Navigating Staffing Uncertainty in the Tech Industry

FLEX by Fenwick Featured Article

As the tech industry faces the latest period of unpredictability, companies may find themselves constantly reevaluating their in-house legal needs. With signs pointing to a potential AI-fueled economic recovery, some companies with budget to hire may consider snapping up the high-quality talent currently on the market. On the other hand, companies that staff up too quickly risk being overstaffed if demand recedes. Using temporary attorneys can be one way to ensure quality legal support while market conditions remain unstable.

FLEX by Fenwick has been down this road before, helping companies in the tech and life sciences industries weather ups and downs since 2010. In this article, we will share our insights on the current economic environment and offer best practices so companies can be prepared, no matter what the future economy may bring. 

Here are some of the lessons we have learned and factors to consider: 

After a downturn, it takes time to ramp up hiring 

It wasn’t that long ago when the tech sector was flying high. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, tech companies grew their workforces. At the time, it seemed like there would be no end to the increased demand for tech products fueled by online consumers primarily confined to their homes. 

But companies found it challenging to hire top talent as they competed for the best in-house attorneys in an overheated market.

That scenario has now flipped, with more talent competing for fewer jobs. 

Although we don’t know what the future holds, we know from experience that it can take longer to find quality talent during economic recoveries. Let’s face it, recruiting and vetting new hires is time-consuming, even in the best of times. 

In uncertain times, individuals often rethink their career priorities 

The attorneys we meet all have their own individual reasons for joining FLEX by Fenwick. Some want more flexible work schedules; some are solo practitioners looking for additional work to augment their practices. 

Recently, we have seen attorneys laid off from big enterprise technology companies contemplating their next move. Some are looking to get experience in the scrappy startup world. Others want to keep their skills fresh while they consider their options. The common denominator is that uncertain times force them to rethink their careers. 

We take the time to get to know each attorney individually. In addition to vetting our attorneys with a complete background and reference check, we test them with a hypothetical fact pattern and our management team meets and interviews each person. 

It can be a great time to get top-notch talent on a try-before-you-buy basis

If the high caliber of the candidates we see is any indication, now is an excellent time for companies to consider hiring legal staff.

Many available attorneys are open to full-time employment for the right opportunity. Working through FLEX can help companies find out whether the lawyer fits well in the organization—before making a more permanent commitment. When companies hire their FLEX attorney, the fees for sourcing that attorney are in-line or below those of recruiting services.

Bringing on an interim attorney to fill a leave, handle an influx of sales contracts, or serve as your first in-house attorney can be a great, low-risk way to meet potential candidates for your next permanent hire.

Conclusion

Economic uncertainty can be difficult. But savvy company executives can seize the moment. Those who take advantage of the opportunities in the current job market will ensure their legal departments are poised to meet their company’s needs, no matter what the economy brings.


FLEX was founded by Fenwick in response to companies’ needs for customized, cost-effective in-house assistance. The FLEX team consults with you to understand your company’s unique needs and provide attorney options with relevant experience. FLEX plans are flexible and customizable—whether you need sporadic help over the course of a quarter, part-time assistance, or full-time support.

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