As a business owner, hiring a General Counsel (GC) can be a crucial step in ensuring your company’s success. The right GC can help protect your business from legal risks, provide valuable insights, and help guide your company’s overall strategy. However, recruiting a GC can be a complex process that requires careful consideration. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 things to know before recruiting a General Counsel.
- Determine the Role: Before you start looking for a GC, it’s important to determine the role you want them to play in your organization. Will they be a full-time employee, or will they work on a contract basis? What areas of law will they be responsible for? Will they be part of the executive team? Answering these questions will help you create a job description and attract the right candidates.
- Experience Matters: When it comes to hiring a GC, experience matters. Look for candidates with a proven track record of success in areas relevant to your business. Experience in your industry or similar industries can also be a plus, as it will give your GC a better understanding of your business’s unique needs.
- Soft Skills are Important: While legal expertise is essential, don’t overlook the importance of soft skills. Your GC will be working with your team, interacting with clients, and negotiating deals on your behalf. Look for candidates with strong communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills.
- Culture Fit: Your GC will be an integral part of your organization, so it’s important to find someone who fits your company culture. Look for candidates whose values align with your own and who share your vision for the future.
- Compensation: Compensation can be a sensitive topic, but it’s important to establish a fair and competitive salary for your GC. Consider industry benchmarks and the candidate’s experience when setting the salary. Also, be prepared to negotiate.
- Contracts and Agreements: Your GC will be responsible for drafting and negotiating contracts and agreements on your behalf, so it’s important to ensure they have experience in this area. They should be able to review contracts, identify risks, and negotiate favorable terms.
- Compliance: Compliance is an essential part of any business, and your GC should have experience in this area. Look for candidates with a deep understanding of regulatory compliance, including employment laws, data privacy regulations, and industry-specific regulations.
- Litigation: While you hope to avoid litigation, it’s important to have a GC who is experienced in this area. Your GC should be able to assess risks, develop litigation strategies, and manage litigation if it arises.
- Negotiation Skills: Negotiation is a critical part of any business, and your GC should be an expert negotiator. Look for candidates with a proven track record of successful negotiations, as well as experience in dispute resolution.
- Continuing Education: Laws and regulations are constantly changing, so it’s important to find a GC who is committed to continuing education. Look for candidates who regularly attend legal seminars, conferences, and other educational events to stay up-to-date on the latest legal trends and best practices.
Recruiting a General Counsel is an important decision that requires careful consideration. By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to find the right GC for your business.