#DelegationTip on Hiring

Hiring is hard.

Hiring is not something most professionals like lawyers and accountants do regularly. That makes it extra difficult, and a little awkward, to master the process and skills needed to hire well.

Once you recognize that you need help, whether the help is virtual or in-person, you need to make a commitment to investing the time to do things right.

Many times clients come to me after making a bad hire to decide what to do next.  The hire is a bad fit or doesn’t have the necessary skills.  I can help with that, but the best way to avoid bad hires is not to do them in the first place.

Planning is key.

Write your Hiring Legend before you delegate

Before you hire, create your Hiring Legend. Legend, as in, your story about hiring at your professional firm.

Your Legend is a document that states the values of your firm, your mission, how you help clients, and the job description.  Thinking about this information grounds you and makes it easier to be intentional about your hire.

(We’ll talk more about writing your Firm Legend in a post next week.)

Your Hiring Legend should include both the functional skill set that you need as well as the attitude and qualities you would like to see in someone who is taking on this role.

Also, consider what qualities you absolutely cannot tolerate. What are the red flags that indicate this hire is not for you?  I don’t hire complainers. That doesn’t work for me at all.  I do much better with resourceful people who have a ‘can do’ attitude like I do.

Consider the level of experience you want in this role.  One of the keys to successful delegation is for you to stay engaged but not involved. You will stay connected to answer questions and give guidance but please don’t become the micro-manager.  That is a waste of everyone’s time.

Instead, be clear about the experience needed to make the correct decisions in the role.  Take answering your phone for example.

Lawyers and other professionals should not answer the phone directly in my book.  Your time is expensive and you subject yourself to losing billable hours when you are on the phone with a candidate who is fishing for legal information and won’t ever become a client.  You can delegate that role.

You have choices. You can hire locally and train your assistant but they may not have enough experience dealing with difficult clients or guarding your calendar. You can hire a company like Answering Legal, which provides experienced receptionists who can help with the intake.

I’ve included hiring tips along with hand-picked Talent in Dina’s Rolodex, my on-demand delegation resource library.

PS You can try using Book-It-legal to find in-person help depending on where you are located. I did a live stream with Jack West, the founder, yesterday. Book-It-Legal is a tech company that connects lawyers with law students on a per-project basis.


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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