Human Resource Management

Why Do Law Firms Need Human Resource Management Software?

While boutique law firms focus on implementing modern cloud solutions to efficiently manage time, billing, accounting, calendaring, and matter workflows to improve efficiency, a critical piece of the solutions puzzle–Human Resource Management (“HR”)–is an area that is frequently overlooked.

Not spending the time to efficiently evaluate HR Management processes and procedures with the same level of scrutiny will make your firm susceptible to falling behind your competition, higher turnover and employment-based lawsuits.

Asking the following questions is a good way to start discussion on evaulating the need for an effective HR solution with your management team:

  • Does your firm understand the level of detail and accuracy required to meet legal compliance for the management of confidential employee records?
  • Does your firm understand the challenges HR Managers face when dealing with manual documentation and tracking of employee performance, incidents, PTO, benefits administration, etc., without a software to ensure they are meeting the legal compliance requirements?
  • Does your firm understand that it takes just one wrongful employee incident or undocumented termination to result in a lawsuit with long-term financial effects on a partner’s vested interest and future business operations?

With legal technology development progressing rapidly and law firms virtualizing their practice, they are also eliminating legal books and in-house, out-dated libraries in favor of on-line case research, filing court documents electronically, virtually producing discovery, and storing massive amounts of documents on-line with the touch of a button.

HR Management technology can dramatically increase a law firm’s efficiency and mitigate employment lawsuits. So why is it not getting the same priority as other legal technology solutions?

Once your management gains a thorough understanding of the benefits of having a truly powerful HR Management solution, they will wonder how they ever survived without it.

What is Human Resource Management (HR) Software?

HR Management software is designed to eliminate manual tracking of confidential employee information, automate the workflow processes involved with the hiring and onboarding of employees, and manage future employee-related records to be legally compliant. HR Management software also grants real-time access to employees to monitor all information associated with their employment based on permissions assigned.

By implementing a HR Management software to automate the process of job posting, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, managing, developing, documenting employee discipline, managing benefit administration, your law firm will eliminate time-consuming manual tasks to stay legally compliant, and save on expensive overhead costs for storage of boxes filled with paper documents.

There are also more sophisticated HR performance management solutions on the market that can optimize employee productivity to increase employee optimization.

Benefits of HR Software

Recruiting Process

Because recruiting is such an integral part of finding and hiring qualified administrative staff and potential associates through “Summer Associate” programs, HR managers must have the following tools in place to efficiently streamline and move applicants through the process quickly.

  • Post open employment opportunities on websites and web boards
  • Track law schools with Summer Associate Programs
  • Review potential applicant resumes on-line and send immediate reply
  • Ask additional questions on-line customized by the law firm
  • Track applicants, status, interviewer notes and entire interview process
  • Document recruiting efforts to provide marketing metrics
  • Monitor the process to hire qualified employees anytime, anywhere

With HR software in place, the entire recruiting, hiring, and employee management will be efficiently managed with tools to disqualify and qualify and move applicants through the recruiting process quickly and efficiently.

Onboarding Process

The first day reporting to a new job at a law firm is a nerve-racking experience no matter what level of employee you are. Traditionally, the onboarding process starts right when the new hire walks in through the door.

Your law firm’s first impression is important for the employee life cycle and satisfaction.  It is essential to streamline the onboarding process by eliminating manual documentation and focus on employee learning tasks and provide new hires the tools for success and “hit the ground running” to begin billing hours!

Onboarding:

  • eSignature to sign and track status of employment documents virtually, eliminate redundant, handwritten paper files
  • Simplify employee benefits enrollment and administration with real-time access capabilities built into the software
  • Upload and customize your law firm’s customized forms to save time when onboarding employees
  • Electronically store a complete set of employee documentation in one place to capture personal confidential information, job description, salary history, paid time off, benefits, insurance plans, performance details and other relevant information
  • User Provisioning allows for a secure utilization of the same password for all applications to eliminate time spent creating or memorizing multiple passwords, and streamlines the offboarding process to update or remove access rights
  • State Compliance Training documentation and tracking, which is mandatory to be legally compliant with state and federal employment laws

Benefits Administration:

  • Hours tracking for non-exempt and hourly employees via desktop trackers, mobile apps, digital time clocks or biometrics
  • Tracks PTO and vacation requests, scheduling of time out of office, and keeps hours calculated in real time
  • Benefit Enrollment on-line to eliminate double entry of data and gives employees the ability to select and change plans and at their convenience
  • Benefit Administration to track claims and usage
  • 401(k) Contributions and Distributions

Payroll:

  • Payroll Administration and Reporting
  • Track compensation, bonuses, and salary history
  • Tax compliance to automate tax rules at the federal, state, and local levels
  • Adhere to tax rates governing overtime pay
  • Employee access to update personal information, bank accounts, benefit elections
  • Virtual paystub with breakdowns for employee access anytime, anywhere

Reporting:

  • Management reporting with meaningful insights on employee compensation, promotions, and demographics in one place

Management reporting on Key Performance Metrics like headcount and turnover

Questions to ask when evaluating HR management software

  • Does HR software comply with legal compliance required?
  • Does the HR software include provisions for scaling up?
  • How much customization is required?
  • Can my existing paper files be scanned and attached?
  • Are reports comprehensive enough to provide metrics?
  • Does HR software integrate with current software?

Now that you have educated yourself about HR Management software, as with all software evaluations, be sure you see the features, functionality and benefits your law firm will receive from implementing a solution to manage this critical piece of your law firm.

Rose Kupfert Bio:
Rosemary Kupfert is Product Expert, Core Legal at BQE Software. She has more than 30 years experience as a firm administrator and then a consultant to over 1,000 law firms nationwide, helping to improve their workflow and administrative efficiency through business and technology.

About Law Technology Today

Law Technology Today
Law Technology Today is the official legal technology blog from the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC). Law Technology Today provides lawyers and other legal professionals with current, practical and innovative content developed by some of the leading voices on legal technology.

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