other stereotypes might be that law firms aren’t much fun and aren’t great for work life balance. Of course, not all law firms are the same, but if any or all of these things ring true for your firm, it could be a huge problem for firms looking to hire the best legal technology talent, especially the youngest generation in the workforce. Luckily, there are a few simple modifications you can make (and one complicated one) that could significantly increase your ability to attract and retain millennials (or Gen Y) for your law firm’s IT department.

Tip #1: Adoption of Latest Technologies

One thing that truly sets this youngest generation of workforce professionals apart is their fluency in technology. The technological revolution and social media have had significant impacts on Gen Y and as a result their expectations are set high when it comes to technological adoption in the workplace.

This can cause a number of problems for law firms. First, all millennial employees have high technology expectations, from attorneys, to paralegals, to the technology professionals themselves. Legal technology departments need to be able to provide great technology solutions for their entire firm. Second, millennial technology professionals are always looking to work in the latest, most exciting technologies, from both a technical language and methodology perspective. To attract these millennial legal IT employees—and retain them—law firms should be looking for ways to start to adopt new technologies more quickly.

Admittedly, this is complicated, and for large law firms in particular, it could take quite a bit of time and effort to implement a large-scale change to agile methodology, or the latest coding language. However, if you’re able to make some changes and speed up your tech-adoption, it could go along way toward attracting, and even more importantly, keeping millennials on your IT team.

One great way to do this is to tap into the millennials you already have on your team. Ask them which tools and technologies they’d like to work with, and go ahead and make them a project leader when it comes time to research and implement. They’ll appreciate the trust you’ve put in them and the extra responsibility you’ve given them. Which leads us to Tip #2.

Tip #2: Mentorship and Advancement

One of the biggest drivers for Gen Y is the ability to contribute to an organization. They want to get better and have more and more impact as time goes along. Throughout their upbringing, millennials have been trained to expect personalized feedback about their work, and most of them truly want this feedback to improve, not just to get a pat on the back. That doesn’t mean they want to be micro-managed, but they do want to be mentored and coached. However, mentors and managers need to be aware that for them, that means talking about goals and objectives, rather than how something has been or should be done.

A large majority of millennials desire to be leaders, but according to a Deloitte Survey of 7,700 millennials, 64% feel these skills are not being developed and only 28% of millennials feel their skills are being fully utilized. These stats demonstrate the vast opportunity legal tech departments have to tap into the talent they already have and to build loyalty to the law firm. In addition, “they are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction where there is a creative, inclusive working culture (76%) rather than a more authoritarian, rules-based approach (49%).”

By providing your legal tech professionals with tangible feedback, training, appreciation, and career-advancement opportunities, you’ll give your law firm the best chance possible of retaining these up-and-coming technology professionals. To attract them in the first place, make sure to take them through the career path opportunities you have available at your law firm, and layout how people have been successful moving up in the past. You may also want to highlight your law firm’s management philosophy and review processes.

Tip #3: Work-life Balance & Flexibility

This generation grew up with (mostly) both parents working. While many millennials acknowledge the opportunities this provided them, it also created negative feelings about the lack of work-life balance their parents seemed to have. In other words, flexibility is very important to millennials. Whether that means spending more time with their families, or with friends, it’s a high priority for Gen Y to have work-life balance in their lives.

This doesn’t mean they don’t want to work hard, but they do want flexibility to work whenever and wherever is most convenient for them. According to the Deloitte Survey, 88% of millennials wish they could have more flexibility to start and finish their work days at times they choose. 77% wish to have greater mobile connectivity and 75% would like to be able to start working, or more frequently work, from home or other locations they feel more productive. This could in part be in response to recent backlash over open work spaces and the difficulties they cause for productivity, but it also likely has a lot to do with the work styles they become accustomed to during college working on their laptops anywhere they liked.

It isn’t too hard to put accountabilities in place so that you can provide them with the convenience of telecommuting and you might be surprised at the extra commitment to the firm that this flexibility generates. While law firms do have some extra information security concerns to be cognizant of when allowing for this flexibility, for your attorneys and legal tech pros alike, a little goes a long way when it comes to work-life balance.

Tip #4: Shared Values

For Gen Y, work is about much more than getting a paycheck. According to Deloitte, “Millennials want to contribute to the positive impact they believe businesses have on society, but in doing so, they wish to stay true to their personal values.” If you haven’t done so already, find out what your millennials value and if possible, incorporate them into your company culture. Then promote these values when you interview millennials and give them an opportunity to say, “I care about that too!”

Providing opportunities for tech pros to give back has proven a great selling point for many companies. This might take the form of “hackathons” or pro-bono work your tech team can be a part of. You could allow for a set number of volunteer hours a year your employees can partake in during work hours that don’t cost against their PTO, or arrange for all-company (or department) volunteer events. Knowing that a company gives back to their community and encourages their employees to do the same is very attractive to the millennial generation.

Meaningful work is also important to Gen Y, and while they understand the necessity of profit and a firm’s financial stability, they most often look for firms that put people, especially their employees, first. Legal tech pros want to work for law firms with a mission they can get behind, and it usually isn’t about sales. When millennial employees are aligned to your law firm’s values, they are much more likely to join and stay loyal to your firm.

Conclusion:

The latest college graduates will be filtering into the job market this summer, but Gen Y already make up over 60% of the workforce. While the 90s born and 80s born millennials have quite a few distinctions between them, very few millennials of either kind prefer to be labeled as such, mostly because of the prevailing attitudes from older generations that millennials are lazy, disloyal, and entitled. Those labels may fit for some millennials, but many studies suggest that it is no truer of this generation of 20 and 30-somethings, than it was of their predecessors. In other words, all young professionals have room to grow when it comes to entering the workforce, no matter what generation they are a part of.

As millennials have matured, and become parents and leaders within law firms, some of their values have changed. However, much of what they’ve become known for still rings true: they seek work/life balance, professional advancement, development, and recognition, and want to work for organizations that share their own personal values.

At your fingertips, most law firms have millennials who have grown up with technology impacting their day-to-day life. Now too, many law firms have millennials in leadership roles, and as their clients, which comes with expectations for more technology-assisted processes. If you’re still ignoring millennials or griping about how they are “lazy and entitled”, it’s time for a change. It’s time to discover how you can make the most of your Gen Y technology employees and find success for many years to come.

Are you looking to add more millennials to your tech team, or want more advice on how to make your firm more attractive to them?

Contact us to get started 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

3 Ways For Legal Tech Pros to Succeed at Interviewing Your Interviewer

Don’t be fooled when your interviewer turns the tables, usually near the end of the interview, with an innocent “do you have any questions for me?” Your questions, or lack thereof, will be used to analyze at least three things: 1) Did you research the law firm? 2) Did you listen effectively in the interview? 3) Do you want this role?

Not only can this important opportunity to ask questions be used to assess your eligibility for the job, it’s also a great opportunity for you to determine if the role is right for you and if this law firm is where you want to work. In this market, legal technology professionals often have their pick of offers and deciding which one is best for you can be tricky. That’s why making the most of your interview is essential.

In addition, your questions are an opportunity for you make it clear why you are perfect for the role. According to John Kador, the author of 301 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview, you want your questions to make a statement in the form of a question: “Highlight your qualifications. Demonstrate your confidence. Reinforce your commitment. Understand the employer’s challenges. Make yourself accountable. Advance your candidacy.”

As one of the best ways for you to learn about a law firm and a great opportunity for you to seal the deal, we’ve got three ways to make the most of interviewing your interviewer:

1. Show You’re A Culture Fit

Your website emphasized that ___________. What would you say is the most important aspect of your culture?

What are your law firm’s values and how do they play out in the workplace?

I’m really excited you emphasized how important a healthy culture is here. Can you tell me more about what you like about the culture, and how it impacts your day-to-day work?

While “company culture” can often be mistaken for the “perks” a company offers or the personalities and interests of members on the team, it is really about the values a law firm upholds. In asking one of these questions, you demonstrate not only a desire to align your values with that of the organization, you also show that this is a top priority for you to be at a law firm that has great values and has woven those into their culture.

Increasingly, employers are embracing the concept that having the correct people on their team, from a culture fit perspective especially, may be the most important thing for their success. The surest test for how committed a company is to upholding their values and building a strong culture, is how hiring managers and employees talk about it. Once you’ve heard what they share, be sure to relate to their response and express how you share those values as well.

2. Show You’re Ready to Make an Impact

What challenges is the law firm or department facing that someone in this new position could help overcome?

What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire? 

What personal characteristics do you think would be ideal for someone in this position?

Most law firms are looking for legal IT professionals who are ready to take on challenges and get results. By identifying the law firm’s challenges—and how you can help alleviate them—you show your potential employer that you don’t just want a job, you want to make an impact on the tech department and the company.

These questions also have the added benefit of giving you a clear window into where the team stands today, why they are hiring, and what they look for in their legal technology employees. Asking what qualities a candidate needs to do this job well demonstrates your desire to understand how you as an individual can uniquely contribute to the organization beyond the job description. In addition, your interviewer may realize that the person they just described sounds a lot like you.

3. Show You’re Results-Oriented

If I were to start tomorrow, what would be the top priorities on my to-do list?

What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 60 or 90 days?

What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?

One of the most essential things you can do in an interview is gain an understanding of what the job is actually like, day-to-day. At the same time, you want to show your interviewer that you understand that “a day in the life” is only a part of the equation. By asking about priorities, long-term accomplishments, and how performance is measured, you can get a real feel for the job, while also making it clear that you value planning, prioritization, and being measured on results. In addition, asking these kinds of questions will give you insight about your day-to-day tasks, while also making it clear that you understand not all tasks are created equal, which is key to success in any position.

 

Any Questions for Me?” is usually your last opportunity to impress the interviewer and what you ask matters. The questions should be mutually beneficial: they allow you to make a statement about yourself that helps the interviewer learn more about you and they give you the opportunity to assess if you’re a good fit for the law firm’s IT team.

Go prepared to your next interview with several questions in mind, as the worst thing you can tell an interviewer is that you don’t have any questions. If much of what’s been detailed here as been covered in the interview and you’re willing to be bold, ask: do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? Asking this question means you’re willing to talk about your weaknesses and vulnerabilities and receive coaching, which is highly valued by employers. It also gives you the opportunity to address concerns upfront. Instead of leaving your interviewer ruminating on those hesitations, they’ll be focused on all the reasons you’d be an asset for the law firm’s tech department.

If you’re looking for your next legal tech opportunity and want personalized interview advice:

Contact one of our IT recruiters today! 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

7 Tips To Make The Most of Your Skype Interview

Tips for Your Next Skype InterviewIn recent years, video interviewing has become a popular strategy for law firms and companies alike when it comes to their hiring process. They might use it to interview candidates that would work remotely or for candidates open to relocation. Or it might be used as a time saver for first round interviews. Whatever the reason, it appears to be here to stay. For legal technology professionals interviewing via Skype poses a few unique challenges and extra preparation.

Here are 7 easy tips to prepare you for your next Skype interview:

1. Check Your Technology
You want to make sure your computer is fully charged and plugged in and that all aspects of Skype are working, especially the audio and microphone functions. Make sure your wi-fi connection is strong, or if possible, use an Ethernet cable to ensure you’re connection doesn’t break during the interview.

2. Get Your Lighting Right
One of the more unique challenges of Skype interviews is your lighting. You want to be easy to see, not shadowed. Take advantage of natural light by setting yourself up near a window, ideally facing the window, or to the left or right of it. Use any lamps you have in the room to your benefit as well; use a softer light aimed toward your face, a backlight to add dimension to your space, and fill lights to balance the light on either side of your body. 

3. Clean Your Space
It’s also very important that your interview space is tidy and distraction-free. Look for clutter and any other potential distractions for your interviewer, including possibly offensive décor, and remove it. That way the interviewer will be focused on your answers rather than your space.

4. Eliminate Technology Distractions
You don’t want to overload your computer or get distracted by an email popping up. Close all programs on your computer except for Skype. Print a copy of your resume, as you would for an in-person interview. Turn off your other devices or put them in a different room, you shouldn’t need them during your interview, and a buzz could keep you from hearing a question or answering well.

5. Dress to Impress
As with any interview, dressing professionally is very important. But when it comes to video interviewing, you should also consider what looks best on screen: avoid patterns and wear neutral colors. Don’t only consider your torso-make sure all of you is dressed to impress so if you need to stand up for some reason, you’re not embarrassed by your sweat pants.

6. Chat Professionally
Your Skype user name also creates an impression so you may want to create a new one just for interviewing. Upgrade your Skype user name to something professional and make sure to use a professional looking picture as well.

7. Consider Your Nonverbals
Before you start your call, test your distance from the camera, making sure your head and shoulders are visible and that your occasional hand gestures could be seen. Imagine you’re sitting across from your interviewer and gauge the appropriate distance accordingly. You should also practice greeting your interviewer with a confident and friendly smile for a great start to your video interview.

Preparation is key to interview success, and it’s no different when it comes to Skype interviews. By making sure both your space and your own appearance are optimized for video interviewing, you increase your chances of getting an in-person interview and landing a great legal tech opportunity.

Our IT recruiters would love to be your career advisor. For personalized interviewing advice and resume recommendations:

Contact Us 

Note: This blog was originally published in 2014 and has been updated to reflect current trends and practices. 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

The Costs of Hiring and Not Hiring Legal IT Pros

What it costs to hire IT for law firmsAs you’re well aware, the process of hiring a new legal tech employee can be strenuous. The hours and effort put into finding a replacement can wear you out. However, there is another burden that is quite literally more costly. It can essentially be broken down into two parts: the cost of being without an employee and the cost of hiring. Although some employee turnover can’t be helped, it is very expensive, so it is important that your action plan for bringing a new employee on board is as cost effective as possible.

It generally costs 2-3 times the average salary of the role you want to fill to hire someone new. With that much on the line, how do you make the most of your time and money while trying to make the right choice?

The Financial Impact of Being Without an Employee

More often than not, law firms are overly concerned with hiring the “perfect” employee. They are passing over the smart, capable legal tech candidates one after another, because they may initially be lacking a certain skill, that often, could be quickly learned. Meanwhile they are losing money the longer they go without someone in that critical role.

Costs to consider:

  • The cost of the person(s) who fills in while the position is vacant, or the employee that steps up to perform that vacant job and has to work overtime.
  • The cost of lost productivity. If that position is completely vacant that’s 100% productivity lost for as long as you’re without someone.

Keep in mind, that while most roles are critical to some degree, when you’re looking for a c-level hire like a CIO or CTO, the cost of being without that individual is even higher. This person sets the direction for your information technology department and must be aligned to your other departments as well. Getting the right person on board, is extra important, but being without for too long could do damage to your law firm.

Sometimes hiring someone with potential makes better sense than waiting for unattainable perfection.

The Cost of the Hiring Process

Law firms can’t afford hiring mistakes, and the time it takes to sort through resumes, set up interviews, conduct phone and in-person interviews, and wait for HR to approve the person can be just as costly. There have been several articles recently discussing the ‘good investment’ of hiring a staffing firm to help with your search. Not only can a recruitment firm do the legwork (so you can stay focused on your workload and priorities), they also may be better connected to the legal technology professionals you want to work with and they’ll go after passive candidates, something you’re unlikely to have the time to do on your own.

For a c-level or director-level opening, a retained search may be your best option. You can get dedicated efforts from seasoned executive recruiters, specialized in the legal technology niche. Your firm should do the searching, selection, and background checks for you, so you’re only meeting the best qualified candidates from both a culture fit and technical perspective.

While some aspects of the hiring process can’t be helped, you can control the amount of time you invest in the hiring process by making a good investment in a staffing firm and being willing to recognize good talent when they walk through the door.

Learn more about our:

Retained IT Executive Search Services

Legal Technology Staffing Services

Litigation Support Staffing Services

Attorney Staffing Services

 

Note: this article was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect current market trends and practices. 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

ESP Legal Releases 2017 Salary Survey

2017 ESP Legal Tech Salary Guide

Our 2017 IT salary survey shares data gathered and analyzed from law firms ranging from small law firms with 20 – 30 attorneys and a single technology professional to large international firms with hundreds of technology staff. Our data includes salaries from ESP’s recent placements, as well as national and local research.

Demand For IT At Law Firms Grows

In 2016, we saw an increase in the demand for IT staff across the board in the legal marketplace. The demand seemed strongest for Web Developers, System and Network Engineers, Trainers, Applications Software Analysts and Desktop Engineering roles. Also noteworthy was the need for Help Desk Support and Security Engineers with security concerns continuing to grow for law firms.

With the increased demand, we are seeing candidates get multiple offers and in order to recruit the best talent, law firms are finding the need to improve the turnaround time from interview to offer.  We are also finding that the top talent is in limited supply.

Work-Life Balance And Benefits Are More Important Than Ever

In 2016, overall salaries only rose by 3.5% in law firm technology positions. Security and Development roles lead the way with an increase in the 5% range. We think the smaller increase is due to a move towards higher interest in better work-life balance. With this in mind, to attract and retain top talent you may need to focus on highlighting or adding your offerings when it comes to telecommuting, clearly defined career paths, the ability to work on multiple projects, improved work-life balance, and a better commute. As we discuss candidate desires and objectives for their next career move, these things come up more and more.

 

With over twenty years of legal technology staffing expertise, ESP Legal continues to monitor and analyze hiring trends, including compensation and benefits in this rapidly changing economy in order to best serve you. Last year, we were excited to extend our services to include attorney staffing and have also created a salary survey for 3-8 year associates and Counsel salaries. You may access our 2017 Attorney Salary Survey on our website.

View our 2017 Legal Technology Salary Guide 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

Telecommuting – It’s Good for Employers in the Legal Tech Niche

3 Reasons Remote Work is a Great for Legal Tech EmployersToday, technology has connected us in powerful ways. With smart phones in our hands, we literally have the world at our fingertips – especially when it comes to business. We take conference calls on the road, check and send emails at lunch, and remain available even when traveling. In a way, we are always reachable, and expected to be so.

With this expectation, many of us are already working remotely throughout the workweek. Yet, some law firms are still skeptical about integrating telecommuting into their business and hiring models. Well, as we are on the heels of a new year, it’s time to face the fact; telecommuting is here to stay. But don’t worry – telecommuting is beneficial to the employer, too.

Hire the Best Talent

When it comes to finding and hiring the best talent, the option of telecommuting greatly opens the talent pool. For starters, you can say goodbye to geographical limitations and hello to the perfect candidate.

As law firms begin their candidate search, from Attorneys and Secretaries to IT Managers and Programmers, they know they need top talent to compete in a competitive marketplace. However, not many law firms know they should be seeking out candidates with telecommuting in mind, in order to obtain that top talent.

As the worlds of tech and legal meet, this becomes an issue, since the tech industry has long embraced remote workers. According to a Monster article, “The tech industry is well known for its flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities. Which makes sense considering most tech companies are web based and that technology is the greatest resource when working from home. With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office rather than at home.”

So, what does this mean for legal? The best tech talent has already experienced the luxury of telecommuting, and furthermore, they’ve come to expect it.

The nature of IT is very demanding because technology can fail anytime, and therefore support is needed at all hours. Fewer on-site IT resources are necessary thanks to programs like GotoAssist and TeamViewer where connecting to the PC remotely can solve most problems. Support centers are already operating like this, so why wouldn’t you? Denying the option of telecommuting could prohibit your firm from acquiring the best talent.

Enhanced Productivity

Remote Workers are Happier and More ProductiveThink that working from home causes more distractions and less productivity? Think again. Research indicates that employees use their time more efficiently at home. One potential reason being that more distractions are present in the workplace. In a study conducted by Stanford professor, Nick Bloom, the benefits of working from home were evaluated. The results revealed that home workers were more productive, made more work calls, took shorter breaks and less sick days, and best of all, reported being happier than their counterpart office workers.

Happier Employees, Better Retention, and More Money

Working from home offers the employee many reasons to be happy: no commute time, a flexible schedule, less company politics, healthier at-home lunch options, and more. According to a study by communication researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, teleworkers experience lower amount of stress and less distractions, and therefore report beingmore satisfied with their jobs compared to those working mostly in the office because working remotely alleviates more stress than it creates.”

Bloom explains that employee happiness in working where they desire to, whether at home or in the office, is crucial to employee retention. Retaining quality staff will save the company recruitment, training, and loss of productivity expenses. If tech issues remain unresolved for long periods of time due to short staffing, your company becomes at risk for dissatisfied high-level staff and missed deadlines.

Cost benefits also include reduced office space and other office fees. Telecommuting requires that the employee use their own furniture, electricity, and other utilities, therefore saving the company money. An estimated $2,000 per employee could be saved each year on office expenses, Bloom finds.

When it comes to your firm’s bottom line you might want consider hiring a remote worker. Of course, telecommuting is not for every personality type, but it can certainly be used as a great employee retention and top-talent recruiting tool.

If you are looking to work remotely, or to hire a remote worker contact us for current openings at careers@esp-ca.com or 949.753.7575. ESP Legal focuses exclusively on matching top legal technology, litigation, and attorney talent with the best law firm opportunities.

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

ESP’s 2015 Salary Survey: Increased Demand for Technology Professionals

Each year we analyze compensation and hiring trends to serve the law firms and technology professionals we serve. This presents data compiled from ESP’s recent placements, as well as national and local research. Our 2015 Salary Survey reveals average salary increases of 6.1% in law firm technologyESP Image positions. Management roles lead the way with an 8.7% increase, finally reflecting movement in management salaries toward the pre-recession level. Staff level positions rose 4% – slightly below our 2014 projected increase of the 5-7% necessary to attract the best employees.

In the eDiscovery space we are seeing very little movement in both number of new openings and salaries. Overall salaries increased a modest 4.6% with the largest increase in the Coordinator and Director roles.

We’ve also noticed a shift in the driving forces behind career changes this year. Passive job seekers have been willing to make a change for improved life-work-balance and a better commute, rather than an increase in compensation.

Overall, 2015 data reveals an increase in the demand for IT staff across the board in the legal marketplace. The demand seemed strongest for IT Management, Trainers, Applications Software Analysts and Desktop Engineering roles. Also noteworthy was the need for System and Network Engineers with security concerns continuing to grow for law firms. However, while there is increased demand, staff salaries have stayed relatively flat in some of these roles.

Our annual salary survey presents data gathered and analyzed from law firms ranging from small law firms with 20 – 30 attorneys and a single technology professional to large international firms with hundreds of technology staff. Check out our 2015 Salary Survey today!

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

We Welcome Heather Kaufmann to ESP Legal Technology Professionals

Heather Kaufmann - cropped versionWe are excited to announce the addition of Heather Kaufmann to the ESP team! As our new Account Manager and Recruiter, her primary responsibilities include growing and developing our already extensive list of local and national law firm and legal industry vendor clients. Heather’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge has already made her a key addition to the ESP family.

Heather brings 17 years of recruiting experience to ESP.  Prior to joining the ESP team, Heather worked as a recruiter for Parker-Lynch for 5 years and spent the preceding 12 years recruiting in the Healthcare industry.

The increasing demand from our customers led us to look for an addition to our team who can help us to continue to provide the top legal industry talent to our clients and advance legal technology professionals’ careers. We are very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Heather’s caliber to fulfill this role. Her appointment is a sign of our commitment to being the leading staffing services firm in the legal industry.

Learn what Heather likes to do in her free time and her favorite quote on her website bio.

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email