Having shaken up the world of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services including law and recruitment.
Around 30 minutes with a city lawyer costs no less than $200, but clients in the newly launched LawPath website can consult an expert practitioner only for $29. In the other end in the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement and other hefty fees. Yet not if you engage them by the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.
Technology entrepreneurs are using cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services such as law.
Technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services like 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 site allows people who wouldn’t normally have the ability to afford a lawyer to get a primary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay for the low fee to question a subject, LawPath pockets the charge and farms the enquiry out to a professional lawyer who consults totally free. In turn, lawyers may convert the session in a contract for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 % of cases.
Lupson insists the arrangement is win-win, with business and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers lead generation. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue to get a re-think, he says.
“The legal profession is amongst the last channels being modernised. I actually do see it as being a disruption however, not in a bad way – in a efficiency way. It’s about discovering how the internet can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model has found favour with all the technology sector, he says, along with it start-ups comprising 50 % of clientele so far.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re very happy to consider it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for that loss leader.”
The word disruptive innovation is utilized to describe change that improves a product or service in ways the market did not expect.
Because the introduction of the internet it’s become increasingly common and happens a huge number of times more often than three decades ago, as outlined by David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption will be all that matters with a start-up,” Roberts told delegates with the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference in the Gold Coast recently.
RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will give the recruitment sector an identical jolt.
The site allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants with the hour, as opposed to paying commission to a agency in accordance with the candidate’s salary, whenever a role is filled.
RecruitLoop enjoyed a low-key launch 18 months ago and would be to present an impromptu showcase of its 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 typical spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of the consultant’s time. RecruitLoop takes a commission as much as 30 %.
For clients, it’s a saving of 80-90 percent on fees charged by recruitment agencies, Overell says.
Recruiters are screened before being able to offer their services through the site and only one out of eight receives the guernsey.
“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.
The organization uses 50 recruiters across Australia, Nz, Dubai as well as the west coast in the US and intends to expand into other countries as demand builds.