Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment are committed to donating 10% of annual profits to charity. We assist with all types of legal recruitment, from solicitors to paralegals. Register online.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Overpaid Charity CEOs - top 20 of highest paid employees


I recently discovered the list below of the charities with the highest paid staff in the country and it makes for very distressing reading. As a matter of policy, the Ten-Percent Foundation will not be donating to any charity in future that pays a CEO or equivalent more than £75,000, which we believe is a reasonable wage to be paying a decent manager or director involved in a non-profitable and charitable venture.

Consumers’ Association £300k-£310k
Marie Stopes International £260k-£270k
Save the Children International £261,309
Cancer Research UK £210k-£220k
British Red Cross Society £180k-£190k
Age UK £180k-£190k
Shaw Trust £180k-£190k
National Trust £170k-£180k
Royal Mencap Society £170k-£180k
Crime Reduction Initiatives £170k-£180k
Alternative Futures Group £170k-£180k
British Heart Foundation £173,300
Leonard Cheshire Disability £160k-£170k
Macmillan Cancer Support £160k-£170k
Marie Curie Cancer Care £160k-£170k
NSPCC £160k-£170k
Addaction £160k-£170k
Turning Point £165,000
Save the Children £162,220
Charities Aid Foundation £150k-£160k
Barnardo’s £150k-£160k
People’s Dispensary For Sick Animals £150k-£160k
Sense, The National Deaf blind and Rubella Association £150k-£160k
Royal Horticultural Society £150k-£160k
Zoological Society of London £150k-£160k
 Historic Royal Palaces £151,037
Action for Children £140k-£150k
 Salvation Army £140k-£150k
National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux £140k-£150k
Royal National Lifeboat Institution £130k-£140k
 Royal British Legion £130k-£140k
Royal National Institute of Blind People £130k-£140k
Scope £130k-£140k
National Autistic Society £130k-£140k
St John Ambulance £130k-£140k
Alzheimer’s Society £130k-£140k
United Response £120k-£130k
 Dogs Trust £120k-£130k
Voluntary Service Overseas £120k-£130k
National Schizophrenia Fellowship £120k-£130k
Catch22 £120k-£130k

When did all these charities sell out to the corporate world and the excuse of 'independent salary review experts' determining salaries for their CEOs? How many international accountancy firms have been involved in plucking figures from mid-air to determine how much the RNLI fork out to a paid head when most of the people involved are volunteers?

These days all charities with a certain income must disclose the salary being paid to the highest paid member of staff.

This means that the public can see where part of their donations and spend with a particular charity is going.

In the past 14 years, the Ten-Percent Foundation (the charitable trust receiving the Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment donation - £66,000 to date) has donated to a number of charities including some of those below - The British Red Cross and the CAB, which seem to have been paying out salaries in excess of £140,000.

This is quite horrifying to discover. I cannot believe that in this day and age a charity needs to pay a salary at this kind of level to attract someone 'good' to the role of CEO or to head up a particular part of a charity.

I appreciate entirely that charitable organisations like the National Trust and the Consumers Association which, lets face it, are more like businesses with the public as shareholders in any event, are going to pay their staff reasonable salaries. It is inevitable, although questionable in terms of their aims and mission statements.

However, for Cancer Research to be paying someone £210,000 per year, the British Red Cross £190,000 a year, Save the Children to be paying £261,309, Age Concern (or AgeUK - did someone get a bonus for this change of name?) to be getting £180,000, is quite frankly obscene.

I think that charities ought to be made to print the statement on any of their literature to say that any donations made will pay for staff salaries, with a note of the highest salary being paid. This way the general public can make an informed decision on whether or not to donate to a particular charity.

There is a feeling when reading these figures that the charity sector has turned into a business and that the way to make money in the business is to get a CEO job. You virtually become a shareholder at this kind of level of income, and I think it is utterly disgraceful.

After all, I could turn our business into a charity. We could develop charitable aims, arrange to become a trust with a trading branch and pay all our staff more money than we currently get as employees. We would be a charity, but the whole purpose of the business would still be to support the staff of the business, and this is, I fear, the current status quo with some of these charities. People protecting their own jobs and not appreciating how such salaries could be perceived by the general public.

Lets look at whether or not a CEO actually needs paying these amounts. Taking the Save the Children salary - £261,309. Here is a breakdown kindly provided by the Salary Calculator website (www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk)

 

YearlyMonthlyWeeklyDaily
Gross Income£261,309.00£21,775.75£5,025.17£1,005.03
Pension Deductions£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Childcare Vouchers£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Salary Sacrifice£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Pre-tax deductions£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Taxable Income£261,309.00£21,775.75£5,025.17£1,005.03
Tax£103,716.05£8,643.00£1,994.54£398.91
National Insurance£8,457.96£704.83£162.65£32.53
Student Loan£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Post-tax deductions£0.00£0.00£0.00£0.00
Take Home£149,134.99£12,427.92£2,867.98£573.60

Why on earth does a CEO of a 'charity' need to be earning £12,427.92 net pay per month? What are they going to do with it? How much does he/she donate to charity?

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment donates over £13,000 to the Ten-Percent Foundation. Ouch!



Philanthropy Really, Really Hurts

We have just gone through the very painful process of transferring money from our company current account through to the Ten-Percent Foundation. 

Every year since 2000 we have committed as a company to donate a percentage of our annual profits to charity. This includes any subsidiary companies and operations. So far, for 14 years, our board of directors has agreed to setting this at 10% (after all, how on earth could we carry on with our name which is Ten-Percent?). We have donated over £66,000 to the Ten-Percent Foundation, a small sum in the general scheme of things, but a lot of money for a company the size of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment.

This last year we have just transferred just over £13,000 from our current account into the Ten-Percent Foundation charity bank accounts, and I have to say that it really, really hurt.

I know it shouldn’t cause pain, and as a company and a group of people together we ought to be delighted to see our money going towards worthy causes, but I am afraid it does. I get extremely depressed for at least a few days, thinking about all the money and what it could have been spent on if I had taken it as a dividend (I am a shareholder in the business as well), but no, it is going to charitable causes. 

From now on we have decided to use our charitable donating to maximum effect. After all it is our number one USP (unique selling point). How many other recruitment agencies donate to charity? A better question would probably be how many are crazy enough to have contemplated giving their money to charity? 

Personally I wish we had not sat in a cafĂ© in Leicester in 1999 and decided to set up a recruitment agency whereby we donated 10% to charity and charged 10% fees (this didn’t last – it was commercial suicide!). 

I wish I hadn’t got so annoyed by a recruitment consultant working for a national agency loftily informing me that as a newly qualified solicitor I was lucky to get the £20,000 just offered by one of his clients and that he would be taking £4,000 plus VAT in commission. 

I wish I had taken time to set up the company, researched the market, looked at profit margins, realised that giving away 10% of profits to charity was definitely not a good idea, and gone corporate with our approach. I am sure I could learn to speak business b*****ks and I do keep practising. 

Unfortunately we didn’t do any of this and set up overnight, spent 6 months getting our first candidate into a role (she managed 2 hours before walking out – it was the old Abbey National bank), and the following 14 years building Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment into what it is today.  

This year (2014) is the first year we have managed to catch up with our charitable donations since 2007. Between 2007 and 2014 our company has been postponing the donation from time to time because of the difficulties in balancing survival with the charity commitment, but now job markets appear to be slightly better it has been easier to get the money out. 

It feels good for us to be up to date with our 10% donation, and it also feels good to be one of only a tiny minority of companies who have such a commitment, but it still hurts. 

I am proud of our commitment to the donation and I think our name is probably the driving force behind this. It would have been too easy with another name simply to change the percentage amount or remove the charitable donation from our articles of association all together. Especially in the recession.

Are we philanthropists? I am not sure the amounts of money the Ten-Percent Foundation ever has to donate to good causes will allow us to use this definition. I have read around the subject and discovered there is a college in the USA teaching philanthropy (to rich people perhaps?) and a fellowship of philanthropists exists in the UK. 

I wonder whether this is either astonishingly rich people getting together for a self-appreciating pat on the back from each other for giving away money they have made already, or a similar organisation to the Lions or the Rotary Club of time donation rather than financial support, or whether it is elderly folk easing their consciences or worrying about easy passage into heaven (if they have religious convictions and are concerned about admission from whichever angel is on duty) and hence coughing up shed loads of cash.

So now we have a bulging charity bank account for the first time in years, and start the process of avoiding large national charities with CEOs on salaries and packages higher than those of a doctor or headteacher, and keep our eyes open for smaller charities with identifiable projects, particularly those with links to the legal profession.

If you have any ideas, please feel free to email them across to cv@ten-percent.co.uk. We look for small charities preferably with interesting projects.

Think about your own charitable donations. How much difference could you make to the world and what would you benefit personally from making donations? I have learned over time that the only benefit really is to your own sense of justice, satisfaction and duty. No commercial or financial gain ever seems to come your way by donating a percentage of your profits to charity. Just a general feeling of depression followed with a warm glow of satisfaction when you have got over the pain...



Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Friday, November 07, 2014

5 Ways to Avoid Recruiting a Duff Candidate

We appreciate entirely the difficulties law firms have when trying to take on new staff. How do you know a candidate is going to stop with your firm and not turn out to scare all your clients away or worst still set up on their own across the road and poach all your existing clients?

The answer is that you don't know what a candidate is going to be like, but you can certainly undertake a few tests. Here are our recommendations:

1. When interviewing, try to make the candidate sweat.
Not literally (you'll probably sweat as well if you turn up the heating!). Try to get them under pressure. Ask awkward questions and probe their answers. Someone who handles you politely and fairly comfortably is probably going to do the same in a work situation. A candidate who gets distressed or aggressive will almost certainly do the same with your clients when faced with confrontation.

2. Get the candidate to meet your staff on the day of interview day.
You may think that you know everything about a person the moment you see them. As the boss it is your duty to make sure you employ staff who are going to either generate income for your firm or support those generating income. However you are not necessarily going to be spending much time with the new staff member and your colleagues may well work out in a few seconds that the new person is unpleasant or impossible to work with. Having a nightmare candidate in the office is not good generally for income generating or morale and you may well find yourself recruiting in a different role if you take on a bully or a headcase!

3. Put the candidate through some file tests.
At interview produce a file or get a case up on your PC - anything you like. Ask the candidate how they would deal with it - give them a few moments to read it (make sure the file is not from a multi-million pound litigation case!) and then ask them to explain what they understand the case to be about and what needs doing or watching out for. This works at all levels - junior admin staff, paralegals and solicitors etc. Again this puts the candidate under pressure and gives you lots of chances to probe further - eg at junior level ask where an attendance note would be found and at senior level ask about a technical issue.

4. Speak to their last employer
Easier said than done, particularly because larger firms now produce references that quite frankly are completely useless. "I can confirm that Bob Carolgees worked with us for 2 years but our policy is not to give any personal information." Great. Really useful for any future employmers. (On an aside - some of these firms expect detailed references from previous posts but thats another issue!). Where a reference is not possible, use a 3 month probation period instead. Speak to us about using our 12 month rebate and payment plan if you have recruited via ourselves.

5. Google them
Have a look online and see what their digital footprint is like. For example, if you search my name online (Jonathan Fagan) you get my youtube films, our websites, a link to my facebook account, linked in profile, twitter feed, a couple of press reports, blog entries and much more. A few clicks into our youtube account reveals what we post and some of this you may or may not appreciate. It gives you a good idea of what a candidate could be like. Not that long ago I clicked onto a candidate's profile to discover that there were lots of pictures of them enjoying a night out a little bit too heavily. Suspect a future employer may not have been too impressed by the pictures of the candidate staggering about a town centre with a bottle of beer!

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New for 2015 - Free Guide to Getting a Training Contract or Work Experience for Law Graduates, Paralegals etc..

We have had a Guide on our Legal Careers Shop for many years, but after 8 years we have decided it is probably time to update and upgrade it, particularly when the previous version talks about writing letters to law firms (no mention of email, which until c.2010 was still alien for a lot of law firms). 

This work is now complete and you can view the guide by visiting our Legal Careers Shop and downloading it. There is no charge and the guide includes the following:

  1. A guaranteed failsafe technique for getting both work experience and a training contract. 
  2. Answers queries you may have about legal recruitment agencies and whether they can help. 
  3. Guides you to improving your chances on getting work experience or a training contract. 
Download the guide at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk and then visit www.ten-percent.co.uk and read some of the 100s of articles on preparing your CV, completing application forms, attending interviews, tactics for improving response rates to applications, etc.. etc..  It also includes 15% discount codes for all the items in our online shop. There are no catches and no hard sell. It is simply our guide, written in the hope that law students read it and leave us alone!

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Number One Way to Grow your Business Overnight

The Easiest and Quickest Way to Grow your Business
There are 5 ways to grow your business – increase customers, get customers to buy more, increase the value of each transaction, increase prices or increase efficiency.

By far the quickest and easiest way, according to expert pricing accountant Peter Hill, is simply
to increase your prices. He issues a challenge to businesses – if you want to increase your profits in one, easy step, increase your prices by 5% immediately.

A quick example would be a conveyancing quote I recently had. We contacted three law firms to get a price on selling a field (sale transaction is less than £20k) and got quotes of £475, £400 and £200.

Thinking about it now – if the £200 quote had been £210 it still would have been the lowest price, and if I had been a bit distrustful of the low quote I would still have gone with the medium quote with a 5% increase at £420.

Applying this to our own business does not really work, because in recruitment most of our business is on a percentage basis and varies according to the salaries being paid, not the work put in. However to an hourly rate firm (ie a solicitors practice) this could make a big difference.

Assuming your firm (limited company) turned over £100k last year with £60k profits and paid corporation tax at 20% on the profits, you would have managed to make £48k after tax. If you increase your prices by 5% you would have turned over £105k, with £65k profits and made £52k after tax. The extra 5% price would have generated you £4k in net profit.

Not bad for just adjusting your prices slightly upwards.

The downside is of course the annoyed customer who wants to know why the price has just gone up. Peter Hill suggests that you should ignore them and concentrate instead on the vast majority of clients who are happy with the service and as a result will pay to stay.

Are you brave enough to try it? We are going to give it a go with one of our non-recruitment businesses. I’ll keep you posted with the results in 12 months time.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Cut the Clutter on your Desk and Save Valuable Time

Cut the Clutter on your Desk and save time

I recently read an article about saving time – with tips including outsourcing everything you possibly can, delegating as much work as possible and avoiding meetings. One of the tips was to reduce the clutter on your desk because looking for documents and items can take up so much of your time.
These are the three things to do with paperwork on your desk:

1. Delegate It
2. File it
3. Bin it

Apparently most of the stuff we file away never gets seen again and in fact it would have been better to bin it from the outset. There is a professor in the USA who tips all his paperwork each month into a desk drawer and at the end of the month he throws the whole lot into the bin. I think this is extremely brave and would never dare to be so bold, but it is certainly one way to get rid of stuff off your desk!

There should be no paperwork on your desk at the end of the day – instead it should be in a filing tray, an action tray or the bin. Stationery should be in a desk tidy or drawer. Go and buy some trays at lunchtime and invest in a desk tidy for your pens. It makes the world of difference turning up to work to find a blank slate rather than piles of papers.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Friday, June 27, 2014

60% increase in out of hours telephone calls to Solicitors Firms

We received a press release not that long ago from a well known telephone answering service - AlldayPa (www.alldaypa.com - this is not a sponsored link - we don't get paid if you click it - but we are and have been clients for over 10 years now).

They have released figures to say that 'The legal sector has seen a 60% increase in out of hours calls' - which has consequences for many law firms across the country. More and more clients are expecting calls to be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it seems logical to suppose that this is a direct result of increased online and offline advertising. TV and Radio adverts are becoming commonplace, and it is natural for a client to call straight away, rather than wait for office hours.'

They have not published any figures demonstrating the 60% increase in the past few years (which is as vague as it gets), but the crux of their research is promoting the fact that it may be worth firms considering out of hours call handling services in order to deal with the increased traffic. Not sure the evidence is capable of backing this up, but there we go!

Should you consider an out of hours call handling service? The Law Society seem to have close links with a local company to our North Wales office - Moneypenny are based in Wrexham. They have always been more expensive than other options when we have looked into them and we have explored using a one-man band before now as well to cut costs. 

I have to say that we do not use a call handling service after 5pm. Many years ago we used to answer calls ourselves after 5pm but over time worked out that the vast majority of calls were a complete waste of time and we were spending valuable out of office time worrying about answering telephones. I got fed up of telling LPC graduates to read our website carefully (we don't offer free careers advice over the phone) and taking long calls from senior partners wanting to get market updates and talk about solicitors with following. 

If you are considering an out of hours telephone service then Alldaypa have always been good for us - again I should add that this is not a plug for them. When we have had problems with calls they have been able to listen to recordings and relay to us what went wrong if anything. 

We tend to use them when too many of our staff are out of the office all at one time, or our phone lines are engaged. I would not recommend using them for calls after 5pm as you can start finding the whole experience very costly, and with little reward.

You need to think carefully as to why you would need the service. If you are taking a lot of queries in the evenings should you start an on call rota amongst your solicitors? Its a bit pointless having PAs answering calls and taking messages if people are calling you specifically for quotes there and then, or have an urgent legal query.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

4 in 10 Lawyers would not encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps

A new survey has been commissioned showing that 4 out of 10 solicitors would NOT encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps.

Wesleyan for Lawyers managed to get hold of 103 'lawyers' to conduct this poll, which is pretty poor considering there are over 120,000 solicitors on the Roll in the UK and considerably more support staff and non-qualified fee earners. Very unrepresentative and a bit of a non-news story!

 However I suspect the real figure is something above 60%.

Why? 7 reasons.

  1. I cannot imagine anyone who deals with the Legal Aid Agency wanting to encourage anyone else to follow in their footsteps. 
  2. High street solicitors who have not got to partnership status are unlikely to suggest to anyone else that it really is a good idea to run up debts of £44,000 going through the education and training bits before earning a maximum salary of £40,000 for the remainder of their career. 
  3. City lawyers in my experience seem to hate their jobs, themselves, the long hours and the lack of much of a life, even though they are getting paid considerable sums of money. Whilst they may want to attempt to glamourise their roles in the firms and essentially call it a vocation, I suspect a lot would not suggest following them. 
  4. Newly qualified solicitors outside the Magic Circle firms must look at their loans and overdrafts and wonder how and why on earth they ever got to the position they are in. 
  5. Lawyers who have gone off to work in local authorities and as lecturers must again look at how hard they worked, what they gave up and the debts they have had to work through and pay off and wonder why they ever bothered. 
  6. Partners who spend about 70 hours in the office each week with work at the weekends as well catching up with paperwork are hardly likely to want to encourage anyone else to follow them.
  7. Any lawyer who has the pleasure of regularly dealing with the Courts is not exactly going to speak about their experiences with any glowing reference. 
So assuming there are 120,000 solicitors in England & Wales, I reckon this must surely account for over 60,000 of them. With this in mind, I think the Wesleyan survey is probably not too far away.

How many lawyers have called for a plumber or electrician to come and do some work, discovered their daily rate is not far off and sat back and wondered if only?

There again, if the same poll was undertaken with GPs and consultants, how many of them would encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps?
Are we as professionals always liable to winge about our existence, regardless of how good or bad it is?

Jonathan Fagan is a Solicitor (non-practising) and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Best Legal Job Vacancy ever published by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - 1st April 2014

Best Vacancy ever published by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Here follows the best legal job vacancy we have ever seen. 

To apply, please email cv@ten-percent.co.uk, quoting the reference number AP81L500L. 

Job Title: Lawyer

Qualifications Needed: None - experience matters more. 

Salary: £125,000

Areas of Law: Company Commercial

Job Description: A lawyer is sought to deal with a mixed caseload of company commercial matters as and when they come in. At the moment the firm have no work coming in but expect lots in the future when Saturn comes into the delta currently occupied by Uranus. This is a very laid back firm dating from the 1960s and the partners have a very flexible attitude to free love. Sandals and gowns must be worn in the office.

You will be expected to:
  • Attend the office from 11am to 2pm for 3 days a week.
  • Unlock the doors
  • Switch on the lights
  • Sit at your desk and drink coffee/tea/ovaltine
  • Open a file occasionally
  • Read a book 
  • Eat lunch
  • Snoozing is permitted on a Wednesday between the hours of 12pm and 2pm for a period of no more than 1 hour. 
  • Alcohol can be consumed on Thursdays.
Clients: Multi-millionaires, property developers, people with more money than sense and lumberjacks.

Applications: via a CV to cv@ten-percent.co.uk 


Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

How to Improve Your Efficiency, Make your Business work for you and Turn into a System

I have just finished a business book called "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber, a fascinating if not slightly too American book on how to get a business working for you and not vice versa. I should start this article by saying that this is not a sales pitch and I have no financial interest in the book!

Mr Gerber is keen to get people in business to stop and think about what they are doing. His key advice is to view your enterprise as a potential franchise and try to get it working like this as quickly as possible. In this way you can either prepare the company for sale, work out where you need to recruit staff or streamline processes and make the whole operation more efficient. He seems to be using some of the Six SIgma techniques that I am sure practice managers are starting to become aware of these days.

Firstly take a look at yourself and your business. Why are you working? What are you working for? Does your current job or company give you the scope to achieve your aims? If not, why not?

Secondly, draw up an Organisation Chart. Write out all the different roles you have within the business. For example, most smaller law firms will probably find that within their firm there are the following posts: Accounts Manager, Accounts Clerk, Receptionist, PA, Secretary, Marketing Manager, Business Development Manager, Sales Director, Solicitor, Paralegal, IT Director, Office Cleaner, Maintenance Fitter, Purchasing Officer, Supply Chain Manager. Naturally most sole practitioners will undertake all of the above apart from the secretary post!

Once you have written out the chart, work out how much you and your colleagues should be doing for each role and what scope there is either to outsource or employ other staff. How many hours are you spending in each position? Is there scope to reduce your hours in those positions that are non-profitable?

Finally have a look at your systems. Do you have systems in place that enable completely untrained and inexperienced employees to run certain sections of your business without any involvement from you or other managers? For example, does the receptionist work to a system of processing each telephone call in the same way. If they are booking a new appointment do they go through a process of handling queries or concerns - eg car parking when visiting the offices, avoiding too much talk on price and more on quality, taking down the source of the referral, know enough about your operations to be able to answer any initial queries - for example which fee earner will be dealing with the client from the outset? If not, can all of this be put into a protocol (borrowing an overused term from the TV series 24) and adhered to every time a new call is made? Is there a system for ensuring that clients are only kept waiting on the phone for a maximum of 3 minutes before a receptionist guarantees a call back. Do you have an online system in place to enable clients to log in and check progress on their case?

Once everything has been transformed into procedures and systems you can take more of a development role than a hands on role. Mr Gerber talks about changing lives by using this technique. Looking at my current workload and trying to think about going through this process I have to say it is probably a question of considerably changing a very strong mindset!

Jonathan Fagan is a solicitor, qualified recruitment consultant and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed here - www.linkedin.com/in/jbfagan

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