The initial shock of the pandemic caused plenty of law firms and corporate law departments to make tough decisions about their budgets. Some resorted to furloughs and pay cuts as a way of stemming costs. Others examined strategies like reducing real-estate expenses or hiring temporary attorneys to make every dollar count. Eventually, conditions stabilized, but legal budgets remained flat and reduced.
With 46% of legal work continuing to be done remotely in 2021, organizations that are now ready to grow their workforce or lessen workloads are examining their hiring processes to determine how to continue controlling costs. Here are some insights, from our experience as a remote temporary legal staffing firm, about the ways you can control costs through remote hiring practices for law departments.
Using Video Interviews for Speed and Cost Reduction
In-person interviews have been the default even as video interviewing technology has improved, but the pandemic accelerated the transition. Once states implemented social distancing and mask mandates, the majority of organizations shifted their hiring processes to video platforms. In fact, 86% of organizations brought video interviewing into their hiring process.
In addition to keeping people safe, video interviewing also accelerates the hiring process. Without the need to block off time for round-trip travel, potential candidates can be more flexible with their interview availability. Additionally, one-way interview platforms can eliminate the need to coordinate entirely, allowing stakeholders to review candidate responses to interview questions consecutively.
Whatever you choose, this practice can trim down the average time to fill from the 28 day timeframe that is all too common in the legal industry. With faster candidate searches, law departments will lose less on vacancies or stalled legal projects.
Maximizing Your Labor Dollars
Compensation is already challenging to navigate. Evaluating a candidate’s experience, industry benchmarks, and what other attorneys within the law department are paid requires some extensive research. Now, the transition to a remote workforce has the potential to further complicate compensation policies and temporary attorney rates. Yet if approached strategically, corporate law departments might be able to leverage this operational model to control labor costs.
The challenge is pinpointing the right compensation for attorneys outside of your typical geographic region. Offer too little and the quality of your talent pool can plummet. By working with a national temporary legal staffing partner, you gain access to first-hand knowledge of competitive compensation in different regions and can offer appealing consultant rates to top talent.
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