Having shaken up the world of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs are employing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services like law and recruitment.
Half an hour having a city lawyer costs a minimum of $200, but clients of your newly launched LawPath website can consult a specialist practitioner for just $29. With the opposite end from the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement and other hefty fees. But not when you engage them by the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.
Technology entrepreneurs use cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services like law.
Technology entrepreneurs are utilizing 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 web page lets people who wouldn’t normally have the ability to afford a legal professional to have a primary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay the low fee to inquire about a question, LawPath pockets the fee and farms the enquiry over to a specialist lawyer who consults for free. In exchange, lawyers may convert the session in to 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 for the re-think, he says.
“The legal profession is one of the last channels to be modernised. I do see it as a disruption but not inside a bad way – in a efficiency way. It’s about discovering how the world wide web can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model finds favour with the technology sector, he says, by using it start-ups comprising 50 per cent of clientele to date.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re very happy to adopt it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for the loss leader.”
The word disruptive innovation can be used to illustrate change that improves a product or service in such a way the current market failed to expect.
Considering that the advent of the web it’s become increasingly common and happens a huge number of times more frequently than 30 years ago, according to David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption will be all that matters having a start-up,” Roberts told delegates in the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference about the Gold Coast recently.
RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will provide the recruitment sector the same jolt.
The site allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants from the hour, instead of paying commission to an agency in line with the candidate’s salary, each time a role is filled.
RecruitLoop experienced a low-key launch eighteen months ago and was to present an impromptu showcase of the system at San Francisco’s Launch Festival for high-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 normal spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of a consultant’s time. RecruitLoop requires 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 before being able to offer their services via the site and just one out of eight receives the guernsey.
“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.
The company uses 50 recruiters across Australia, Nz, Dubai along with the west coast from the US and intends to expand into other countries as demand builds.