Experience versus personality in law firm hires?

Personality traits in law firmIn a previous blog entry, I discussed the importance of making experienced law firm hires.  Applicants who have experience, and experience in the areas of law in which your law firm practices, can have a positive impact on your law firm.  It is certainly helpful to have new employees who are able to hit the ground running.

Having employees who can hit the ground running can help satisfy clients.  They can perform solid legal work right out of the gates.  They likely will not believe that a law firm has a duty to train or teach like a college or university.

At the same time, personality is important as it comes to hires as well.  You want employees who have a good work ethic.  You want employees who have a positive attitude.  You want employees who are hungry to make an impact.  And you want employees who can take constructive criticism well, who are loyal and dedicated to their craft.

A common question many ask as it relates to law firm hires is what is more important?  Is experience more important?  Or is personality more important?  Obviously, different law firms can have different takes on this topic.  And a lot of the analysis can come down to the particular needs of the law firm.

In other words, if a law firm already has lots of experienced employees, they might be better able to take a chance on somebody who doesn’t have a lot of experience, but possesses the personality the law firm is seeking.  In other situations, a law firm might really need an experienced employee to help solidify the organization in terms of having been in the trenches in difficult cases and situations before.

So, there really isn’t a universal rule in terms of whether experience or personality is more important in every circumstance.  But at the end of the day, it is true that if all the experienced candidates do not possess the personality and traits you seek, experience alone probably does not make somebody a good applicant.

In terms of experienced applicants, you want somebody who also has the personality you are seeking.  You want somebody who is going to fit into your organization and make a positive impact.

This means that in some applicant pools, you may have to opt for a lesser experienced candidate who possesses the personality you are seeking versus a more experienced applicant who does not.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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