The Hidden Costs of an Empty Legal Technology Seat

It’s no secret that most decisions come with a cost. So it might not be a surprise that there are hidden costs of an empty legal technology seat while you search for the perfect hire. The process of hiring a new legal tech employee can be strenuous, taking hours of effort that you may often feel could be better spent elsewhere. 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 hiring choice?

Although some employee turnover can’t be helped, it is very expensive as you not only pay the costs associated with hiring, you also pay the cost of being without that employee while you hire. Make your action plan for bringing a new legal IT employee on board as cost-effective as possible by taking all costs into consideration.

The Cost of Being Without an Employee

Law firms are not alone in their efforts to hire the “perfect” employee, but often these unicorns simply don’t exist. A hiring manager can become so focused on a certain skill, degree, background, or experience level, that they miss the smart, capable, and fast learning legal tech candidates right in front of them. Meanwhile, your law firm is losing money and taxing your other employees the longer you go without someone in that critical role. While this is an easy trap to fall into, there are some costs to consider when you’re waiting for that perfect candidate:

  • The cost of the person who fills in while the position is vacant can be high, especially if you aren’t using a contract-to-hire arrangement. While the individual can help you out in the short term, you’ll need to start all over again getting the next person up to speed when you finally hire.
  • You may have an employee willing to step up to perform that vacant job on top of their own. While this can work in the very short term, this individual can often feel underappreciated and burnt out, leading them to decide to leave your firm.
  • If the position is left completely vacant and no one handles the tasks and efforts, you’re losing 100% productivity for as long as you’re without someone in the role.

When you’re looking for a c-level hire like a CIO or CTO, the cost of being without that individual has compounded since this individual sets the direction for your information technology department and must be aligned to other departments as well. Getting the right person on board is essential, but being without someone in that role for too long could do significant damage to your law firm.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t hire carefully—having the right person on your team can be the difference between success and failure—but 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. While it may seem like you’re adding to your costs, hiring a staffing firm to help with your search can actually be a great investment. Not only can a recruitment firm do the legwork (so you can stay focused on your own workload and priorities), they also may be better connected to the legal technology professionals you want to work with. Recruiters also have time to seek out legal IT and e-Discovery professionals who might not be looking for a job but are willing to make a career change when the right opportunity comes along.

For a c-level or director-level opening, a retained search may actually be your best option for quickly finding the best hire. Dedicated efforts from seasoned executive recruiters specialized in the legal technology niche will 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.

When it comes to filling an empty seat on your legal technology team, some costly aspects of the hiring process can’t be helped. But you can control the amount of time and effort you spend, protect your law firm’s bottom line, and save your law firm’s technology team from burnout by making a good investment in a staffing firm and recognizing good (while imperfect) talent when they walk through the door.

We’d love to ease the burden of hiring when it comes to your law firm’s legal technology team. Learn more about our services and reach out to begin a conversation with an account manager.

Retained IT Executive Search Services

Legal Technology Staffing Services

Litigation Support Staffing Services

 

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email

Follow This Advice to Advance Your Legal Technology Career

Career advice for legal professionals
If you’re a legal information technologist or e-Discovery professional looking to succeed in your current role, to get a promotion or pay raise, or to find a job with more opportunity, read on for our team of experts’ best advice for legal technology professionals:

1. Think Beyond Salary & Ask for What You Want: 

You might be considering making a career move based on salary alone, or there may be other factors that would improve your work life, including potential training, skills growth, benefits, commute, and employer flexibility. While salary is obviously a top consideration, these other factors can have just as much of an impact on your career happiness. As you consider whether you want to look for a new legal technology job, be open with your supervisor about things you’d like to change. Don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility, variety, mentoring, and money. Talk about your accomplishments and ask for a raise or promotion. Suggest a project that might grow your skills or give you more visibility within the law firm. Your current employer will respect you for it and be excited to have someone on their team who is seeking professional growth within the law firm. As a bonus, you’ll be improving your career now and building your resume for the future. There are many opportunities for legal technology employees to help law firms innovate and implement new technologies, which could lead to further career advancement for you down the road. Perhaps you’ll find these at your current firm, or perhaps you’ll look elsewhere for those opportunities, but either way, remember that pay isn’t the only thing to consider when looking to take the next career step.

2. Request Flexibility, but Be Flexible Too:

After a year of working from home more job seekers than ever before rank remote work and a flexible schedule as top priorities. While remote work is a huge benefit in today’s world it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker when making a career choice. Assess where you stand as far the necessity of remote work—is it an essential safety concern, a preference, a matter of convenience, or the most effective work environment for you—before communicating what you require. Many law firms hesitant to maintain a formal remote work policy tend to show flexibility for employees who have proven themselves or for the right candidate. Before you decide to leave a great job in order to work from home, ask your employer if they can accommodate your desire to work remotely one or two days a week. Be proactive by providing them with a means to measure your productivity from home or speak specifically about how you’ve been effective and productive as a remote worker in the past.

3. Leverage LinkedIn

They might already have your resume in hand, but most managers will still look at your LinkedIn profile to get insight into your background and interests. LinkedIn is also a great way to be found by recruiters at companies like ESP Legal. There are a few ways to show you’re “available for work” or looking for a new role—both incognito and publicly. Take some time to ensure your LinkedIn profile is not only current but also highlights your skills and industry knowledge. Take some time to review job descriptions and then add skills and keywords to your LinkedIn profile to match your experience and what you’re looking for in your next role.  Like or share thought leadership articles to add depth to your profile and help you stand out.

4. Be Authentic and Honest:

Whether you’re networking, representing yourself on a resume or LinkedIn, or sharing about your background with a recruiter or in a job interview, honesty really is the best policy. While you definitely want to market your skills and experience, it doesn’t mean you need to claim to know or be able to do everything. You’ll find the best way to build relationships and be successful at a law firm long term, is by being yourself.

5. Avoid Generic Phrases and Clichéd Statements:

Have you ever been guilty of telling a job interviewer that your biggest weakness is that you work too much or that you’d always dreamed of working at their law firm (even though you hadn’t heard about it until the week before)? You may think those answers paint you as the perfect candidate, but your interviewer has heard that all before and those statements are unlikely to help your chances of landing the job. Instead of relying on the banal, try personalizing each answer with key points from both your experience and personality.

6. Think Creatively about Medical Coverage:

With rising costs, medical coverage has been a top consideration for many of our candidates. These benefits can vary significantly from law firm to law firm and there are also independent coverage plans that could better cover the needs of your family at a lower cost than your new employer’s plan. Be flexible and consider all your options before accepting or turning down an offer. With this creative approach, you may be able to save some money and still get that perfect job for your legal technology career.

7. Prepare for Interviews:

We know this seems basic, but preparation really is the key to success. Fortunately for candidates, hiring managers often ask the same questions. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? Why should we hire you? Take the opportunity to prepare some excellent responses, using specifics to provide the kind of information your interviewers are really looking for, and practice keeping your interview responses short and to the point.

8. Don’t Worry So Much About Golden Handcuffs:

We see a lot of job seekers pass on great opportunities because they’re waiting to receive their year-end bonus in the mid-Spring of the new year. While for some this might be worth it, if you’re ready to move on from your current role, we encourage you to hear about opportunities and consider making that move before your bonus comes through. There are vast opportunities out there that could not only lead to a significant increase in your compensation, but also greater job satisfaction.

This might be your year to get a promotion, develop new skills, make a career change, or join a different law firm, and if so, we hope this advice will serve you well. We truly believe every individual’s needs and career search are unique which is why our recruiters would love to offer you more personalized advice to grow in your legal technology career.

Get in Touch


Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit Email