The employment process can be a grueling experience, often requiring hiring managers and HR departments to review hundreds of resumes to find the perfect candidate. The cost of hiring the wrong employee can be costly when one considers the wasted hours spent training and disciplining the bad hire, disputing unemployment claims or even wrongful termination suits.
Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever to vet potential employees. Not only can you go online to research the employee’s social media activities and previous professional activities, but you can use tech to screen and test candidates. Here are three types of tools that will help your law firm hire the best attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff you can find.
The first step toward finding the perfect candidate is to put a recruiting process in place that gives you the best advantage from the start. Referrals and partnerships with local law schools and paralegal programs are a great start, but you’ll still be more likely to find the best candidates if you further expand your reach. Post job openings on top employment sites and legal job boards so that you’ll have a stack of potential resumes. From there, you can narrow your options to the best, then interview from there to find the right fit for your firm.
One tool that can help broaden your search is LinkedIn’s Recruiter, which lets you search the site’s more than 400 million professional profiles to find potential candidates. These are professionals who may not actively be seeking a job change but may be interested in making a change under the right circumstances. LinkedIn’s Recruiter allows you to narrow your search to include only professionals in the specialty you need in your local area and contact them directly through LinkedIn’s mail system.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, 56 percent of all employers have caught a lie on a resume. Most often these lies are simply exaggerations of a candidate’s skills and past job responsibilities. Even when a business conducts reference checks, these fabrications can slip through, since many employers now avoid going into detail when called about a former employee. One way to reduce your risks as a small business owner is to conduct pre-employment background checks on job finalists.
One of the safest ways to check a candidate’s background is through the use of public records search tools, which can identify a history of arrest, legal action, and driving records. For a law firm, these tools can also pull information on a professional’s licenses and professional affiliations to ensure the right qualifications are in place. A law firm’s employees often spend a great deal of one-on-one time with clients, so it’s important to ensure those employees have been cleared before they start work.
With so many embellishments, it’s no surprise firms are hesitant to hire a legal professional based solely on words on a resume. Even if an attorney has passed the bar, in the day-to-day work of representing clients and researching clients, some lawyers simply don’t have what it takes. One way to identify an employees approach to various tasks is through the use of behavioral interview questions, which will help you gain insight into how the candidate will handle various situations. This interview style calls for specific examples of past behavior which makes it more difficult for an interview subject to fudge their way through the interview process.
Prescreening tests are another great way to learn more about candidates. Tools are now available that gauge a potential employee’s cognitive ability, motivation, and personality profile. You know more about your firm’s culture than anyone else and while reviewing the results, you’ll be able to quickly identify which final candidates fit best with your existing team. Prescreening tests can help you avoid hiring a legal professional who might drag the rest of the team down or poorly represent your firm and clients in court.
When adding a new professional to your law firm, it’s vital to equip yourself in order to make the best choice. With the right tools, you can learn as much as possible about candidates before making a choice. This will help your firm avoid making a costly mistake by adding the wrong person to your team.