Law Firm Human Resources for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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Uh oh. You forgot that tomorrow was Administrative Professional's Day (again)? You've probably missed out on the chance to get your admin something meaningful, like that Napa Valley wine gift basket, or that spa day.

Don't worry, though: There's still time to get a good gift that doesn't say, "I forgot and bought this at Walgreen's on the way to work," like a Whitman's Sampler. Here are some last-minute gift ideas to save your bacon.

If you're looking to hire a new employee, be aware that salary is just the start of the costs. There are plenty of associated, non-wage costs to bringing someone new to your firm. From taxes and insurance, to simply finding a new location to put someone, the costs of hiring a new employee can vary wildly.

If you're not anticipating them, these costs can be unexpected. But they're certainly not indeterminable and should be included in any plans to hire. Here are some factors to take into account when looking at the real cost of a new employee.

Kids these days -- try as you might, there's no escaping them. In the U.S., there's more than 70 million Millenials, people born from the early eighties through to the new millennium. They're the largest generation outside of baby boomers and becoming a major part of the workforce, including your workforce.

The generation gap can lead to difficulties, particularly in interviews, where you have to get to know a candidate in a short amount of time. That means your tried and true methods might need to be updated when interviewing these youngsters. But don't worry, you don't have to ask them what their favorite emoji is just yet.

When interviewing Millennials, here are three areas to focus on:

Hiring support staff is always a risky endeavor, something which requires you to place faith in absolute strangers and hope they can deliver. When hiring an admin, the risks can be even greater, as a firm administrator is often the most senior non-lawyer employee.

That's why firms should tread carefully and search rigorously. Do things the wrong way and you'll be left with a headache. So don't learn from your mistakes, avoid them in the first place. Here's three pitfalls to steer clear off in your admin search:

Phone interviews are about as fun as flu shots. And like shots, they're painful, sometimes nauseating, but a necessary part of life. Deprived of the many cues afforded by a face to face meeting -- the types of visual aids that let us know when the other side is done speaking or if they are even still listening -- phone interviews can be stilted and awkward for both the interviewer and interviewee.

However, there's a reason we do them. The phone interview can be a great, quick way to connect with candidates who are far away, or to screen candidates before bringing them in to meet face-to-face. So don't dread them, make them better. Here are three simple tips to help you conduct improved phone interviews.

Firms go to great lengths to find and hire the best talent, but once hired, many firms stand back and see who sinks and who swims. While some talent can thrive on its own, taking an active hand in managing your lawyers' development ensures that the firm gets the most out of its employees.

How can you build your firm's professional development program in order to turn promising talent into an actual pay out? Here are some ideas to start with.

Power in a law firm isn't found just in the wood-paneled, reporter-lined corner office, but right behind the front desk. A law firm's receptionists isn't just the first face visitors see when they arrive, he or she is also the cornerstone of a successful office.

Your receptionist matters, so be sure you pick the right person for the job. If you're currently hunting for a new receptionist, put candidates with these characteristics at the top of your list:

As more and more Baby Boomers head toward retirement, the workforce is growing ever younger. For some, that means the twilight of their careers could be spent working under a much younger boss. Even mid-career professionals can find themselves reporting to a fresh-faced wunderkind.

Already, Generation X and Millennials make up two-thirds of the workforce, and their numbers are growing. As younger workers begin to take on more prominent roles, some simple tips can help more experienced workers adjust to careers underneath a younger boss. Here are five you may want to consider:

The phone interview is quickly becoming the go-to method for a first round of interviews. Phone interviews are cheaper for everyone, faster to conduct, and don't waste as much of the time of the people who inevitably won't get called back for an in-person interview.

Like in-person interviews, though, phone interviews have their own procedure, style, and etiquette. If you've never conducted a phone interview before, or you're not sure if you've been doing it right all along, here are some tips to guide you:

What should you look for in a paralegal or legal assistant? We don't mean "what should you put in the job application." That's easy: Writing skills, attention to detail, flexible schedule, and so on.

We're talking about personality traits that an ideal paralegal possesses, things that are essential to him or her. You can only find these types of qualities after an interview, or maybe only after a test run of a few days or weeks, but in the end, a paralegal with these qualities will make your firm run a whole lot smoother: