Owning a law firm means that at the beginning you wear multiple hats. However, as your business grows, you need more people on your team to enable you to focus on what you do best: handling cases.
A team helps you handle more cases efficiently. However, there needs to be a structure in place, a hierarchy to make sure that the business is operating at its best.
And if you now have 10 or more people, you need to have a human resource (HR) director/manager and a business manager to keep everything in check.
HR Director for interfacing with your people
Technically, a business manager can do HR tasks while still managing the business. However, having dedicated HR personnel, who can give their expertise, can definitely do wonders to your firm. Bear in mind that a bulk of HR tasks really does not concern the core aspects of the business.
So off-loading tasks from the business manager to the HR director allows the business manager to focus more on the business side of things, while your team now has a dedicated person with whom they can interface if they have issues.
The most common tasks of an HR director mainly revolve around managing the lifecycle of your employees, contractors, or virtual personnel. That includes posting job listings, conducting interviews, setting wages, creating and keeping contracts, managing payroll, and so much more.
For a small team, it can be easy to do all these tasks. However, as your business grows, it will be increasingly difficult to accomplish these tasks while focusing on your caseload. And the ones I recently mentioned is just the hiring process.
During the lifecycle of an employee, an HR director is also responsible for their well-being and performance. So implementing creating incentives or bonus structures is one part of being an HR director. Also, the HR director is in charge of making sure that the various parts of the employee benefits package are delivered fully and on-time.
The HR director is also in charge of establishing employees’ roles, expectations, title, and so much more. This helps with efficient hiring and keeps operations moving at the expected pace, with each team member knowing what to do and to whom they should report.
Another often overlooked task of HR directors is actually coming up with events to boost employee morale. Our HR director recently organized a much needed holiday party for us which we were definitely happy about!
And then there’s the aspect we don’t like handling—when employees resign or get terminated. The last point of contact is also the HR director, who makes sure to get feedback from the employee, disseminate the compensation and benefits owed, and keep the separation process smooth.
Business Manager for keeping you in business, of course
Your business manager is the money person: he or she makes sure money is coming into the business, and that the money going out is in fact going where it should for the benefit of the business.
So all of the financial aspects of the business pass through the business manager. Among other things, they make sure that clients are paying regularly and on-time.
At our firm, my husband is the business manager, and to make sure that clients are paying on time, he has implemented a debt collection process.
Business managers also make sure that company expenses are paid in a timely manner and on-budget.
The business manager should also be always informed in all business decisions as they determine if the decision will be beneficial to the business or not.
Also aside from maintaining the business’ current financial affairs, a business manager always looks to the future growth of the business. They work with the HR director to determine if the business needs more people, they assist in speaking with vendors, looking for bigger office spaces, looking at upgrading equipment and so much more.
Having these two roles filled by capable people can transform your firm from a passion project to a profitable business.
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