A lot of you may be thinking, I can’t afford a recruiter. That’s far too much money. I always use the traditional pathway of writing an ad, posting it on the usual places, seeing who applies, maybe asking around, and hopefully I’ll find the right person for the role.
In this week’s episode I share my thoughts on why I think that may or may not be the right perspective for you and another perspective to consider. I’m going to give you some actual strategies for evaluating recruiters so that if you do decide to work with one, you can make the right choice of recruiter and increase the likelihood of getting the outcome that you desire.
Listen in now to learn more and start getting better results in your business.
In this episode we discuss:
- The fact that every expense is an investment in your business.
- Taking into consideration your ROI (Return On Investment) when paying for a recruiter.
- That all recruiters are not alike and how to determine the distinction between them.
- Understanding how recruiters charge and what kind of guarantee they might offer.
- The benefits of working with someone that knows the job role and the attributes best to excel in that role.
- Pitfalls to avoid when hiring a recruiter.
Allison Williams: [00:00:11] Hi everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your Law Firm Mentor. Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.
Allison Williams: [00:00:24] OK, welcome to another edition of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. I am Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. And I am so happy to be back with you guys. I haven’t done a solo episode in a minute now because we’ve been having so many amazing guests on from all different industries, talking about a lot of different topics that I think are going to provide a lot of value to those in the solo and small law firm space. But I wanted to come back to center, as we would like to say, and start talking to you again and start sharing with you some of the insights that make Law Firm Mentor so successful. Some of the things that I personally have experienced in some of the things that I know as a business coach for solo and small firm attorneys that I want you guys to really start thinking about from a mindset perspective so that you can really shift your level of focus and start getting better results in your businesses. So this week, we’re going to talk about one of these topics that I think is grossly neglected and it probably is grossly neglected because I think a lot of people assume that when you are a solo or a small law firm attorney that you can’t afford a recruiter and therefore you’re not going to buy a recruiter.
Allison Williams: [00:01:36] And frankly, a lot of you may be thinking, I can’t afford a recruiter. That’s far too much money. I’m just going to use the usual pathway, the traditional pathway of writing an ad, posting it on the usual places, seeing who applies, maybe asking around, and hopefully I’ll find the right person for the role. And let me tell you just first a little perspective on why I think that may or may not be the right perspective for you and another perspective to consider. And then I’m going to give you some actual strategies for evaluating recruiters so that if you do decide to work with one, you can make the right choice of recruiter and increase the likelihood of getting the outcome that you desire. OK, so first, just a little word about recruiters in general. When I was first introduced to the topic and the idea that I could pay somebody anywhere from 15 percent to 30 percent, give or take of what a person’s annual salary is, that’s the most common model of recruiting, even though there are other models that we’re going to talk about and that I could hence have someone do the talent scouting for me. I initially was intrigued by the concept, but I was a little flabbergasted by the cost. Right, because I thought, oh my God, you know, the more successful a lawyer you hire when you start talking about somebody who’s going to have a six figure salary dropping twenty, thirty, forty thousand dollars as a recruiting fee is a lot of money.
Allison Williams: [00:03:08] And I didn’t know if I thought it was worth it. So whenever I have now, anyway, I didn’t always think this way. But now when I’m of the mindset that something costs too much, right, if my visceral reaction is, wow, that’s too much money, I always stop myself from acting on that thought and asking about the return on investment. Because as I’ve said before, everything in your business is an investment. Everything that you’re spending money on, invests in something. Right. You’re, when you hire, when you when you purchase engraved letterhead, you are investing in the reputation or the branding of your firm. When you invest in nice office furniture, you are investing in the comfort of your employees and the professional feel of your office. When you are investing in a certain hire, you are investing in the quality of the service that you are providing to the public so that you increase the likelihood that they have a good outcome and hence are more likely to pay your bills, refer more people and increase your positive goodwill in your neighborhood. So there is always an investment that you are making. And the question is, what is the return on this investment? What am I getting for what I am giving? And whenever I when I try to apply this to a recruiter right at first thought, OK, the investment that I’m making is in talent. That’s kind of a no brainer, right? We all need good talent in the business, but can’t I get that good talent on my own right? Is this a necessary investment? Is this an investment that is going to return to me at a higher rate of return than if I had just gone out on the open market and posted an ad on Indeed, or Zip Recruiter or Craigslist or wherever? My local bar association, if I had just posted an ad, would I get the same result? And it’s interesting because when I first started working with recruiters, the answer was not really right, because the people that they were giving me, what I found was there was a huge difference, differentiation between recruiters like some of them, they have a database, they go to the database, they look for what you want, and then they give you what they have and hope that one of those will be a fit.
Allison Williams: [00:05:30] And other recruiters, I find, go out and pound the pavement like they are really cold, calling sales people that go out and hunt and fish for exactly what you’re looking for. And in the latter instance, I was able to secure two exceptional attorneys for my law firm. But in the former instance, because I didn’t know at the time, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Allison Williams: [00:05:53] In the former instance, I got good candidates, but nobody that quite fit the bill. Right? There were always, it was always trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and thinking, well, I can make it fit, I could make it work. I’m desperate for talent. Right. And we’ve always we’ve already talked about on several episodes of the podcast, not hiring out of desperation. So we know that we’re not supposed to be doing that. But the reality is, when you’ve got the pressure of mounting cases, right. More cases than you can handle, that fear of malpractice and grievance is real. And we very much need to either pull back and take fewer cases, which no one wants to do, or we want to find a way to float, meaning just skim the surface on our cases long enough that we can get the right person in. But sometimes when that period of looking goes on and on and on, it takes forever to get the right person. At some point you’re like, OK, we can only skim for so long. Some of these cases are going to require some real deep dive soon and we just don’t have the bandwidth for it. So when I started working with recruiters, it was a real eye opener when I started to learn the distinctions between recruiters and some of the questions that you need to ask them.
Allison Williams: [00:07:06] Right. So I’m going to cover some of that today. And I want you to approach this with a perspective not of. All right, why should I adjust my mind to pay a recruiter? Right. That’s not the purpose of today’s show. The purpose of today’s show is really to open up your eyes to how you can legitimize what they require in terms of an investment relative to what you’re going to get and increasing the likelihood that if you do work with a recruiter, you’re going to get something far better than if you were passively approaching it the way that I think most of us do, certainly the way that I did when I first started working with recruiters. OK, so the first thing to understand about recruiters, OK, this is we’re going to call these are strategies for success with recruiters. OK, so strategy number one is to understand that most reputable recruiters will include a form of guarantee. OK, and you have to understand so that you can make an intelligent decision and ask intelligent questions and sometimes negotiate what is an appropriate fee. And what is an appropriate guarantee? Right. So the better the guarantee, typically the higher percentage that you’re going to pay of your candidate’s first year salary. So just by way of example, like let’s say you hire a recruiter, they charge twenty five percent of first year salary. Usually, by the way, that’s based on base salary.
Allison Williams: [00:08:31] It’s not typically inclusive of any punitive commissions that have not yet been earned. It’s not usually inclusive of discretionary bonuses. If you have a bonus structure that is based on hitting KPIs, it usually does not include the bonus structure at all. It usually is based on the base salary. So recruiters become a much easier sell when you have structured your role for a closer right, when you’re looking for somebody who can go out and generate business and you’re going to pay a modest base salary because you’re going to pay a generous percentage on originating, because that’s the behavior you want to incentivize. In that scenario, the recruiter makes a lot more sense and is easier to swallow because you’re paying a percentage of a much lower fee. You’re paying a percentage on the base comp. Right. And I have seen some recruiters say they want it based on target comp, but most of them will say they want it based on base comp. The guarantee is going to get much leaner when the percentage goes down. And if you think about it, that makes sense, because in fairness, if somebody is doing all this legwork and they’re going to get a smaller return on their investment of time to find you the person because you’re going to pay a lower fee, then they’re not going to give themselves an open ended window to replace the person. They’re going to say, if I get less for this person, there is more onus on the business owner to vet the person to make sure that person is the right hire, because if you hire poorly, that’s on you, not on me.
Allison Williams: [00:10:07] Right. So usually with guarantees, you’re going to get something along the lines of a promise to replace your candidate. If after 60 days, after 90 days, usually it’s not going to go out much longer than that. It’s usually 30 to 90 days, right. Somewhere in that window. If the person does not work out, they will replace that candidate. So, and the replacement can either be a clawback of the fee you paid for the first candidate or it can be applied to the next candidate, meaning candidate number one, I pay twenty five percent of one hundred thousand dollars. Candidate number two, let’s say that is a rock star and that person comes in and requires a compensation of one hundred and twenty. Well, there’s a twenty thousand dollar differential. The recruiter could say that they would waive the difference that twenty five percent of the additional twenty thousand dollars, they would waive that because you went through the ordeal of working with the first hire, that wasn’t the right fit. Others will say, I won’t charge you for the second candidate except if there is a higher fee for that candidate. I want the difference. Right. So they do want that. Twenty five percent of that additional twenty thousand dollars.
Allison Williams: [00:11:17] But either way, the guarantee usually requires, usually is is given to you as a benefit, in the sense of you’re not going to pay or be expected to, retain the payment, I’ll say. You’re not going to, you’re not going to make a payment that you can’t get back or a payment that can’t be applied to something else unless you fail to hire someone who meets the criteria, or you fail, you fail to get the right candidate candidate in because the recruiter didn’t deliver to you. Right. So it’s kind of an idea of of a of a reciprocity. Right. I’m only going to charge you if I produce for you. But in light of that, because they are typically commission only, that’s the way their industry works for the most part, you’re usually going to either pay as soon as they place the person with the guarantee that says if this doesn’t work out after a certain period, we’re going to we’re going to replace again or you’re going to not pay until the placement hits that that window of opportunity. So if they say you don’t pay, if this person doesn’t work out in the first 60 days and they don’t require you to pay until that 60 day window is gone, that gives you another form of guarantee because you’re basically trying out the candidate. I mean, you’re still having to pay the candidate, but you’re not paying the recruiter.
Allison Williams: [00:12:46] You’re trying out the candidate from the recruiters perspective to see that they are the right fit for you. Now, the beautiful thing about that particular model, I recently started working with a recruiter for Law Firm Mentor to hire a marketing director because I needed somebody who was more than a marketing assistant and less than a CMO. Right. Based on where we are right now, that’s the role that I need to fill. But I didn’t know how to write the ad for that. And there was a lot of I knew how to put the words on paper, but I didn’t know how to kind of how to fish in that pool. And I’m sharing you, sharing this with you, because a lot of times people will assume that because I’m a business coach that I figured out all things business. So therefore, if I need something for my business, I ought to be able to figure it out. And if I tell people I haven’t figured this out yet, that somehow means that I’m not capable in the business. And I disagree. And luckily, my clients disagree as well. Right. So there obviously are things that I have mastered and I help lawyers all across the country to grow their revenues and crush chaos in business. But there are also things because I’m human and knowledge is ever evolving and ever and ever growing that I haven’t mastered yet.
Allison Williams: [00:14:03] And so when I know that I need someone who is not just capable in an area, but I need somebody who’s at master’s level. Right. I’m at this point in my career now where I look to the outcome as a leader, I’m always looking to the outcome and I’m reverse engineering my success based on who needs to be involved in order to get me to that success. And what does that person need. Right. So in this particular instance, when we’re looking at hiring this role, I wanted someone to help me to figure out how to engineer the role in a way that makes sense for me, because I’m at a place where I am marketing all the time. Right. And we use this phrase in Law Firm Mentor frequently. I’m sure you’ve heard me say it before. Always be marketing. Right? So if I’m supposed to always be marketing, but I’m also the CEO and I’m leading two companies and we’re hiring in a lot of different areas in both companies because both companies are growing, then how am I going to be effective at this new thing until I have done this new thing? So rather than take the toll on my business that I know it would take for me to practice on hiring what I think I need or what I feel I need, I would rather turn myself over to a professional, does nothing other than recruit in this space and say this is somebody who knows this space, knows these candidates, knows how people function and can help me get to the right person.
Allison Williams: [00:15:29] Right. Can help me get to the right type of candidate and can help me engineer the role in a way that it’s going to be the most successful for my company. So in working with this particular recruiter, not only do I get the benefit of not paying the fee until after the placement has been with me for seventy five days, which is really, really desirable. But there’s also the benefit of having someone who knows the people boots on the ground in this area and can say these are the things that you can expect for the salary that you are inclined to pay, or here are appropriate salaries for the level of professional that you want. And having that piece of information, not I go on and I ask five thousand people who have ever hired a role in their law firm or even in their businesses, their their, their consultancies or their coaching businesses. And say hear how many of you have hired this role and what did you pay? Right. Rather than just kind of blanketing the marketplace, which I see lawyers doing a lot when I see people at the at the stage of hiring. Instead, I said, all right, let me, let me focus on not just what is needed for me in this moment.
Allison Williams: [00:16:40] Right. Not just what I need in terms of the business, but let me get someone who can actually steer me to what is the appropriate metric for what I want to create and with that knows how to get to the right person for that. So it was very much a decision I want expertise I don’t just want somebody to go hunt the body, right. And you can tell the difference between recruiters that are about the business of their business, meaning they are looking for people in this industry all the time versus recruiters that they may specialize, but they are really lazy. Right. And there are a lot of recruiters out there. I hate to say this. I don’t want to bash the recruiting industry because they have certainly been a lot of good things for me in my business over the years. But there are a lot of recruiters out there that just, they’re chasing checks. Right. So it’s like any warm body will do. I have had recruiters give me candidates that are like years off on the minimum number of experience, or I’ll say I want someone with a book of business and they’ll go they’ll get me somebody who generated like two clients last year. Or I’ll say, I want somebody who’s tried cases or somebody who’s more advanced. And they’ll bring me like a first year attorney and they say, oh, well, you know, they watched one while they were a law clerk. So they know how to try a case. Right.
Allison Williams: [00:18:03] So, I mean, it’s just like absurdity sometimes. Now, I will say that is not the majority of my experience, which is the reason why I’m actually pro recruiter. But there are some negative experiences out there. So you really need to be on the lookout. And when you start looking at recruiter contracts, I want you to consider asking a few questions. So the first thing is, what is the fee structure like? What what are they being compensated to do? Are they compensated to find a body or are they compensated to find a fit? Right. You want somebody who is going to find a fit and to not receive compensation or if they do receive compensation, that it can be clawed back if the fit does not fit. Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a responsibility to interview, to screen, to assess, to get the right person in. You still want to be proactive. It is your business that you’re bringing a person into, but you want the recruiter to have so much skin in the game that if they make a bad placement, it’s worse for them because then they’re going to have to replace and they’re going to lose time that they could be spending earning another fee to go recoup your fee or to retain your fee. The other thing you want to be on the lookout for is you really want to ask the question of where the candidates are going to come from.
Allison Williams: [00:19:20] I had a recruiter one time who essentially blew up my business because I had a I had an employee who was not working out well in the role that I had her in. And she had previously said she wanted to shift over to more of a customer service type role, like a client liaison. And we have the resources to be able to have her do that. But I needed to have someone fill her role, which at the time was sales, right? She was she was handling consultations for our office. So I decided I was going to have a conversation with her about shifting the role. But I was nervous about doing that because I didn’t want her to check out on sales. I didn’t want her to like, say, oh, I don’t have to really focus on this anymore or focus at being good at this anymore, because I’m going to be doing something else, something that I want to do. So I decided that I would hire the person first or at least locate the person and then have the conversation with her. Well, that turned out very, very poorly because this recruiter, I found one recruiter that purported to be focused on hiring and recruiting salespeople, and they worked with me on what I needed.
Allison Williams: [00:20:24] And we talked about what it would look like to have a salesperson in my law firm. And they talked they talked me through kind of what seemed like a good process of getting all the right information. And then they told me they would take that ad and go shop it to individuals. And when they identify the right individuals that the individual was interested based on the parameters of the ad, they would then go and bring me the candidate. Right. And what ended up happening was they posted this job ad, including the name of my law firm in a public forum, and that was then shared to a Facebook group of people in my town or the town where my law firm is, so that ultimately my salesperson learned that her job was being advertised. Right, because she knew we were adding another salesperson. We didn’t have the volume for more than one. And that basically caused the crisis. And when I say a crisis, I mean, I’m out of town. I’m at an event. And I received a very distressed call from my office administrator who told me that this this this person had come to her essentially and said, are you firing me? Are you are you replacing me? And she said, of course not. Why would you think that? And then she said, Well, I found out this. Here’s the ad. And then she she posted shared the ad with my office admin and my office admin said, listen, we’re not, we’re not replacing you. Like you, like take a deep breath.
Allison Williams: [00:21:58] She was so irate and so hostile and so she was wildly emotional about it and understandably so. I mean, she feels like she’s basically being replaced and she’s going to be told you’ve got your walking papers and that wasn’t the plan. But I will tell you this, when an employee believes that they are about to be fired, when when they have, like, kind of gotten either the wind of it or they have a belief about it and you don’t immediately fire them, you are causing yourself more harm than good. You’re causing yourself more frustration because that person now is in their own mental torture, believing that they’re going to be fired. So they’re interacting with that energy of fear, frustration, hesitation, anger, all of the things that come up when a person is fired. Right. And they’re stewing in the juices of those feelings in your business. And it’s not a healthy environment for that person. That person is suffering. It’s not a healthy environment for other people. So like that is I know that that’s a long aside, but I share that really because that was a very, very, very big learning experience for me because I went back to the sales recruiter and and their attitude initially was one of passivity, like, oh, well, well, we told you we’re going to create an ad.
Allison Williams: [00:23:15] And I said, here’s what I authorized you to do. And ironically, long before Zoom was a regular thing to do, we happened to have conducted that meeting by Zoom because there were multiple people involved. And I still had the recording. So I could go back and listen to the recording and I could say, OK, so here’s what we agreed upon. And you did something different. So it’s fine that you don’t want to take responsibility for that. I’ll never work with you again. And I will make sure that no one I know ever works with you again. But as to this, you have now caused damage to my business. So what are you going to do to remedy this now? Luckily, this was a recruiter that did not require any type of payment before they found a candidate. So I didn’t lose any money, but I did lose money in the sense of what my my office culture was while we were in the space. And then what ultimately ended up happening was we found another person for the salesgirl. And my original plan to keep this person and move them over to customer service didn’t work anymore because they were so angry at me, so hostile in the company, so resentful, fearful, emotional about what was going on, that really they just they were like, I’m done. Right? And I was like, I’m done.
Allison Williams: [00:24:28] So when we found the person, we let the original person go. But that all happened because a recruiter did not confirm that what they were what they were authorized to do would be all that they would do, all that they would do. So if you are looking to use a recruiter for someone for a role that you have in your business and you haven’t replaced that business yet, you haven’t replaced that person yet, you’re not at a net zero. You either have other people in the role and you’re looking to supplement or you’re looking to replace someone. It’s really important that you say that to the recruiter and that you emphasize to them they have restrictions on where they’re allowed to fish, what they’re allowed to say, whether or not they’re allowed to disclose your office name, et cetera. OK, another consideration. This would be the I guess what I would refer to as the second key strategy is looking at hourly versus contingency services with a little bit of skepticism. Now, when I faced skepticism, I don’t mean that you should immediately assume that somebody that charges hourly to hunt you the person, is a shyster or a cheater or whatever. Right. You can have someone who says, I’m going to break the mold. Like once upon a time, the billable hour had become the standard in the legal profession and people that charged a flat fee were breaking the mold. Right.
Allison Williams: [00:25:51] So now there’s like a movement afoot of people believing that flat fees are better. So there’s a lot of discussion around flat fees versus hourly fees. But once upon a time, right, when everybody was doing billable, billable hours, the flat fee folks were the the trailblazers, the innovators and similar, and the way that they oftentimes position themselves then and now, is we offer you something that billable hours can’t offer you. We offer you the certainty of knowing what your fee is going to be and having a cap on your exposure and all of those things and in some way denigrate the billable hour model in order to promote the flat fee model. And I see that same type of process happening when I spoke with recruiters that actually charge by the hour. They would say, well, when you’re charging by the hour, I feel I’m going to be compensated no matter what. So, yes, I want to get you to a place of success. But my goal then is not constricted by, my goal is to place a body as soon as possible and put in a few hours as possible, because if it’s contingent, then I want to work as little as possible to earn my fee, which means I’m going to give you just anybody I humanly can trick you into taking and hope that it works out, versus when I’m paid hourly, I, I have an incentive to take as much time as needed.
Allison Williams: [00:27:19] Now, you can say in either of those models, there is room for misconduct, we’ll call it, just as there’s room for misconduct with flat fees. You could have a lawyer that something takes 10 minutes, but they track their time and it takes two hours because they want to justify working longer on one case than another or they want to justify being inefficient or on the flip side, the billable hour. What people always complain about is lawyers will just bill anything. Right. I went to the bathroom. Point two. I got on the phone. Point one. Right. They’ll bill anything just to meet the billable hours. So there’s there’s room for misconduct in people that are inclined to engage in misconduct, just as there’s room for good behavior in those who are inclined to always be pursuing good behavior. Same thing with this. So if you have an hourly based person, you want to start asking some questions about how long on average does it take you to play this role? What are some of the criteria that would drive up the number of hours it takes to play this role? How often have you placed under an hourly model versus a contingent model? And what are the average fees that you are charging? Because if somebody is charging hourly, one has to surmise that they determined that that was the better economic model for them. Now, that could be wrong, right? Just as there are lawyers that choose flat fees and then charge so low a flat fee that they can never be profitable.
Allison Williams: [00:28:48] If they had charged hourly, they would be making a lot more. So people don’t always do the math to figure out their best economic interests when they choose a model. Sometimes people choose a model because they think it’s easier to sell. But with with hourly versus contingent in recruiters, you really want to ask them what what is their metric? How long has it taken them to get to that success point to know whether or not does it make sense for me to pay you? You know, I don’t know. One hundred bucks an hour. I’m just going to use a flat number. I don’t even remember what the hourly fees were. Does it does it make sense for me to charge you a hundred bucks an hour? Or does this make more sense that instead of one hundred bucks an hour that I that I pay 15 percent of the salary? Right. Especially if you’re placing someone at a lower level, those hourly fees can add up pretty quickly. OK, and the last thing that I want to note, this is kind of a third key strategy on optimizing your use of recruiters about recruiters is I want you to really be thinking about expertise and to know that expertise does matter when you are placing nonlawyer roles.
Allison Williams: [00:29:59] Now, I say nonlawyer roles because I think most people know that if you’re looking for a recruiter to place a lawyer, they need to have experience placing in the legal industry. I think most of us would generally instinctually know that. Right. How many lawyers have you placed? How many lawyers in my marketplace have you placed? How many lawyers at my firm at my price point have you placed? But when you start looking at other areas, marketing, sales, admin, office, admin, when you start looking at roles that are more customary in a non professional services firm, you know, marketing assistants are not unique to law right there. They’re out there in other businesses. When you start looking at those roles, you really need to look for somebody who spends a lot, if not all of your time fishing in that pond. OK, so what I mean by that is that there are some recruiters that say, oh, yeah, we have a division for health, health care, we have a division for marketing, we have a division for sales, we have a division for clerical. And usually when you start to hear of multi division recruiters, they are usually placing what I would say is, you know, for large companies, for large corporate infrastructures, no problem with that. But that is not exactly your space, right? They’re not placing in the small law firm space. And when you tend to see people dabbling in a lot of areas, it becomes more challenging for them to gain expertise in just one area, unless they truly do have divisions where the people who are doing the recruiting for you have delved into this arena and stayed in this arena for some time.
Allison Williams: [00:31:47] So one of the things that you can ask to really ferret out whether or not you have someone who is an expert in the area or someone who is, you know, a little bit more challenged, will say or a little bit more of a generalist, a little bit more of a dabbler. And you can simply ask the question, how many of your placements over the last year have been in the area of fill in the blank, in the area of marketing, in the area of sales, in the area of office admin. And when you start seeing the numbers, of course you want to get the numbers of not just how many they placed in this field, but how many they’ve placed overall. So you can get a percentage, right. Was it 80 percent of your placement, 90 percent of your placements, 10 percent of your placements were dedicated to this. That can give you a little sense of, are they dabbling or are they a real specialist? But the other thing you really want to ask is and this is kind of a touchy subject, but I’m just going to put it right on out there.
Allison Williams: [00:32:54] You want to ask them what makes replacing, what makes recruiting this type of person fill in the blank role? What makes replacing or finding this type of person different than other fields of business? So if the person is hiring for you, a salesperson, how are sales people different than other people that you might hire? And here’s the thing. If you get the right person, they will have an answer to that, because even though a smart person is a smart business person, we’ll know and we’ll take the position that there are no special snowflakes. Right. That all of us are human. We’re all on this human journey and we’re all alike in many of the foundational psychological principle type ways. There is something to be said for knowing that there are nuances and personalities. Right. I can tell when I meet a lawyer if they are more likely to be a family lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer versus a civil litigator. Right. Civil litigators, wonderful people, just don’t have the same tolerance for drama, the same colorfulness that you find in a family law attorney. Right. Those are, those are objective criteria that you can see from the outside looking in, interacting, that you can tell. Sure. There are very lively civil litigators. Sure, there are very dry family law litigators. But on the by when you look for who fits with a particular type of practice, when you start to encounter a lot of different lawyers, there’s a certain energy, a certain pace, a certain type of personality that finds its way into each of those areas.
Allison Williams: [00:34:32] Same thing with sales, right? Salespeople are their own special sticky wicket. These people are not just people that are hungry for money. They’re not all the same type of personality. They don’t all have the same DISC profile, but they all have a little bit of zany. And I have found that with hiring salespeople, you’re going to find a certain level of nonconformity, creativity, off the beaten pathness. Oftentimes a little bit high energy. You’re going to find that in the salesperson in a way that’s fundamentally different than a lawyer, because a lot of lawyers are compliance people. They fit within boxes. They like to, they like to know what the system is and fit their way into the system. Even those that break the rules, by the way, they might not be following your rules, but they’re following a set of rules. They’re following rules as a general collective of people. So you have to know these little nuances so that when you start to hear, see, experience things, when you’re looking at candidates, you don’t self-destruct for lack of a better phrase. Right. You don’t, you don’t make choices as to who’s coming into your orbit that are not beneficial for you because you have a belief system that’s not compatible with the type of person that you’re hiring.
Allison Williams: [00:35:54] And the recruiter should really be able to give you guidance around that. They should be telling you this is what we find with salespeople. This is what we find with marketing creatives. This is what we find with when you’re, when you’re looking at admin strategic people. This is what a data analyst generally looks like. So you want to have somebody who has a lot of experience in that area because that’s going to ultimately make you more successful at hiring the right candidate and also more successful at engineering their role when you bring them in. All right, everyone, thank you so much for tuning in for another episode of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. I am Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Everyone have a great day.
Allison Williams: [00:36:48] Thank you for tuning in to the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast. To learn more about today’s guests and take advantage of the resources mentioned, check out our show notes. And if you own a solo or small law firm and are looking for guidance, advice or simply support on your journey to create a law firm that runs without you, join us in the Law Firm Mentor Movement free Facebook group. There, you can access our free trainings on improving collections in law firms, meeting billable hours, and join the movement of thousands of law firm owners across the country who want to crush chaos in their law firm and make more money. I’m Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. Have a great day.
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law.
Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.
In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers. She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications and money management in law firms.
Law Firm Mentor Master Class: https://lawfirmmentor.net/masterclass
Contact Law Firm Mentor:
00:01:36 (43 Seconds)
And frankly, a lot of you may be thinking, I can’t afford a recruiter. That’s far too much money. I’m just going to use the usual pathway, the traditional pathway of writing an ad, posting it on the usual places, seeing who applies, maybe asking around, and hopefully I’ll find the right person for the role. And let me tell you just first a little perspective on why I think that may or may not be the right perspective for you and another perspective to consider. And then I’m going to give you some actual strategies for evaluating recruiters so that if you do decide to work with one, you can make the right choice of recruiter and increase the likelihood of getting the outcome that you desire.
00:03:17 (56 Seconds)
But now when I’m of the mindset that something costs too much, right, if my visceral reaction is, wow, that’s too much money, I always stop myself from acting on that thought and asking about the return on investment. Because as I’ve said before, everything in your business is an investment. Everything that you’re spending money on, invests in something. Right. You’re, when you hire, when you when you purchase engraved letterhead, you are investing in the reputation or the branding of your firm. When you invest in nice office furniture, you are investing in the comfort of your employees and the professional feel of your office. When you are investing in a certain hire, you are investing in the quality of the service that you are providing to the public so that you increase the likelihood that they have a good outcome and hence are more likely to pay your bills, refer more people and increase your positive goodwill in your neighborhood. So there is always an investment that you are making.