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.
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.
“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.
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.
It’s not about finding the ideal legal role, it’s about it finding you. Good employers searching for quality lawyers aren’t going to be posting on public job boards, either. That’s where hiring a knowledgeable headhunter comes into play.
Headhunters don’t waste time with a “scattergun approach”, but meticulously research a long list of candidates before even deciding to initially reach out. If you want to be on their radar, Jason Elias, a recruiter in the Australia legal community, highlights six things you could be doing to put yourself a cut above the rest.
- If you’re not already building a profile for yourself, start now: you’ll never be headhunted if no one has heard of you. Make sure that you connect with the people on LinkedIn that you are connected with in business, that you are active within your professional community, and that you come across as an expert in your field.
- Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn: make sure you are detailed with what you have accomplished and worked on and the value you have brought in your current and past jobs.
- Give off subtle signals: as in, do not change your LinkedIn status to “Currently seeking new opportunities”. Consider updating your experience, and change your Inmail settings to notify others that you are open to hearing about “career opportunities”, so that headhunters can reach you.
- Make yourself reachable: provide an email or phone number where you can be reached, or make sure to keep up with your LinkedIn, because if a headhunter struggles to reach you, he or she will move onto the next one on their list.
- Don’t breach etiquette: don’t tell anyone in your firm about your plans to move, never approach the employer directly (they’re using a headhunter for a reason). You don’t want to jeopardize your current position as well as any new one.
- Take advantage of the resources that a headhunter has to offer: the headhunter will most times be highly knowledgeable about the state of the market and trends, and can be used as your trusted source of intelligence on the employer as well. Even if the specific opportunity isn’t right at the time, you never know when something else might come up in their sphere of influence that could be.
Surprisingly enough, following these simple tips makes a huge difference on whether or not you end up on a headhunter’s short list of candidates to approach for a top tier position. Make sure you’re doing what you can to keep your good side showing even when you don’t know you’re showing it.