The RCBA Placement Service: Q&A with Placement Director Sabina Zeenat

Sabina Zeenat"Working with a staffing service like us can help attorneys and law firms streamline their hiring process and save them a lot of time."

Can you tell us about the RCBA Placement Service; how it works, who it serves?

RCBA’s service specializes in the placement of full-time, part-time, permanent, and temporary legal office support staff like paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, receptionists, etc. We advertise the job openings and screen candidates. We interview them, test them for typing and grammar skills, check their references and refer only the most qualified candidates. We serve attorneys and law firms of all sizes and organizations, not just in Ramsey County but beyond.

What have you been hearing from local firms about staffing changes this year? 

At the start of the pandemic, with uncertainties looming large, there was a drop in hiring. In fact, there was a hiring freeze for many firms at that time. But slowly and gradually, hiring has picked up. We have seen an upward trend since fall/winter of 2020.  We are cautiously optimistic for 2021 and I hope we see an upward hiring trend for law firms in the current year and the years ahead.

How can law firms benefit from working with a staffing service?

RCBA Placement Service takes a very personalized approach to staffing. We pay close attention to the specific requirements of the job and accordingly screen candidates. We try to understand both the hard and the soft skill sets that attorneys and firms are looking for in candidates so that we find the best fit for them. Once we find the right candidates, we check their references, do a detailed background check (if requested by the firm) and refer only the most qualified candidates. Working with a staffing service like us can help attorneys and law firms streamline their hiring process and save them a lot of time. I am happy to say that in spite of the pandemic, we have been able to screen, interview and place qualified candidates at law firms.   

Our placement service fee is 10% of the first year salary of the hired employee which is relatively inexpensive compared to other staffing agencies in the market. RCBA also provides a prorated 90-day guarantee on employees. 

In addition, if firms want to pay the placement fee in installments, we provide that flexibility. Our goal is to make our services as convenient as possible for our attorney members and local firms. 

What challenges have firms faced onboarding staff during the pandemic? Do you have any advice for them?

Even though we have come a long way adjusting to this new normal, I think the biggest challenge that we are all facing during this pandemic is the sense of isolation. This is particularly true for the new employee who is starting his or her new job without a physical work environment. So, to make them feel welcome from day one, schedule brief video calls to introduce the new staff member to the entire team and also with coworkers with whom they will interact with on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to schedule informal video check-ins with the new employee’s immediate team where they get to know each other on an informal and a more personal level. 

You can also create an onboarding checklist where you can break down tasks and goals by day or week. This way the new employee has a clear idea of what is expected of them during the onboarding process.

What’s the most satisfying part about placing a candidate in with a firm?

The most satisfying part is when I am able to find the best fit for the firm and the firm is happy with their new hire. We put all our sincere efforts in finding the right candidate and when our due diligence pays off, it is a sweet feeling.

Find more information about the RCBA Placement Service on our website or by contacting Sabina Zeenat.