“Tech Can’t Hire New Attorneys, but It Can Tell Firms When It’s Time”
Law firms are continuing to onboard technology to make tasks like e-discovery more efficient, but when it comes to hiring new employees to fill critical practice gaps, the process still favors the “human” in human resources.
Still, even the best human interviewers need an assist now and again. While the early search for new talent may depend largely on data repositories that are beyond the reach of many law firms, tech is being deployed to help bring more organization to how and when roles are being filled.
“Bringing in tools that will help those involved with the hiring process just be more efficient and more effective, I think will be critical in the coming years,” said Kelly Morgan, chief talent officer at Thompson & Knight.
Morgan pointed out that hiring is still a relationship-based initiative, so outsourcing the process in its entirety won’t yield successful results.
She indicated that Thompson & Knight does use resources such as Leopard Solutions’ law firm database to track and research potential candidates. However, the firm’s use of technology in the hiring space appears to be primarily geared to making sure it grows.
“I think what firms are finding is that at the end of the year they really haven’t grown and if anything they may have actually taken a step back in their [employee] numbers,” Morgan said.
So how can tech help? Thompson & Knight, for example, has a succession dashboard in place to monitor impending departures so that the process of finding a replacement hire doesn’t begin at the last minute. Per Morgan, the firm has also met with consultants about developing a solution to help track hiring objectives for different practice areas laid out in its strategic plan.
Of course, just as important as getting the right candidate through the door is keeping them there. Thompson & Knight recently purchased an integration solution from viGlobal that allows both new hires and their supervisors to share feedback and track progress.
“Sometimes there’s a disconnect, right? We think that somebody is integrating really well but they might have a different perception,” Morgan said.