How to Hire & Train Your Estate Planning Staff

Jul 31, 2017 8:30:00 AM

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Your staff is critical to your success whether you’ve recently opened a solo estate planning practice with a part-time assistant or run an established firm with attorneys, paralegals, and administrative support. If you can’t seem to get your legal marketing plan to work effectively or you’re struggling to maintain high levels of client satisfaction, the underlying cause may be your inability to hire and train the right people.

Often times, estate planning marketing doesn’t work because there’s no team in place to implement the plan or the team is reluctant to implement it. Hiring the right people, training them effectively, and providing mentorship can give you the results you want from your marketing and other areas of your practice. Here’s how to do it.

Hiring the right people for your practice

It’s not uncommon for estate planning attorneys to struggle with hiring. The process takes time away from revenue generation, and many attorneys rush through the process, hiring the strongest resume without considering who is best suited to the role.

Too often that hiring process results in a new team member who either quits early on or who simply isn’t suited to the position and requires excess time and attention instead of contributing value to your practice. These issues and results all derive from the number-one hiring mistake: lack of clarity about the role for which you’re hiring.

So how can you avoid these mistakes and determine exactly what you need? Following these steps will help you zero in on your specific needs:

  1. Identify what roles are necessary for your firm’s success
  2. Identify where bottlenecks are
  3. Evaluate your team and decide who is the best fit for each role
  4. Consider existing talent for growth opportunities
  5. Determine what role(s) you need to hire

Once you’ve determined what roles you need to hire, you can list a job posting and begin evaluating candidates. The biggest mistake in the hiring process comes from settling on the first candidate who is “good enough” to fill the role, instead of trying to find the person who is a good fit with your existing team and can help take the position and your practice to the next level. Focus on finding a “Super Star.”

Training your staff to succeed

After you find the right candidate, you need to establish a training plan. This plan should focus on introducing the culture of your firm and why you do what you do. How do your estate planning services help your clients? Do you have a personal connection to estate planning? If you don’t establish your culture with new hires, every little task seems like a to-do, rather than a problem the staff member can — and will want to — help you solve.

Give new staff the tools they need to succeed. Make resources available to help them grow, and set benchmarks for performance evaluation so they know what goals they need to reach and how to meet expectations.

With the right staff and tools, you can make sure your practice achieves its goals. To learn more about practice development, schedule a virtual tour of WealthCounsel.

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