Whendreamstime_m_22894894 you are at the point where you know you have to get help, take the time to determine what help you need.  Your neighbor’s brother-in-law may need a job, but he may not be the best bet.

The following three step process can help you hire the right help.

Step 1 – Track Your Non-Billable Time

Create a client/matter number for your non-billable time and track it just as if it were client billable. You are in effect paying for it, so track it. Don’t get too complicated. Simple entries that will remind you what type of task you did and how long it took are fine.

Perhaps things like:

  •                 Research New Software
  •                 File Papers
  •                 Type Pleading Forms
  •                 Look for Insurance Brokers
  •                 Make folders for client files
  •                 Type Client List
  •                 Enter Expenses

Step 2 – Organize Your List

Group this list of tasks by skill set or type:

Group 1

  • File Papers
  • Make Folders
  • Type Client List
  • Enter Expenses

Group 2

  • Look for Insurance Brokers
  • Research New Software
  • Type Pleading Forms

Step 3 Identify Requirements for Completion of Tasks

Determine what the ideal person needs to know to complete the tasks for each group.

Group 1

  • Typing (if paying by the hour, something better than hunt and peck)
  • Experience with word processing, excel
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Good Communication – Writing and speaking

Group 2

  • All of Group 1
  • Experience with software programs
  • Ability to research
  • Ability to find products and articulate differences
  • Ability to prepare a report in a concise manner

It is important to look at this information and make some determinations.

For example:

Group 1 employee may need to be at the office with you. Group 2 employee can probably work remotely. Both can be offered flexible schedules. Group 2 person can do Group 1 tasks, but not necessarily vise a versa.

Your tracking also helps you determine how much of someone’s time you need. Remember, sometimes you’ll be faster and sometimes you’ll be slower doing the tasks. Start with adding about 50% more time to each task for someone new to accomplish. After training and experience working with you, it should take less time and you can give the person more work or reduce his/her hours.

My next post will be discussing the next step to getting help – the search and interview process.


For more information and an in-depth discussion on this process, check out the podcast on Law is Business.com – Episode 12.





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