Higher pay, poorer performance for two years, and less job stability for external hires

Good reasons can be adduced for why a general counsel hires a senior lawyer from outside the department, but drawbacks to that decision persist. According to research reported in the NY Times, April 22, 2012 at BU7, external hires, “on average, make around 18 percent more money than internal employees with similar positions.” They cost considerably more “And yet they perform less well in the first two years and are also more likely to leave or be let go.” Not to mince words – less for more.

Lawyers, quintessential knowledge workers, exalt individual intellect and experience and diminish the contribution of a team, such as institutional knowledge, trust and support. Plopped into a new company, it makes sense that new hires consistently take more time to get up to speed than employers project (See my post of March 24, 2011: stars are more dependent on their supporting cast than they acknowledge; and April 26, 2011: teams add greatly to an individual’s talents.).

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