But how? Law firms (like all of us) make many mistakes in marketing online. Law Crossing posted an article to help law firms in particular to boost their marketing efforts.
- Not using the internet to find clients– we should ALL be using the data we have freely at our fingertips!
- Not including practice area and location based keywords in target keyword phrases– if someone gets to your site and can’t figure out where you are and what you do in a matter of seconds, they will leave and go somewhere they can.
- Not having a Google Plus business page– the easiest way to increase exposure from searches (the searches are being done on Google, so taking advantage of Google SEO opportunities should be self-explanatory).
- Not engaging an audience on social media– build engagement with potential clients– a great way to set yourself apart when there are so many options.
- Blogging on the wrong topics– give your target audience relevant material, don’t just bombard them with irrelevant content.
- Not targeting synonyms and related keyword phrases– use both attorney AND lawyer, singular and plural!
- Not creating an AVVO profile– this is a legal directory with high authority in search, great for increasing traffic to your website and linking to specific attorneys.
- Not using video in your marketing efforts– they are much more personal than text (and Google owns YouTube, so videos will help your search ranking).
It is not an easy task to have great marketing for a law firm. But, many of these suggestions require a minimal amount of time and can go a long way.
Hiring independent contractors can be riskier than you think, and the latest class action lawsuits against ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft are perfect examples of the complications associated with classification of employees.
“Given how quickly the landscape surrounding reliance on contracted labor is evolving, employers are wise to undertake a critical review of any and all employment-related agreements to ensure that they are properly classifying employees,” comments Victoria Aguilar in her HR blog. Businesses should do their best to ensure they do not accidentally open themselves up to being audited and other trouble.
Hiring a staffing agency who takes care of the complications associated with contract workers can protect you from the risks associated with hiring independent contractors. We not only conduct executive search, but do the legwork so you can legally hire the workers you need for only as long as you need them so you do not have to worry about compliance with IRS and Department of Labor regulations.
Today, the legal market is as competitive as ever, and with a large supply of lawyers in the market, top tier law firms can be picky with their candidates. The New York Times reports a decline in jobs for low-skilled support workers at a time of expanding opportunities for highly educated workers.
One statistic in Texas noted as high as nearly one quarter of Texas law graduates are either unemployed or under-employed. Some law schools try to implement innovative programs to help attorneys advance their own professional advancement as much as possible to be as competitive they can when they enter the market.
Law schools also encourage students to develop their networking and relationship-building skills, because without those skills, a highly educated lawyer in an over-saturated market is still likely to be left high and dry without a well-paying job.
Regardless of attorneys position within their legal careers, it is vital to maintain a key network in order to be able to take advantage of new opportunities if the situation calls for it. No matter what, because of such a competitive legal market, attorneys of all caliber need to be aptly prepared to navigate the rough waters of the legal market if need be.
The future of the job market lies in the contingent workforce. According to a recent study conducted by Fieldglass (a software company) on hiring trends, the number of workers hired as freelance, contract workers, or temps has risen in the past two years, and is expected to continue to increase. According to this study, 95% of businesses believe that these type of workers are essential to success and development in businesses, which will affect the types of hires we will see in 2016.
“As of 2015, the average business’ workforce consisted of 20 percent contingent workforce and 54 percent traditional full-time employees. The other 26 percent are a grey area of people who fit into both categories; perhaps remote workers or part-time employees. Fieldglass predicts that by 2017 that will change to 25 percent contingent and 41 percent traditional workers, while the remaining 34 percent will exist in that grey area.”
Utilizing a flexible workforce can help organizations achieve its constantly adapting and changing goals. An external workforce can be beneficial if an organization is focused on keeping down costs, interested in finding the highest quality workers for projects, or are under time constraints. Instead of having internal employees work on something they might not be interested in or qualified for, short-term hires can do the work better and faster.
Because of the speed at which technology is advancing and things like online hiring platforms are available, it is easier than ever before to access contingent workers. And when organizations take advantage of this, and are able to figure out the ins and outs of managing non-traditional employees, they are able to derive additional value from the wealth of skillsets and talent that is available on-demand in today’s marketplace.
Ultimately, the full-time workforce is not at risk. But using external workers “affords companies access to pre-screened, pre-trained workers with niche skills, who can get to work quickly and stay on only for as long as they are needed. And, as a company’s needs change, an external workforce can be scaled up or down quickly.” If companies readjust and optimize talent management strategies to sync with these hiring trends, they can reap great benefits.
Today’s traditional flat organizational structures were set in place to save costs for companies, but research purports that it may actually do the opposite– at up to $25,000 per employee. Because organizational structures have flattened and companies have removed positions to save money, promotion opportunities have decreased over the last ten years, and individuals spend roughly three years longer at each job-level than in 2010, resulting in much turnover.
What can companies do to mitigate this turnover? Encourage employees to move across functions, so that individuals do not feel so stagnant and itching to move. Employers need to simply develop a relationship with their employees and provide an open source of communication for the employee to be able to express his or her desires and how individuals want to continue to grow and improve their skills within the organization. Motivate employees with personal growth, experience, and new skill-learning opportunities to increase their capabilities, so that they can still value and enjoy their career development even if it does not mean being promoted quickly. Steve Bruce, writer for Recruiting Daily Advisor, cites these strategies can decrease turnover by 33%, saving an organization with 10,000 employees $7.5 million per year.
Source: The Vast Majority of Employees Want for Career Opportunities
Working for a small law firms and large law firms each have their positives and negatives, and the decision of which is better for an individual has more to do with personal style than anything.
A Canadian recruiting firm (R.Johnson) outlines some of the benefits and challenges to working in both small and large firms, and some of the major differences lie in:
-the work atmosphere
-levels of competition
-room and pace of career advancement
-billable hour requirements
-type of work
Check out the full article on the major differences to consider here.
When you are looking to make the next step in your career as a law firm attorney, it is imperative that you truly do your research and take all of the moving parts into consideration before making the jump one way or the other.
Outside of hiring and review processes, negotiations between colleagues and bosses still exist, just informally. It is important to be able to advocate for yourself without being deemed as someone who is not a team player. The Harvard Business Review outlines a strategy that you can use to deal with these everyday negotiations. The structure they suggest is to:
recognize, prepare, initiate, and navigate.
- Recognize. Negotiation opportunities are not always obvious, but some situations call for it. You also must be careful to pick your battles, though. The decision to recognize when or when not to negotiate should be made with a sense of what end game is in mind.
- Prepare. Even with informal negotiations, being prepared is crucial. The more you know about what others have asked for and been granted at work, the more comfortable you’ll feel crafting your own negotiation. Position yourself in a way that highlights your interdependence, and how your work enables your colleague and others to succeed. Make sure you prepare some alternate solutions to be able to present.
- Initiate. Be able to shift a normal interaction into a collaborative negotiation without coming across as combative. Make your value visible and try to bring it up organically and be clear.
- Navigate. Go into the conversation with an open mind. Be willing to develop a plan that can work for everyone. Use ‘what if’ and circular questions, and mention if-then scenarios. These ensure that the conversation is collaborative, rather than adversarial.
Everyday negotiations tend to pull us out of our comfort zones, but are entirely worth the effort for both the individual and the organization.
“In the world of talent recruiting and human resources, there is a creature known as the purple squirrel, which is the code name for the perfect employee”. In the legal profession, the purple squirrel has the right academic pedigree, work experience, solid book of business, winning track record, works 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will accept whatever pay her employer is willing to offer. They are almost as hard to find as the Loch Ness Monster. In an Above the Law article, Shannon Achimalbe contends that going with the next best candidate, someone who is exceptional but imperfect, is truly the better option for employers.
Why would going with a less than ideal candidate be best? It seems counter-intuitive. For one, it takes a significantly longer time to find, and in the meantime, billable hours are lost and other staff has to unwillingly pick up the slack. Furthermore, if attained, the purple squirrel will likely expect to be treated accordingly, meaning expecting to be catered on his every whim, creating tensions with management and colleagues.
Looking for someone exceptional who shows promise and drive that could improve with the right training is prudent. Holding out only for the purple squirrel may not only waste valuable firm time, but has the potential to be a bad investment as well. Law firms should take this into consideration and ensure they are utilizing the most efficient hiring processes possible.
One thing is for sure: the war for legal talent will continue unremitting into the foreseeable future. A Law360 article discusses how law firms can prevent their top talent from jumping to another one, and conducted a survey that determined that attorneys are more likely to stay put if their law firm has advancement opportunities than if they are being paid a generous sum but feeling stagnant in their current position.
It’s always important to focus on the long-term. Even if a firm is trying to save money by delaying promotions, based on the findings of this survey, it would be a wise investment to cater to the 89% of attorneys who reported that they were both “very dissatisfied” with their firm’s opportunities for advancement and that they were “very likely” or “likely” to look for a new job within the next year. Firms can do this by placing a bigger emphasis on communicating with their employees the timeline and requirements necessary before promotions are considered.
In the hiring and interviewing processes, compensation is more often than not a touchy subject, and can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker for the talent the company wants. Timing is essential in job interviews, especially regarding the discussion of salary. It is important to recognize the when it is most conducive to broach these matters for both candidates and employers, and to attempt to find that sweet spot.
One of the benefits to working with a recruiter is that he or she will likely be the one doing the dirty work and negotiating salary. However, both sides should still know how to address the issue if it comes up. According to an article on Business Insider, an IT recruiter,Dan Martineau, notes that “the best employers don’t focus on money until the very end, and the same goes for candidates”. For the candidate, it is much more appropriate to discuss salary once the company has expressed a sense of commitment. In the first meeting, the candidate should be focused mostly on selling his/her skills to the employer, and deflect the compensation issue until later on.
On the employer side, although it may feel like a cruel game to candidates, it is important for them to hold their cards closer to their vest– compensation is traditionally not disclosed until the offer. This is because everyone assumes that they are on the top of the pay scale, and if a job is advertised at a range at which the company offers a lower amount on that range, the candidate would be unhappy even if he or she would have been happy with that amount having never known the range in the first place.
Being aware of the etiquette around compensation discussion is key in the interview process, and mastering the art of timing is everything.