The financial impact of making successful hiring choices is as significant, long-term, as any other effort in law firm management. The negative results of poor choices can be a long-lasting burden or even a marketing or reputation nightmare. If only hiring people were as simple a process as evaluating a business, managing one’s own practice would be much easier.

Most firms have had the misfortune of finding the “perfect candidate” for a position, only to discover later that the individual was, literally, too good to be true. After a series of unsuccessful attempts at finding qualified new hires, we knew we had to find a better way to evaluate potential employees beyond just hiring them to see how they would work. Through this effort, we identified six key character elements that are critical to consider when evaluating a new hire:

  • Values systems and personal ethics;
  • Perceptions related to compensation and money;
  • Work habits;
  • Career and personal goals;
  • Strengths and limitations; and
  • Personality roles — dominant or subordinate.

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