Top 5 HR Challenges in Law Firms and how SmartHR can solve them

HR challenges in law firmsHR challenges in law firms can present special challenges. This is due in part to the structure of law firms and in part to the nature of legal practice. Below are the top 5 HR challenges faced by law firms with solutions from SmartHR on how to solve them.


  1. Training

One of the challenges attorneys face is the fact that they need to have ongoing training and professional development. As laws change, all employees need to be kept up to date and make sure that they understand the changes. Legal support staff also need to update their knowledges with regards to procedures, such as court filing rules. There are also regular training obligations for all employees on systems and software.


SmartHR Solution: Traditional training methods can be time-consuming and costly, but with the SmartHR e-Learning you can skill up your staff quickly and effectively whenever and wherever they are. The SmartHR e-Learning solution is accessible via browser or tablet so that employees can access training when it suits them and work at their own pace or choose a blended learning approach that combines facilitated e-learning.

The great part is you can also develop your own content with our rapid content development tools, meaning you can make the content industry specific.


  1. Recruitment

Law firms often recruit students straight from university. The problem with this is that it does not always yield a diverse workforce, which is beneficial when you have a diverse client base.


SmartHR Solution: SmartTalent is a SmartHR module that can assist with the recruiting process. Starting with position management, SmartHR models the people structure your company needs to achieve your business strategy. Pre-populated job libraries make it is easy even for non-HR specialists, to define the skills and competencies that are required. Based on the profile of your current high performers, quickly identify similar thinking styles to ensure the best fit.

SmartRecruitment screens track applicants and manages your candidate pipeline whether for internal or external recruits. Successful candidates are on-boarded effortlessly to ensure that the induction experience is quick and professional.


  1. Reporting Structure

There can be quite a matrixed reporting structure in law firms. Regulations require that lawyers directly supervise the legal work their assistants do, which can create conflict. This means assistants might have confusion regarding who to report to when they want to take leave, as the supervising attorney might agree to the request, but the HR manager might deny it to maintain adequate staffing levels.


SmartHR Solution: SmartCharts offers a quick and easy way to provide employees with a reporting structure. You can create professional-quality charts and perform in-depth workforce analysis.

And because it’s web-based, SmartCharts makes sharing up-to-date charts with your colleagues almost effortless. With a direct integration link to the SmartHR people and organisational system, workforce relationships can be generated at the click of a button. You can also easily identify reporting lines between managers and subordinates to make sure everyone know who to report to.


  1. Performance

Monthly or yearly reviews are important in any industry, especially for new employees. Evaluating staff on an equal basis can be quite challenging, especially if you have an equal split of new and senior staff. Also, not all staff members have the same job roles and expectations, which makes these reviews even harder.


SmartHR Solution: Reliable performance reviews help employees know what is expected of them and guide retention, reward, development and succession decisions.

With the SmartPerform module, SmartHR automates the performance review process with generic evaluation templates that can be based on your company’s performance model or the balanced scorecard methodology. Question weighting and ratings can be configured.

It is quick and easy for managers to initiate performance reviews including 360 degree reviews to stored groups of employees.


  1. Retention

Law firms are usually very competitive, both internally and externally. HR always has to try and keep staff happy to prevent them from leaving. It is often difficult to find ways to keep them happy and also keep track of who deserves compensation.


SmartHR Solution: By using a combination of SmartPerform and SmartTalent modules, it is possible for HR managers to find ways to keep the employees happy. SmartPerform allows your company to identify high performers through ongoing goal evaluations and periodic performance reviews. Individual and group performance schemes can be scored and rated in line with company models or use the balanced scorecard approach.

Detailed performance dashboards and analytics help you to spot potential talent and under performers that can drive your retention and reward decisions. This helps you to award employees based on their performance.


There will always be challenges faced by HR managers, but with SmartHR as your partner, you will be able to face most of them. Make use of trusted HR technology that is compatible with business systems, easy to use, and even easier to access.