The process of growing a law firm is not easy. There will be a time when hiring help and starting to delegate will be necessary if you want to get to the next level ahead.
While large corporations in the high tech and telecommunications space started taking advantage of remote help many years ago, small businesses were exposed to the “virtual world” and “working from home” only after the pandemic, when everyone was forced to work from home, whether you wanted to or not.
Being able to hire Virtual Assistants that will cost a fraction of a full-time local W2 employee, where you can’t tell if they are working from their homes in the US or Latin America, became an option that many law firms are taking advantage of.
It all comes down to time and money. Attorneys and Law firms are constantly trying to bill for more time and save on expenses, so the concept of using virtual talent goes hand in hand with any law firm objectives. This is because the personnel you are delegating to will give you time back in your hands for you to bill more and grow, while you will be paying far less than you would with a local employee.
You are probably asking yourself many questions such as:
Where can I find Virtual Assistants that are any good?
Virtual Assistants can be found anywhere in the world, but to find a good fit for your needs, you’ll probably spend a lot of time with processes such as vetting and training. That’s where a virtual staffing agency becomes your best choice, not only because you can trust their rigorous selection process, but you will also be skipping other hiring steps that we’ll mention later on.
If they are not in the US, how do these people get vetted?
This is a common fear when hiring virtual assistants. The answer is simple, you want to make sure to select an agency that not only interviews and trains your future assistant, but also does good background research on their employees.
When hiring virtual assistants, make sure that they go through multiple rounds of interviews, tests, job reference checks, psychological tests, English skill tests, and background checks. Some agencies will let you interview them too, this is a crucial part of the process. You want to feel comfortable with the person you’re working with, so meeting them and knowing more about them before making a decision will make you feel more at ease when they become part of your team.
How about training?
Whether you hire someone individually, or you choose an agency to do the job for you, you have to be aware of how each scenario will look like regarding training. On the one hand, when you hire a virtual assistant by yourself, you or your staff will have to be in charge of the onboarding training, which can have its pros and cons. You can get a closer look on how the new assistant is doing, how they’re learning and handling the new work environment. Depending on the size and work pace of your law firm, you might want to skip this step too, here’s why.
Training means time, and time means money. When you or your staff dedicate a portion of their day to train someone, training takes priority, which means some of the more important tasks are being delayed. One of the benefits of outsourcing is that you no longer have to take part of the training process, it’s being handled for you.
How do I pay them?
It can be very complicated to pay someone in another country as every country follows rules and regulations and some don’t make it easy to send US dollars. When using a Virtual Staffing company, they handle all the burdens associated with employment, so all the hiring of the staff is absorbed by them, which means that your law firm doesn’t have to deal with employment tax, overhead and salary payments. You will pay a monthly service fee to the Staffing company and that covers everything.
- How do contracts work?
This will vary depending on which staffing company you are working with. In the case of Stafi, we don’t lock our clients into lengthy contracts. As a matter of fact, they are month to month contracts that can be canceled at any time. Since we trust our value proposition and what we have to offer, we have had the same clients for eight years and we love them!
- What if I end up not liking my virtual assistant after all?
When you hire employees on your own and they don’t work out, once they leave you, you have to go back to square one and start the entire time-consuming process all over again. When you use a virtual staffing company that knows what they are doing, they will always have your back. They are usually onboarding and training new assistants that have gone through an extensive vetting and screening process on a weekly basis. In the case of Stafi, for example, we always give our existing clients first in line the opportunity to choose from our available staff.
We hope this article could help you answer some of the questions you may have about delegating to a virtual legal assistant and this can become a new way for your law firm to find great qualified, college degree bilingual talent that will save you in the end.