My previous post – 3 Steps to Determine What Help You Need – will help you determine what help you need. This post will hopefully help you with your search and interview process. Depositphotos_13159435_m

The Search and Interview

Step 1. JOB DESCRIPTION

Don’t overthink the job description. It can be as simple as the two sections below.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Create Client Files
  • Organize Administrative Documents
  • Type Client List
  • Type Forms
  • Database Entry

Skills and Experience:

  • Typing (if paying by the hour, better than hunt and peck)
  • MS Word Suite Experience
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Excellent Oral and Written Communication Skills
  • Professional Office Experience
  • High-School Diploma Required
  • College a plus

Step 2. ADVERTISING

You can get examples of ads from on-line job boards. But all you need to do is write a brief paragraph about your practice and the type of person you are looking for and add your Job Description.

Local colleges are good places to post ads for part-time and junior positions. Most of them have free job boards and are happy to post local jobs.

Talk to people in your network and let them know you are hiring. Sometimes, people get resumes of good people but they aren’t in a position to hire right then.

Craig’s List seems to be a place that many candidates look and it is reasonably priced.

Once you have resumes, review them for the skills and experience you are looking for. I suggest collecting them all for a few days and looking over a group at a time. This will give you an overview of the candidates and you can compare them to each other.

Don’t be surprised if you reach out to candidates and they don’t call back or you schedule interviews and the candidate doesn’t show up. This is normal.

Recruiters can be great resources. Develop a relationship with one or two legal recruiters in your area. Have the recruiter come to your office. They should know about your practice and how you work. Be specific about your expectations.  If they send you someone who doesn’t meet your expectations, be sure to tell them what didn’t work.  This will help them send you the type of people you work best with.

Help for one-time tasks can be found on different on-line sources such as Task Rabbit, UpWork and 99designs.

Step 3. CONDUCTING THE INTERVIEW

  1. Don’t ask anything that doesn’t directly relate to a job task or his/her work experience.
  2. Final candidates should be interviewed at least twice. One can be a phone screen and one a personal interview or two personal interviews.
  3. Have candidates fill out employment applications. You can get form applications at an office supply store or on-line. This helps you keep consistent information about each candidate and you can have appropriate language on the form for you state such as employment at will language. They usually have a section about salary history as well.
  4. Create a test or some sort of short assignment that will help you determine the candidate’s skills. Again, it should relate directly to the position. It can be something as simple as a spelling test or proofreading test or more complex like a short answer or research test. Be sure to give all candidates for one position the same test.
  5. Create a list of interview questions that you use for all candidates. This keeps you focused during the interview and allows you to prepare one time for all the interviews.
  6. When interviewing ask your questions and then talk about the firm and job. If you tell the candidate about the job and then ask questions, they can tailor their answers to what they think you want to hear.
  7. Open ended questions are best to draw out the candidate. Below are some sample questions.
    • Tell me about a time you worked on a successful team.   What made it successful?
    • You mention in your resume you have worked independently, tell me about that.
    • How do you stay organized?
    • Tell me what you liked about your previous position.
    • What types of projects have you managed?
    • Why are looking for a new job?

Take notes or create an evaluation form that you fill out for each candidate. This will help you remember the candidates since you may be interviewing over several weeks. Areas of evaluation can include things like:

  • Verbal Communication
  • Demeanor
  • Ability to Understand Questions
  • Attitude
  • Prep for interview [did they research you and your firm]

A simple 1 – 5 rating system with room for your comments is all you need.  If more than one person is interviewing, it helps everyone focus when you discuss the candidates.

Don’t settle. Take the time to find someone who will be a good fit. This is an important process and will make a huge difference in your business either for the good or bad.

 

For more information and an in-depth discussion on this process, check out the podcast on Law is Business – Episode 12 at Law Is Business.com. http://www.lawisbusiness.com/#!law-is-business-podcast/c1xux

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