Category Archives: Culture Fit

Santa’s helpers: recommendations for your law department

CultureFitDec14Ho ho ho. We used to come bearing holiday gifts at this time of year. But Sarbanes-Oxley pretty much squashed corporate gift giving. In 2012, a client even resisted the delivery of customized M&Ms onto which we put the client’s logo, worried it might violate the company’s gift policy. Accordingly, Evers Legal abandoned holiday gift giving all together.

But this is not a “bah humbug” column, and I assure you that I’m not Scrooge. So, instead of candy, I will now spread good cheer in the form of high quality recommendations you can use in 2015. You are all excellent at selecting outside counsel and don’t need me to make additional suggestions on that front. But there are other services that you use, or from which your company can truly benefit, with less frequency. And when you use these kinds of very specialized services, you really want to get it right. More 

Crain’s article: M&A impact on in-house counsel positions

Hmm… I think I come across a bit grouchy. We do, after all, work with a lot of in-house counsel who are displaced post-merger and I do feel the pain from folks who do not land softly and quickly. But there really is a huge glass half full element here: Companies truly like candidates in this situation, because the reason for seeking new employment is very “clean” and completely unrelated to performance or perceived dissatisfaction.

Anyway, it’s always fun to be quoted in Crain’s and, most importantly, I do think this is an important topic worthy of discussion.

 

As more companies put legal recruiting in the hands of HR, help me help them

Culture Fit (Oct) art“I would like to use you, but our HR team is in charge of the opening,” a general counsel we respect and have known for years said to me during a recent phone call. This is not a new development, of course. Many organizations fill law department positions without using any outside search firm. But not too long ago, the law department always took charge of selecting the search firm when, indeed, the company decided to use one. Accordingly, we have focused for 20 years on building relationships with you—lawyers and law department leaders.

However, our firm is not well known within HR circles. I intend to change that. By building relationships with HR leaders, I hope we will earn the right to serve more of your law department’s needs. The challenge is getting in front of the right people for introductory meetings in advance of needs arising. Like all executives, HR leaders resist unsolicited inquiries. More 

Compliance, Compliance, Compliance

CultureFitimageShould a general counsel also hold the chief compliance officer (CCO) title? Associations that have sprung up in support of the CCO function say definitely no and advocate for a direct reporting relationship between a CCO and CEO, while other experts believe there are strong benefits to combining these roles.

Objective research offers insight into how companies are actually approaching the topic.

And that is: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A Deloitte survey—released earlier this year, and the best stats I could find on the topic—states that only 17 percent of CCOs also hold the GC title. More 

Every company needs its own Jeff Carr

JWCarr-HBJAs I read about a United States Senator calling for the firing of Michael Milliken, GM’s general counsel, I am not thinking about Milliken. I don’t know Milliken and I’m not qualified to judge his performance. Instead, my friend Jeff Carr came immediately to mind. Jeff retires on Aug. 1 from FMC Technologies after 21 years with the company. And what I am thinking is that GM needed its own Jeff Carr.

To in-house counsel who read the trade press and to us legal consulting types who follow innovation within “law world,” Jeff was a “thought leader” long before that term became fashionable. And most of us expect Jeff to re-emerge in a unique way within law world after taking some personal time. More 

The Dating Game: 4 Tips for law department hiring

iStock_000005195854SmallSince I consider our readers part of the family, I’m going to write this month’s column as if we are all sitting around the dining room table together. Enjoy.

Over a year into post-divorce dating, I have enough material for a stand-up comedy routine. But I’ll stick with my clean stuff here. Here are four best practices tips for hiring the right candidate into your law department, inspired by my adventures in courtship.

1. Stay closed minded on the important stuff. I really enjoy Chicago.  My social life is here.  Most of my charitable work is done here, and although our traditional recruiting practice is national, our firm’s growing insourcing business is Chicago focused.  So, should I date someone who does not like it here, or someone who is non-local with very little interest in moving here?  It’s a formula for frustration and even heartache.  More 

Diversity in the legal profession is not a given … yet

DiversityAt InsideCounsel’s SuperConference two weeks ago, I had the privilege of moderating a best practices panel on the topic of diversity.

The panelists were terrific, especially since I threw out a curve ball we did not prepare for in advance. During a lunch earlier at the conference, I was struck by the comment of a white male attendee. I was in recruitment mode, encouraging folks to attend our session versus other concurrent session options. This is a good guy, and he gave me the gift of candor by saying that “diversity is a given” where he works, so he’s not sure there’s much left to be said on the topic. More 

Press coverage of our Diversity panel

I was privileged to moderate “Beyond Diversity:  Creating Corporate Culture” at the 2014 Inside Counsel “Superconference.”  My thanks to Maria Green of Illinois Tool Works, David Rawlinson of Grainger, and Martin Montes of Exelon for their panel participation.  I’ll be writing more about our panel later this month in my “Culture Fit” column for our monthly newsletter.  Mike

For IC’s recap of our panel, please click here.

Special invitation and updates

EversInviteTime flies. We are already into Q2 and now our fourth issue of eNews. Thus far, I have focused on single issue columns such as best practices for hiring and insourcing.  This month I extend a special invitation to you, and touch base quickly on a few topics that I hope will interest you.

As a panel moderator at this year’s InsideCounsel “SuperConference,” I get a few guest passes to offer for in-house attorneys. If you are not already registered and wish to attend, please shoot me a note accordingly.

I am thrilled to be moderating the May 14 panel, “Beyond Diversity: Creating Corporate Culture.” The panelists are Maria Green with Illinois Tool Works, David Rawlinson with Grainger and Martin Montes with Exelon.  Please read my InsideCounsel column previewing that discussion. More 

Flex time: the pros of secondments and implementing them successfully

March image (ME)Although we are primarily known for our traditional search work (since 1997), Evers Legal is now in its third year of also providing secondment services for our law department clients. We have enjoyed several successes, learned from a few mistakes, and now I feel ready to write with some confidence on how best to incorporate “flex-talent” into your law department.

But first, I wish to thank our clients who said “yes” to this service early in the roll-out, my friends at companies such as CNH, Exelon, Tenneco, CareerBuilder, DeVry and others. Your trust in our ability to get it right humbles me. More