One of our fellow PMAs recently shared a group photo that was taken almost 15 years ago. It prompted us to think about that meeting, and some of our former colleagues who have gone on to other employment in other industries. One such person is Diane Ellis, a brilliant lady who once worked with the Arizona State Bar and is now a successful psychologist and counselor. The following is a tip that she was the mastermind behind, and it’s probably even more useful now than it was when she first coined it. We’ve spiffed it up a little to take account of current technology.
If you’re a sole practitioner with a keyboard speed of 90 words per minute or skilled in the operation of speach recognition software, a speed typist may not be the best use of use of your hiring dollar. Before you hire, think about the tasks that require a law license. Unless you’re considering hiring an associate, you are going to have to continue to be responsible for all those tasks.
Your objective when seeking a new employee is to hire someone to do everything else that’s left. Concentrate on the tasks that don’t require a particular skill that you have, or that do require skills you don’t have and which take up your time and effort without producing revenue for the firm. Perhaps you need a new employee who can successfully handle routine correspondence and telephone inquiries about ongoing cases, or maybe your real need is someone who is a whiz with computers and can master your case management system, help you create a virtual office or help you get into the mainstream of using social media as a client development tool.
The right employee is one who can complement your skills by bringing missing abilities to the office mix.