Having shaken up the realm of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs are employing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services such as law and recruitment.
Around 30 minutes using a city lawyer costs at least $200, but clients of the newly launched LawPath website can consult a professional practitioner only for $29. In the other end in the spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement along with other hefty fees. But not should you engage them from the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.
Technology entrepreneurs use 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 internet site allows people who wouldn’t normally have the ability to afford a legal professional to acquire a primary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay the low fee to inquire about a question, LawPath pockets the charge and farms the enquiry in the market to an expert lawyer who consults free of charge. In exchange, 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 enterprise 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 one of the last channels to be modernised. I truly do view it being a disruption although not in a bad way – within an efficiency way. It’s about learning how the internet can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model has found favour with all the technology sector, he says, from it start-ups comprising 50 per cent of clientele currently.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re more than pleased for taking it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for that loss leader.”
The expression disruptive innovation is commonly used to explain change that improves a service or product in ways the current market did not expect.
Ever since the introduction of the world wide web it’s become increasingly common and happens 1000s of times more often than 30 years ago, based on David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption is actually all that matters with a start-up,” Roberts told delegates at the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference in the Gold Coast recently.
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 with the hour, as an alternative to paying commission for an agency in line with the candidate’s salary, whenever 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 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 average spend by RecruitLoop customers is $1500 to $2000 per role, which buys 15 to 20 hours of your consultant’s time. RecruitLoop has a commission as much as 30 percent.
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 using the site and only one in eight has got 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 from the US and intends to expand into other countries as demand builds.