Brain Trust Legal

Human Resources Solutions at Legal Conferences

As the world grows smaller due to ease of communication on the internet, and potential law firm employees become more picky about their employment choices because of the growing number of options, the challenge of running an effective human resources department in a law firm becomes more and more difficult and complicated. Law firm owners need an edge that helps them become and remain competitive in their field and their market.

A legal conference like the ones that Brain Trust Legal puts on can help to provide that edge. Listed below are just a small sampling of the types of valuable human resources information you can take away from a BTL event or conference:

How Can Law Firms Streamline Their Application Process?

The most valuable commodity in any department of a law firm is time; it’s the only resource you can’t trade another resource for in order to get more. As the most valuable commodity, time is the one you should be conserving, but there’s nothing that eats up time faster than the process of hiring for a new team member. Looking through dozens of applications, sitting through interviews on Zoom and in person, it can all add up quickly. What can you do to speed up that process?

There are two elements you can add to your application process that will speed it up and make it more effective: automated initial interviews and personality tests.

There are many programs that allow you to build automated interview processes where applicants are given questions to answer in short video clips. This is a great way of getting a sense of an applicant’s personality and knowledge set, as well as offloading the initial interview from the HR staff. This kind of interview won’t tell you who the ideal candidate is, but it will cut down on the wrong ones, which will save you time.

The same is true for personality tests, which can help you gauge if a potential employee is the right fit for a position and even for your firm’s specific company culture. If they look good on paper but not an ideal culture fit, a personality test can help establish that and save you the time of continuing through the hiring process or even onboarding them and finding out after all that time and effort has been invested.

Human Resources

How to Deal with Law Firm Supervision Structure Problems

Nothing slows law firm productivity down faster than mixed messaging about who is in charge. You may think you have a clear framework for who reports to who in your law firm, but it only takes a few time-sensitive surprises to find out that it’s not as clear as you thought. Even smaller firms can struggle with this because often people are functioning in more than one capacity in multiple departments.

For instance: the intake department is often under the operations department in a law firm; however, much of their work affects and is affected by the marketing department. Does the marketing department have the authority to make changes in the intake process, or do they need permission from the head of the operations department? These kinds of problems are hard to see until they’ve arrived, so it’s best to plan well to prevent the issue from ever happening.

The best way to accomplish this is by creating a clear and detailed chart showing the hierarchy of the firm, and then making sure the team members have been educated on it. Distribute it and discuss it with your team, but then follow up by sending out surveys asking team members to answer questions about who they supervise, who is their immediate supervisor, and who is in charge of their department. Direct and simple planning can prevent the kinds of miscommunication, power struggles, and hurt feelings that come from lack of clarity on firm structure.

supervision structure problem

How Can HR Foster Greater Connections Between Departments and Team Members?

The truth is, the most effective way to foster greater connections in a law firm is to have team members connect on things that are not related directly to their standard interactions on a daily basis. Those interactions are about work, not connecting, so a different type of opportunity is needed. Celebrating team members, both for their birthdays and anniversaries as well as their accomplishments, is a great way to create connections. Events both in-person and online that involve games and activities can promote unique interaction opportunities.

Another option for fostering connections is digital communication, through email and newsletters. This keeps everyone informed of firm activities and updates. However, it’s important to remember that company-wide communication is a tool that can be abused. For every important email or newsletter, there can be “reply all” emails with questions and conversations that don’t need to go to everyone. This kind of company-wide sharing devalues the communication avenue and makes it more likely that team members will ignore or check out. Just as important as what you do send is what you don’t send, so make sure you have a clear policy in place about the threshold for sending company-wide messages.

How Can Legal Conferences Help Law Firms Solve Human Resources Issues?

We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what can be learned and implemented about human resources as a legal conference from Brain Trust Legal. Industry experts and law firm owners present key insights and experiences that help law firm owners and their human resources teams build a department that attracts and retains great team members. Events with fellow attorney attendees open up multiple opportunities for networking and idea sharing, the most effective way to get a diverse cross-section of potential solutions and improvements.

You may even be seeking to expand your HR presence or find alternatives for new team member recruitment, all of which you can do by speaking with vendors and exhibitors who have the resources and solutions you’re looking for. From staffing solutions to technologies that make remote employment easier and more effective, these events can transform a law firm’s human resources department into the well-oiled and highly functioning machine you want. You can learn more about Brain Trust Legal conferences and events here, or you can call the BTL team at (855)743-1636 from anywhere in the nation to get more information.

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