Erin Andersen: Having the Right Mindset and Tips for Hiring for Your Law Firm

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Erin Andersen discuss:

  • Why lawyers have a hard time finding and retaining great talent.
  • Hiring for personality and culture, not just skills.
  • Hybrid work, salary transparency, and why you should be using LinkedIn to hire your next talent.
  • Seeing hiring as an investment, not just an expense.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t just hire to fill a seat – understand your culture, understand your needs, and hire the right person for that right position.
  • If a firm is open to training in certain areas, a personality fit may be a better hire option for longevity and retention as the person will be the right fit for your firm.
  • Use LinkedIn (and other social media platforms) to scan your hiring candidates. You can learn things that they may not include on their resume, application, or cover letter.
  • Many recruiting firms, like Erin’s, have a 90-day guarantee on your hires. Working with a recruiting firm can help you to find the right fit for your law firm.

“I think it’s actually better to look where you want to be in 10 years, and then backtrack and figure out how to get there.” —  Erin Andersen

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Episode References: 

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About Erin Andersen: Erin Andersen is a hiring specialist for law and accounting firms. She specializes in hiring both support staff and Associate Attorneys on a flat-rate basis to make hiring more accessible for law firms which in return lets them scale more efficiently. In addition, she is certified in workplace culture and therefore makes this a part of her hiring process.

Erin offers free consultations which can be booked by emailing: info@yourbrandnetworker.com

Connect with Erin Andersen: 

Email: info@yourbrandnetworker.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yourbrandnetworker/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yourbrandnetworker

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hello, my Be That Lawyer friends. Before we dive in today’s show, I have a small favor to ask. My mission in the legal industry is to help legal professionals like you take law practice growth seriously. I hope you’re finding value in this podcast and it’s aiding you in growing your law practice. Now, it only takes a moment to make a positive impact on someone’s life.

[00:00:19] Steve Fretzin: If you’re enjoying the show, please help us spread the word. A kind review or five star rating would go a long way in helping us reach more of your amazing colleagues. Thank you for your support and now, let’s get on to the show.

[00:00:35] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Britson, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time, more efficiently. Little results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Bretzin.

[00:00:57] Steve Fretzin: Well, Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the, Be that Lawyer with Bretzin podcast. I’m happy that you’re with us. Uh, this is an absolutely phenomenal. Opportunity for you as a lawyer to. Be your best self to learn new things to identify Problems and challenges and and work to resolve them through this podcast.

[00:01:15] Steve Fretzin: We’ve got over 400 episodes that we’ve done That’s a lot of episodes aaron agreed a lot putting you on the spot right away. Don’t even waste any time uh And so, you know Look, you can go back and just just listen to them all if you have that kind of time or if you want to be a little more Particular, you can go in and look for subjects.

[00:01:34] Steve Fretzin: You know, you can go to the frets and. com website and just search through my podcast library might be easier than on your phone, but. You know, look, if hiring is your issue, you know, Aaron and I are going to talk about that in some great detail today, but there’s a number of other recruiters and other people I’ve had on the show from the past.

[00:01:50] Steve Fretzin: There’s marketing, there’s business development, time management, health and wellness, you name it. We’ve got it. And that’s what we’ll say about that. Aaron, you were so kind to send me a quote of the show, and I want to start the show with that. If it’s okay. And I want to get your take on it. So it’s embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset.

[00:02:12] Steve Fretzin: It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everyone else. Everybody else. That’s Sarah Blakely. So welcome to the show and yeah, please, you know, give us some insight on that quote and why you love it so much. 

[00:02:26] Erin Andersen: Yeah, absolutely. So I lived in Atlanta for four years and actually lived in the building where Sarah Blakely has her company, Spanx.

[00:02:31] Erin Andersen: So he’s an inspiration as I was beginning my company. Most of all is, uh, I didn’t start off my company as hiring. I knew what my passions were going into it. I think a lot of people start their business based on, um, different things that they’ve encountered in life and therefore that’s their passion. But what I’ve noticed is I used to get asked a lot of the times if I did certain things that were relative to what I did.

[00:02:51] Erin Andersen: And it’s not that I necessarily said, Hey, no, I’m not necessarily doing that. I would explore it and see if it was a possibility. And that’s what I did with hiring, especially after getting certified in workplace culture. I found that there was a lower retention rate in a lot of these law firms and wanted to look further into it So it was less about i’m not doing it yet But let me figure out how I can do it to make a difference 

[00:03:10] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and here’s some threats and trivia people don’t know I actually ran a recruiting firm for five years The sales recruiting firm back in the day before I worked with lawyers very very challenging very difficult to uh, To run a recruiting firm.

[00:03:22] Steve Fretzin: Um, so I admire that you uh got into it and I think your background is You As you mentioned more, is it more in branding than in recruiting and you sort of found a way to morph them together? 

[00:03:33] Erin Andersen: Yeah, my background is in business, but I also the other half of my business is career transition And so i’ve seen the individual side.

[00:03:39] Erin Andersen: I’ve heard the complaints. I know what’s going on in the market Um, you know something as little as recruiters are constantly ghosting us and so it’s the balance of how are we Not just ignoring those candidates How are we making sure that the reputation of the firm is still there and we’re maintaining that communication?

[00:03:53] Erin Andersen: especially if they’re a good candidate that You Maybe a small firm will grow and they want to hire them down the road. So I definitely have seen it from both sides, which is how I got into hiring originally. 

[00:04:02] Steve Fretzin: Got it. Got it. And so, uh, and if for everybody listening, Aaron Anderson is the founder of Your Brand Networker.

[00:04:08] Steve Fretzin: Um, giving us a little bit of background and jumping right in, if you don’t mind, I mean, why, I mean, there’s, there’s challenges in hiring in every sector, but for some reason, and I could be wrong, um, That lawyers particularly have a hard time finding good talent and, and, and keeping good talent. Do you, can you sort of talk, talk to that for a moment?

[00:04:30] Erin Andersen: That’s definitely the case. I think number one is a lot of firms aren’t actually looking at their culture. They dive right in, often coming from big law and finding another partner that wants to do the same. And just like anybody else starting a business, there’s a lot of components and they know they have to get the business in.

[00:04:44] Erin Andersen: And so they’ll just hire. People to fill a seat something that I hear sometimes is, you know, I want to how cheap can I get them for that? Somebody who’s probably going to leave soon and they aren’t right. So are we that’s a 

[00:04:56] Steve Fretzin: trigger right 

[00:04:57] Erin Andersen: there? Yeah, are we looking to build? You know talent that’s going to stay or someone to just fill a seat.

[00:05:02] Erin Andersen: So I do find that’s an initial issue You know later on I find that sometimes they’ve just hired recruiters that don’t look at the culture and don’t look at personality They just check the technical skill box That’s an issue a lot of the time. And that usually leads to like your every two year legal admin or associate jumping from firm to firm.

[00:05:19] Erin Andersen: Lastly, I would say, how are we standing out in today’s market? We’re in a market where we have competition with firms, um, hiring on a hybrid basis. Is there something that can set us apart from another firm so that these people aren’t leaving? What is the advantage of somebody staying long term? Is there a possible partnership track eventually?

[00:05:36] Erin Andersen: Are we advertising that in a job post and having those continuous conversations? 

[00:05:41] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I think when you look at the skills gap for lawyers around Recruiting, hiring, training, onboarding, training, and retention. Those are all learned skills. I mean, some people have more natural ability to do that than others, but I think these are all skills that business people have to go through to run a successful business.

[00:06:02] Steve Fretzin: And lawyers, I think just kind of skip it and there’s, you know, here’s your phone, here’s your desk, you know, you’ve got the skills, do the job, I’ll start throwing hours at you. And then that person doesn’t work out. 

[00:06:13] Erin Andersen: Absolutely. Yeah. You know, here’s, here’s a work laptop, for example, I’m thinking that that’s, what’s going to set them apart.

[00:06:19] Erin Andersen: Often when I receive an initial job posting from a firm, there really isn’t anything about culture, which means that that firm has gone on to post job postings and recruit without talking about what they offer to the candidate. And so we don’t even know if they were initially attracting those right candidates.

[00:06:34] Erin Andersen: And that’s something that I focus on. I feel like I have a pretty good feeling at this point. I’m sure you did when you recruited as well right away when I’m interviewing if it’s a personality fit, but there’s, you know, if a firm is open to possibly training on certain areas. It’s going to be advantageous for them long term to make sure that personality fit is there and they’re going to feel comfortable You know if they were to go out to dinner for example, right?

[00:06:53] Erin Andersen: Is that somebody that you want to have at your firm? 

[00:06:56] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, so how I mean there are a lot of executive coaches leadership coaches out there now and I’ve interviewed a ton on my show They’re really the ones that are helping lawyers to figure out, you know, how to You know, grow and hire through, you know, personality, culture and all the different elements.

[00:07:14] Steve Fretzin: Like, you know, what are they really looking for? You know, if the job could talk and if the person can match it, but that’s not easy to do. So for someone that maybe doesn’t have all those skills. What’s the best way for them to think about hiring that first admin or that first associate? 

[00:07:29] Erin Andersen: Yeah, definitely.

[00:07:31] Erin Andersen: The first thing that I would make sure is that you have a clear understanding of what the responsibilities are going to be. A lot of times a firm says, I need an admin. Well, what does that mean? Is it really an admin or is it a client relations assistant? Those are two very different roles. And so often most firms come to me and they say they want to hire for X and I’m like, that’s not really the right title.

[00:07:49] Erin Andersen: And then what happens is they’re attracting the wrong candidates. And then they fall in love with those candidates because they think that they have, you know, such a great personality, but they, the skillset isn’t there. That also leads to our attention problem. Did we actually hire for the right role? If you want a litigation associate, just hiring an associate without litigation and hoping that they’re going to be strong at litigation might not be the best approach.

[00:08:10] Erin Andersen: I would say I see it most often in support roles. And so I would really look at market comps. You know, in the market, what are we call, you know, look at the responsibility section. What are we calling these roles? Is there consistency in your area to be able to determine if that’s the right title for the position?

[00:08:25] Steve Fretzin: And remind, and say that again, where are the, where are the comps? Where can lawyers find what lawyers are making or what admins are making in, in their market? 

[00:08:33] Erin Andersen: Yeah. So even if you do a quick Google search in your area and look at all the different recruiting platforms for the positions that are currently posted, I look for consistency and responsibilities with title.

[00:08:42] Erin Andersen: And once I start to. See that I will say it does vary by location. I do see consistencies in like the northeast versus the west on what they’re calling different positions But it could be as little as a legal assistant versus a legal administrative assistant versus an office manager Those are all very different and if somebody Isn’t in the world of hiring every day.

[00:09:03] Erin Andersen: It’s very likely they’re going to hire an office manager when maybe they actually need an executive assistant for themselves. 

[00:09:08] Steve Fretzin: Gotcha. And what, what are you seeing in the market right now? I mean, I’m, I’m noticing that attorneys are overwhelmed with work. They’re looking for associates. They’re, they’re really struggling to find, especially the ones that are in specific.

[00:09:21] Steve Fretzin: Niche’s are really struggling to find good associates these days. What’s going on? 

[00:09:27] Erin Andersen: Yeah. I think the first part is what firms are offering. And so for example, culture, but also, um, is a firm possibly offering hybrid and one is, and I’m thinking of a firm in not New York city that I hired for, and they were very.

[00:09:42] Erin Andersen: Adamant about not going ahead and offering a hybrid schedule or not offering a ton of flexibility. And so when interviewing candidates, a question that comes a lot out a lot is, well, is it possible to just have flexibility on Fridays? Is that possible? I have a family. And a lot of times the answer is no.

[00:09:57] Erin Andersen: And that’s a much harder hire when maybe even if we look at hybrid now, hybrid could mean once a quarter. It could mean once every two weeks, once a month, right? So what’s happening is when jobs are being posted, candidates are also filtering by hybrid, remote, or in person. If we could only have that hybrid flexibility, I truly believe that would make a difference.

[00:10:16] Erin Andersen: The second thing I would say is salary transparency. A lot of people are not, no longer hire, uh, no longer applying to positions if the salary isn’t lifted. And there’s a very interesting argument on a law firm side versus a candidate side. And it goes back and forth. And I see opinions on both sides of, you know, what different law firms think.

[00:10:35] Erin Andersen: My opinion is Uh, you know salaries transparent in new york state and I do believe eventually that is going to be The case all over the country, but it saves a lot of time during the hiring process And so a lot of these firms will come to me and they said we’ve posted for associate positions But everyone we hire is coming from big law and they want 185 000 for two years of experience All right.

[00:10:54] Erin Andersen: Cause they’re coming from big law and they don’t know what the expectations for small law. And so I always suggest be transparent with salary, even if it’s a large range that, you know, going into the interview, this is aligned and they’re not wasting your time. 

[00:11:07] Steve Fretzin: Got it. Got it. So yeah, that really is, is helpful.

[00:11:10] Steve Fretzin: You, you know, mentioned to me in our, in our pre interview and I’ve been teaching LinkedIn for like 16, 17 years. So you and I are like on the same wavelength about the importance of LinkedIn and how valuable it can be from a, from a recruiting and hiring perspective. Why is LinkedIn such a, such an amazing tool?

[00:11:30] Erin Andersen: Yeah, so I can tell you, I recently managed, I guess you could say, an Indeed profile for another candidate because they, they felt that they wanted to post on Indeed as well, and so it actually gave me the opportunity to see the balance of candidates between the two platforms, and it only further and And I confirmed that LinkedIn is the best platform, in my opinion, for hiring because we’re actually able to see the profiles of these candidates and verify the logo of where they’ve worked in the past.

[00:11:55] Erin Andersen: A lot of the times I find a lot of additional information I don’t even find on an interview. I scan their activity section and so a lot of the times I can see what types of conversations are they participating in. What are they posting in? Something I found recently on a canvas, and I found this before, is they won’t include their most recent position on a resume.

[00:12:14] Erin Andersen: Say for example, they started a job two months ago, they’re really not enjoying it. They submit their resume without that position currently on it, but on LinkedIn and their activity section, there’s a post from two months ago celebrating their new position. And so I’ve often found that on LinkedIn where you could not find out another platform.

[00:12:31] Erin Andersen: There’s also the featured section on LinkedIn. A lot of the times I find links to their businesses that they don’t list on their resume. Sir, maybe a conflict of interest or just too much time spent outside. And I’ve unfortunately found some fairly graphic things on LinkedIn, um, on candidates pages that I may find on social media or even worse.

[00:12:49] Erin Andersen: And then I could not find that out by a resume or interviewing them. So I definitely scan all the profiles. Is there anything that’s a red flag? There’s no other platform providing that exact professional presence that linkedin does 

[00:13:02] Steve Fretzin: and so that’s that’s the Providing a lot of the background and research that you do when you’re looking at candidates for a firm And then is there some proactivity that you then use to then?

[00:13:15] Steve Fretzin: Using that as a tool to then reach out to them to talk to them about the opportunity 

[00:13:19] Erin Andersen: Yeah, definitely. linkedin recruiter, right? Like that’s a great example how we’re able to reach out to those candidates I will say that, you know, their emails are listed on their resume and sometimes that’s a better form of communication, but it’s definitely a, oh, my, it was called like a backup.

[00:13:32] Erin Andersen: If they don’t answer through email, we also have the ability to access their profile and contact them there.

[00:13:41] Steve Fretzin: Hey everyone, ever wonder where your real inefficiencies are hiding or how much more business you could be bringing in? Take the Be That Lawyer Challenge today. We’ll meet for 30 minutes to discuss your practice. If I can’t identify where you’re losing time and money, I’ll pay your hourly rate for the time we spend together.

[00:13:58] Steve Fretzin: Are you ready to be challenged? Just visit my website at www. fretzin. com slash V T L challenge and select a time to meet with me. It’s that simple, and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

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[00:15:14] Steve Fretzin: The best part, they will find you a highly qualified English speaking VA based in Latin America for only a fraction of the cost. Locally at fretzin we use get Staffed Up for Marketing Person and you know how good our marketing is. Learn more@gettstaffedup.com slash be that lawyer. So, you know, you mentioned culture now a few times and mm-Hmm

[00:15:36] Steve Fretzin: Are you know, I feel that that a lot of lawyers want to make big bucks, but at the same time they want to be happy. And I don’t know that those two always align. Can you talk to to the different cultures and versus maybe them going after the big money, but then realizing maybe too late that, Hey, I’m making a lot of money, but God, am I unhappy?

[00:15:59] Erin Andersen: Sure. So from the Canada perspective, right? 

[00:16:02] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:16:03] Erin Andersen: Okay, so a lot of the times I find because I only hire for small to medium sized firms There are big law candidates in the pile and the consistencies that I find is that they are looking for more of a work life balance. I’ve interviewed candidates that it has been years since they’ve taken a vacation.

[00:16:19] Erin Andersen: If they’ve even taken a weekend, um, it looked down upon and not suggested to do it moving forward. I’ve seen candidates, you know, that have missed out on major life milestones. And now they’re, you know, say for example, in their late thirties and they feel like they’ve missed out on personal things in life and they’re looking to switch.

[00:16:35] Erin Andersen: I’ve also found that they’re not getting mentorship from partners at firms. They don’t have access. They feel like they’re a number. They’re just sitting there. They don’t even know where their career is going to go long term, but they have this massive paycheck. It’s very similar in like investment banking industries, right?

[00:16:48] Erin Andersen: And they don’t necessarily have the guidance of where to go moving forward. And so while interviewing them, sometimes it’s more educational in some cases, if I feel like somebody is coming from big law and they’re like, well, I saw this position and it sounded great. This would be an example where we don’t have a salary disclosed because the firm chose not to, you know, everything sounds great.

[00:17:07] Erin Andersen: We’ve talked about work life balance in the post. And then we’ll get to the salary and they’re like, well, I don’t want that. And then at that point, it’s a conversation around, well, are you, you know, what’s more important to you? Is it salary? Is it work life balance at this time in your life? I’d say location goes into that too.

[00:17:21] Erin Andersen: Um, I see a lot of associates start to move out into other areas. And so usually it goes by the age of the candidate, but I do see a strong trend towards about late twenties to early thirties where people are starting to migrate out of big law and start exploring these small firms. 

[00:17:36] Steve Fretzin: And what do you think about, there’s so many different sort of.

[00:17:39] Steve Fretzin: Elements to work to what someone is looking for in a candidate. So you mentioned culture. Now we’ve, you know, we’ve talked about, you know, salary work, work ethic. I mean, is there, there’s a lot of lawyers sort of complaining about the level of work ethic, you know, and they can say the term and I can say this because I’m old, like back in the day, like there’s the gen X really unhappy with maybe some of the younger generations.

[00:18:04] Steve Fretzin: Work ethic because they, you know, started off with, and I’m not trying to generalize anything. I’m just saying what I’m, what I’m hearing is, you know, that work life balance became a real theme. And now you add into that the virtual, uh, the virtual workplace situation where you’re working from home, you add those two combined.

[00:18:23] Steve Fretzin: And it’s really frustrating. I think a lot of lawyers and law firms that are looking for someone that’s going to get the job done. 

[00:18:31] Erin Andersen: Absolutely. I had this conversation yesterday because I, I truly believe workplace, uh, culture is defined by work ethic. And so, and work ethic can’t really be taught, right?

[00:18:41] Erin Andersen: You kind of either have it or you don’t, or you’re motivated or you’re not. Um, and so when I’m interviewing candidates, it’s really about, you know, why do you want to work here and why do you want to work here long term? Is there something particular about the firm? You know, I really look for passion. Is this what somebody for employment law, for example, do they have a personal story that is going to really drive them?

[00:19:02] Erin Andersen: You know, references is another, uh, another aspect to an extent, but like we always say, it’s very rare that somebody is going to give a reference that they think that wouldn’t say something bad reference. Yeah. 

[00:19:11] Steve Fretzin: Talk to these bad references. They’ll tell you how horrible. I’ve had them now. 

[00:19:15] Erin Andersen: I’ve had two so far.

[00:19:16] Erin Andersen: I’ve I have, so it depends. 

[00:19:19] Steve Fretzin: Well, I had, I had an employee, I had an employee steal from me. She did 11 months in Cook County jail stealing from me as my office manager. And she, she still pulled me down as a reference after she got out. I was like, Oh, this is going to be interesting. 

[00:19:34] Erin Andersen: Yeah. It’s really interesting to see, you know, I think also the time it takes when, when I’m interviewing somebody, if it takes a very Automatic time for them to get back to me with reference, but a little bit of a red flag.

[00:19:45] Erin Andersen: This would be something that you should, you should be staying in contact with your references, right? It shouldn’t be somewhere you’ve spoken to six years ago. So I would say that’s really important. Uh, in terms of work ethic, I have seen a few firms do like a 60 to 90 day trial with these candidates to really make sure that it’s going to be a good fit.

[00:20:02] Erin Andersen: Or sometimes they’ll hire them for six months and then based on their Work ethic, the work that they’re producing, they’ll promise an increase by the end of the year. If they’ve reached a goal, different types of incentives like that, uh, and test projects and writing samples. That’s been huge lately too, just to kind of see, you know, are we getting it done on a, on a timely process?

[00:20:19] Erin Andersen: But I do feel it’s fairly evident when I’m interviewing, if somebody is as determined to come in with a really strong work ethic, are they ready to go? Are they lazy? Are, you know, even the, uh, way that somebody gets back to me when I interviewed them for an interview, excuse me, when I emailed them for an interview.

[00:20:35] Erin Andersen: You know, is it six days or is it within 24 hours? That’s a big difference. Do they really want this? So that’s been something that’s been interesting in this market. I will say some firms assume sometimes that, you know, not that they were looking for an older candidate, but they think that’s who we’re going to end up with.

[00:20:51] Erin Andersen: And I have seen a lot of great Gen Z candidates come out that are really excited to work for these firms and have a great work ethic as well. 

[00:20:58] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, so it might be more about just, just, you know, kind of working through the individual candidates to find the, the, the, the one that has the work ethic, it might take 10 to get to one, but that’s, or maybe not, I don’t know, but that’s, but that’s what I think sometimes has to happen and, but I think when you, when you get work ethic and, and again, that also relates to the culture of the culture of the firm is, You know, look we work hard, but we also play hard or we also take time off like let’s work really hard But let’s also make sure we take time away and enjoy our families and you know Have babies or whatever it is that’s going on to make sure that you get you get the work life balance But when I ask you to get something done, and I don’t want excuses I want it done and that’s also part of the culture.

[00:21:40] Erin Andersen: Absolutely, and I think it’s great to be transparent about that If a firm voices, that’s what they want. I usually make it pretty explicit and obviously a professional way and a job posting, but you know, a lot of firms say, Hey, if the work gets done, I don’t care if they come at seven 30 or nine 30, if we have a nine 30 start time and they want to leave at four 30 to go pick up their kids, great, just get the work done, be there for trials, you know, but be transparent about that.

[00:22:01] Erin Andersen: I feel that that’s really important in today’s market because a lot of firms aren’t doing that. So, you know, through the job posting and interviews, make sure that it’s known. 

[00:22:09] Steve Fretzin: And let’s take a few minutes to just talk about recruiting as an investment, because I think one of the biggest hangups that, that lawyers and law firms have is that, and I’m not going to say it’s out of hand, but maybe you agree that, you know, 20, 30 percent of a salary of a, you know, to find somebody again.

[00:22:29] Steve Fretzin: You know, you know, and I there’s just a hang up about it. I mean, there’s no question There’s a hang up about it But but ultimately how much could it you know, if it’s seen as an investment and you find the right recruiter It could make all the difference. 

[00:22:41] Erin Andersen: Yeah, absolutely. I’d say today’s average is about 18 to 30 Just kind of depending on you know, I see a lot of 22 25 30 is actually very common But it’s a lot for a small firm to take on right?

[00:22:53] Erin Andersen: so, excuse me when you’re in the midst of building a business no matter if it’s Six months i’m thinking for my work with you know up to five years even and no matter what stage you’re at But especially during that time, it’s this unexpected Expense that you might have to incur when all of a sudden you have a ton of work coming in and now you have to Hire and you’re like, okay.

[00:23:11] Erin Andersen: Wow now I need to budget for this separate expense A lot of firms don’t know how much that fee actually is when they seek out a recruiter. And so it can be quite shocking. I work on a different model, which is spot rate, which has been advantageously small, medium sized firms, because they know what they’re going to have to pay.

[00:23:26] Erin Andersen: There is no conflict of interest when it’s going back and forth between me and the candidate. Cause I’m not trying to get them to increase their salaries, but I get a higher rate and it allows them to scale efficiently. So I know many firms that put off hiring because they simply couldn’t afford the recruit recruiter fee on top of a salary.

[00:23:42] Erin Andersen: With today’s market salaries. And so it’s made it where they, yes, they can hire a flat rate basis, but now they can also hire for several roles. So they don’t have to just hire the associate. Now they can afford the legal admin. It’s very, at least very common in New York to go to a networking event and hear attorneys complaining about the recruiter fee.

[00:23:59] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. And ultimately though, if we, you know, and I can say the same thing about my fee. I mean, I’m charging a significant fee for a reason. Um, when someone can double, triple their book, when they can get to a million, two, three, four, you know, my fee is, you know, pennies, pennies on the dollar when we get to those kinds of levels.

[00:24:17] Steve Fretzin: Um, and recruiting can be the same thing. If you have a lawyer, uh, that is, is billing at, you know, 500 an hour and 1800 a year, and you start doing the math over, you know, five or 10 years and what the profit is, you know, the recruiting fee ends up being, again, being, being pennies on the dollar over time. I think their concern is a, they don’t have that money if they’re small, or B, it’s still seen as an expense versus seen as an investment, which I think is, is maybe that’s just an, is that an issue with the recruiters and how they’re, how they’re actually selling the service.

[00:24:50] Erin Andersen: That’s a really good point. And just their mindset around it, right? So it’s interesting when I work with career professionals and attorneys on their career, um, we’ll often send them like a mindset piece, like how to really get into the right mindset before hopping on this call and talking about it. And I think that would be a great point for sure.

[00:25:06] Erin Andersen: Um, firms that are looking to hire is not just what is the expense now, but what is it going to do for me in the future, and how is it going to help me grow and scale? I 

[00:25:13] Steve Fretzin: mean, an idea too would be, you know, maybe creating some case studies about what a great hire means to a firm over time, because if it’s, Three million dollars in profit over 10 years and the fee is, you know, 40 grand or whatever it ends up being like, okay, so I’m putting in 40 grand, but look, I can get 3 million if it’s the right hire.

[00:25:35] Steve Fretzin: And there’s a guarantee in many cases. So you, you know, you’re not held to somebody. What’s the, what are the guarantees? Is that six months, a year? What is a guarantee? 

[00:25:42] Erin Andersen: Everyone’s different. I do 90 days. 

[00:25:44] Steve Fretzin: Okay. But some go as high as I think six months or a year, or 

[00:25:48] Erin Andersen: I don’t say a year often. I think it depends.

[00:25:50] Erin Andersen: Like if it’s more of a senior associate partner, possibly. So 90, 90, 90 days might 

[00:25:53] Steve Fretzin: be more the the standard. 

[00:25:55] Erin Andersen: Yeah. I do not, I see 90 days a lot. Um, I see 60 days a lot as well. Okay. I used to do 60 days and I just find, quite frankly, I think, you know, in 30 days, if it’s not a good fit, , but I do like to allow for those 90 days in case that person is to leave so that they don’t feel, you know, stuck.

[00:26:10] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. So I think we, we’ve spent a good amount of time on the candidate side from, and well, I guess we’ve spent time on both, on both ends, but, um, no, I’m, I’m, my apologies. I think, I think we spent time on the, on the, on the law firm side, on the candidate side. How should, how should lawyers prepare to start thinking about changing jobs if they’re in a, in an unhappy situation?

[00:26:35] Steve Fretzin: What should they, what are the three things that they should be doing to start getting To move. 

[00:26:42] Erin Andersen: Yeah. First thing is do it early. I see sometimes like firms are laying off depending, you know, somebody, if you’re at a firm where the partners might be retiring and they don’t have a backup plan or succession or whatever may be happening and they’re like, Oh wow, I have three months, I got three months notice.

[00:26:54] Erin Andersen: So be proactive about your branding. Get everything in order. I’ve had several attorneys come to me and say like, I haven’t even updated my resume because I’ve been at this firm for so long. Get all of that in order in advance, be proactive. The second thing I would, I always say is have, uh, conduct informational interviews.

[00:27:09] Erin Andersen: If you’ve been in big law for a really long time, start speaking to people at smaller law firms. So if you’re looking to go in house at these firms and determine how a, they did it and B, where are they now, which leads me to my third is when you’re looking at these people to speak at, um, a networking event or on LinkedIn.

[00:27:29] Erin Andersen: I see a lot of people looking for the person that they want to be right now versus where they want to be in 10 years. And I think it’s actually better to look where you want to be in 10 years and then backtrack and figure out how to get there. 

[00:27:41] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. That’s really bright. Really good. So as we wrap up, I want to, I want to just bring up your game changing book, breaking the habit of being yourself.

[00:27:50] Steve Fretzin: That sounds tough. 

[00:27:51] Erin Andersen: Yeah. What’s the, what’s the deal with that? What’s 

[00:27:53] Steve Fretzin: up with that bug? 

[00:27:55] Erin Andersen: Yeah, so it’s by Jonas Spenza and it’s really fascinating because he, he’s very relatable to the average person. And so I find that, you know, it’s not like you’re looking into somebody who grew up with this type of mindset and meditation and et cetera, right?

[00:28:07] Erin Andersen: And now you’re trying to be them. It’s someone who grew up with parents that didn’t expose him to any of this. And it’s quite fascinating, uh, to see how you can change your mindset on several things. And he backs everything up with science, which I really like, because I like facts and proof. It is one of those reads I like to go through a book quite quickly, and it is something that you have to read sections and then you go for a walk.

[00:28:28] Erin Andersen: And I do read it on an annual basis as well. 

[00:28:31] Steve Fretzin: Oh, wow. Okay. I’ll have to check that out. As we wrap up, I want to thank our wonderful sponsors, of course, Lawmatics, Get Staffed Up, and Fretzin Cardigan Marketing. Check those all out on our website, bretson. com. And if people want to get in touch with you, Aaron, they are tired of the traditional approach to recruiting.

[00:28:50] Steve Fretzin: They want to try something different, different model, and they liked what you said today. Uh, what’s the best way for them to reach you? 

[00:28:56] Erin Andersen: Yeah, um, I’m again, like we had mentioned before, I’m on LinkedIn quite often. Just make sure that my last name is spelled S E N at the end of Anderson. You can look me up there.

[00:29:05] Erin Andersen: I’m sure my email will also be in the show notes, so you can check it out there. But it’s just info at yourbrandnetworker. com. Those are the two best places to get in touch. 

[00:29:12] Steve Fretzin: Fantastic. All right. Well, thank you for, you know, sharing your wisdom. I mean, we, we covered actually a lot of ground in about 30 minutes.

[00:29:19] Steve Fretzin: I mean, that’s you, you were, you know, you really tackled it, uh, head on with me. So I appreciate that. Um, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Really great. So we’ll, we’ll have you back and let’s keep, let’s keep talking. Great. Thank you so much. Okay. And thank you everybody for hanging out with Aaron and I today on the Be That Lawyer with Brettson podcast.

[00:29:36] Steve Fretzin: We are working with you every single week, twice a week to help you to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker. Take care everybody. Be safe, be well. We’ll talk again soon.

[00:29:50] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.