Peer to Peer Magazine

September 2011

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 59 of 107

When the Timing Is Right Making a Business Case for More Staff Catherine R. Reilly, Executive Director at Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP T iming is (almost) everything. When any manager is faced with the need to add a staff position, the key words that should come to mind are: timing, cost, return on investment (ROI) and justification. Before making any recommendation, it is essential that the manager understands the business and knows the vision of the company, as well as the strategic plan going out three to five years. Assuming that the manager's staffing need coincides with the company's plan, the manager needs to do a detailed staff analysis to determine that the additional staff position is necessary. To be successful, the manager needs to present a case that is convincing not just in its argument, but in its ability to substantiate and reinforce the need with statistics and examples. Getting the Timing Right Timing is critical. Good managers know the environment they work in — are there hiring freezes in force, are there layoffs planned, etc.? If any of these situations are in effect, you need to review your needs analysis again, and consider whether you can delay the request or consider if it makes sense to fill the need using other means, such as overtime or outsourcing, for an interim period. If the need is critical and the manager believes it's necessary, then go for it — but cautiously. Before you discuss your proposal, make sure the reputation of the department that is hiring is solid — does everyone view the department as hard-working, producing a quality product, and do other Peer to Peer the quarterly magazine of ILTA 61

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