In the legal field, missing a deadline simply isn’t an option. Unfortunately, deadlines can creep up on you, especially if you’re working on a large project with many moving parts. Deadlines can also be impacted by an employee resignation or trying to grow your department while in the midst of a major project. Long stretches of unplanned overtime are fairly normal in the legal world, but they can also lead to burnout that can ultimately cause turnover. With the right approach, however, you can stay on track and help your support staff maintain a manageable workload, no matter the circumstances.
Hire for Skills and for Culture
The right skill sets are critical for the success of any support professional, but all the skills in the world won’t matter if the person doesn’t fit in with your company culture. For example, someone used to a small firm environment may struggle in a highly hierarchical corporate structure. A person who comes from a firm with a light caseload may flounder in a busier, more competitive environment. Hiring people who align with the culture ensures they will not only be able to handle the workload, they will also thrive in your work environment.
Stay Tuned Into the Workflow
A great legal support staff will run like a well-oiled machine, but when work starts to pile up, you’ll need to step in and tune in. Keep an eye on any backlogs that may be building, and sit down with key members of the staff to see what exactly they need in order to get caught up. Perhaps work is being slowed by an unfamiliarity with a process or a subject, someone may be struggling with new technology, or you may simply not have enough people on staff to manage everything efficiently. Staying plugged in and asking your team for feedback ensures you can address the root cause of potential bottlenecks.
Create Staffing Flexibility
If you’ve built a great team, odds are high that backlogs are simply caused by work volume. Hiring skilled temporary support staff can help you navigate that workload effectively. However, scrambling to hire temporary support staff can backfire if you’ve never hired temporary workers before or if you approach hiring from a position of desperation.
When a big project is coming down the pipeline, you can be proactive by contacting a legal support staffing firm. An expert recruiter can help you plan for your needs, and they can act quickly to match you with highly skilled professionals as soon as you need them. Even if backlogs are unexpected, a recruiting firm can ease the strain on you and your team by finding the people you need while you stay focused on hitting your deadlines.
The recruiters at Kent Legal can help you find the skilled legal support help you need for your legal department today. Our deep talent pool is ready to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more.