Having shaken up the field of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs are employing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services including law and recruitment.
Half an hour using a city lawyer costs no less than $200, but clients from the newly launched LawPath website can consult a professional practitioner only for $29. With the opposite end of the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement as well as other hefty fees. But not should you engage them through the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.
Technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services like law.
Technology entrepreneurs are employing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services for example law. Photo: JESSICA SHAPIRO
Paul Lupson is chief executive of Lawpath, a start-up financially backed by Ludson who recently successfully exited budgetplaces.com, technology lawyer Nick Abrahams, partner at Norton Rose Australia, and technologist Andy Rose.
Lupson says the website lets people who wouldn’t normally have the capacity to afford a legal representative to acquire an initial consultation for little outlay. Customers pay for the low fee to question an issue, LawPath pockets the fee and farms the enquiry out to a specialist lawyer who consults for free. In turn, lawyers may convert the session right into a agreement for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 percent of cases.
Lupson insists the arrangement is win-win, with small company and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers lead generation. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue for any re-think, he says.
“The legal profession is probably the last channels to become modernised. I actually do see it being a disruption yet not in the bad way – in a efficiency way. It’s about finding out how the web can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model finds favour with all the technology sector, he says, from it start-ups comprising 50 per cent of clientele up to now.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re more than pleased to consider it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for that loss leader.”
The word disruptive innovation can be used to describe change that improves a product or service in such a way the market did not expect.
Since the coming of the net it’s become increasingly common and happens a huge number of times more often than 30 years ago, in accordance with David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption will be all that matters having a start-up,” Roberts told delegates on the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference on the Gold Coast last month.
RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture can give the recruitment sector the same jolt.
The web page allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants through the hour, as opposed to paying commission for an agency in accordance with the candidate’s salary, every time a role is filled.
RecruitLoop possessed a low-key launch 18 months ago and was to present an impromptu showcase of the system at San Francisco’s Launch Festival for top-tech start-ups earlier this month.
The annual event includes competitions judged by IT and venture-capital heavyweights including Rackspace’s Robert Scoble and Google Ventures’ Wesley Chan.
The standard spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of any consultant’s time. RecruitLoop has a commission as much as 30 %.
For clients, it’s a saving of 80-90 % on fees charged by recruitment agencies, Overell says.
Recruiters are screened prior to being allowed to offer their services through the site and merely one in eight will get the guernsey.
“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.
The company uses 50 recruiters across Australia, Nz, Dubai and the west coast in the US and offers to expand into other countries as demand builds.