As a law firm or corporate legal department, you might have a roster of full-time staff that you rely upon. While they can typically keep operations running efficiently, there might be times when your organization could benefit from an extra set of hands. Whether this is due to a special case or a big doc review project, it might not always make sense to commit to a full-time hire. Instead of making do with your current staff, however, you should consider investing in a temp staffing strategy.
Hiring attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff on a contract or temporary basis is a flexible hiring strategy that can help boost your productivity, while keeping overhead costs low. However, it’s important to understand when to utilize contract or temp hiring. Below are a few situations when temp staffing might make the best sense for your firm:
You need someone with specialized experience
Some hiring managers are hesitant to hire legal contractors because of the myth that these professionals are inferior to full-time staff. However, this simply isn’t true. Contract attorneys and paralegals often have extensive experience in their area of specialty. Preferring the flexibility of project-based work, they can come in to address a matter that is outside your typical area of expertise. This can help you keep client requests beyond your scope in-house, as well as keep your current staff focused on what they do best.
There’s a sudden or seasonal uptick in caseload
Utilizing a temp staffing strategy when you are ramping up for peak busy seasons or are experiencing increased client demands can help you work more efficiently. Not only do contractors ease the burden off your team, but they make it possible for you to accept cases you typically wouldn’t. Since the contractor leaves once the project or high caseload ends, you also save on all the overhead costs associated with a full-time hire.
The firm or department is growing
Bringing on a new partner, landing a major client, and acquiring another company are just a few scenarios where it can be difficult to gauge your hiring needs. Whether you have not yet established a hiring budget or do not know how many new employees you need, contractors can handle the workload while you figure out the logistics. With a temp staffing approach, you don’t have to worry about the repercussions of letting anyone go once you finalize your headcount.
When you want to evaluate long-term fit
In the legal industry, one hiring mistake can cost you. Since employees need to hit the ground running, you must ensure all new hires have the right skillset and temperament for the firm and your clients. Since finding the best fit can take some time, hiring on temporary to full-time or trial basis is a great way to assess their fit on the job. This way you can get a good feel for their performance before making a longer-term hiring commitment. Additionally, this temp staffing strategy can help reduce turnover. Since both parties had the opportunity to evaluate fit, this reduces the likelihood that the new hire will leave quickly.