With a growing number of lawyers getting tablet computers such as iPads, it is time for law firms to put in place strategies for their use. A new report by Thomson Reuters has found that just one in 10 firms has an IT policy in place to cover the use of tablet computers. This is despite 63 per cent of legal and professional services practitioners acknowledging a strong need to use such devices in their firms. The survey of more than 300 senior legal and tax professionals reveals that smartphones are the most popular mobile devices, with 95 per cent of respondents having one. Tablet computers (67 per cent) are catching up quickly, though. The lack of a policy for tablet use is already causing issues. About 60 per cent of respondents reported using their own tablets in a professional capacity, but more than half (51 per cent) have had technical problems; 43 per cent have experienced security issues; and one in three has had trouble integrating the device with existing IT support infrastructure. Managing partners and senior managers are the dominant adopters of the tablet technology at this stage.
For law firms bringing tablet devices such as iPads into the workforce (see article above), Chartered Secretaries Australia has some sage advice on policies for their use. CSA says there are many compelling reasons for adopting tablets, including security, mobility, cost efficiencies and environmental considerations. It notes that if a password-secured tablet is lost, it poses far less threat to a business than board papers left in a taxi or on a plane. However, in its Good Governance Guide, CSA says risk management remains crucial. Questions to consider when developing a policy for the use of tablets include:
Here is a word of warning when recruiting new managers: check their bona fides. A new survey from SHL, a global talent assessment solutions consultancy, indicates that 39 per cent of Australian managers lie on their résumé and are three times more likely to lie about their qualifications than other workers. The key areas subject to fake or embellished information are prior work experience, referees, earnings and qualifications. "With the economy bouncing back in most sectors, job seekers seem more confident in their suitability for prospective roles. Employers, though, still need to be vigilant to identify those covering up weaknesses in their resumes," says Stephanie Christopher, managing director of SHL. According to the research, one in four Australian employees also admits to applying for a job with no intention of taking the role. Reasons behind applying for unwanted jobs include: testing the waters in the job market (14 per cent), brushing up on interview skills (10 per cent) and negotiating a higher salary with a current employer (10 per cent). Key findings from the survey are:
A survey of just over 500 office professionals by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half suggests that many office workers are not getting the proper coaching they need to progress their careers because their bosses are tied up with the day-to-day running of the business. One in four of the respondents has never received career coaching from their direct manager, while 16 per cent say they receive coaching just once a year. In releasing the study, Robert Half commented that managers with responsibility for a team are often so focused on delegating and managing workloads that they forget about proper mentoring and coaching. The survey found that 85 per cent of respondents believe career coaching improves job performance, and 75 per cent think it improves motivation at work.
Most legal sector employees can expect to negotiate a pay rise in excess of CPI increases over the next 12 months, despite a flat business environment, according to the Australian Legal Practice Management Association. In results from its annual Australian Legal Industry Salary Survey, the ALPMA notes that 53 per cent of firms plan to give workers a salary hike over and above CPI rises in the coming year, while a further 37 per cent of firms indicated they would grant a pay rise in line with CPI increases. However, 10 per cent of all respondents are planning to implement a wage freeze, with smaller firms in particular resorting to such a move. Four out of five firms expect to recruit legal professionals in the new financial year, with 66 per cent expecting to recruit secretarial staff and a further 39 per cent recruiting paralegals and 37 per cent administrative staff. Almost 200 firms of all sizes from across the country completed the online survey.