Having shaken up the realm of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs use cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services such as law and recruitment.
Around 30 minutes with a city lawyer costs at the very least $200, but clients in the newly launched LawPath website can consult an expert practitioner for only $29. On the opposite end of your spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement and other hefty fees. But not if you engage them with 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 such as 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 capacity to afford a lawyer to get a primary consultation for little outlay. Customers pay for the low fee to inquire about an issue, LawPath pockets the charge and farms the enquiry to an expert lawyer who consults at no cost. In exchange, lawyers may convert the session in to a agreement for further work, something Lupson says has happened in 50 per cent of cases.
Lupson insists the arrangement is win-win, with small business and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers generating leads. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue for any re-think, he says.
“The legal profession is amongst the last channels to be modernised. I actually do see it as a disruption however, not in the bad way – in a efficiency way. It’s about discovering how the net can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model has found favour with the technology sector, he says, from it start-ups comprising 50 % of clientele up to now.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re very happy to consider it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for that loss leader.”
The term disruptive innovation can be used to explain change that improves a product or service in ways the market failed to expect.
Ever since the coming of the world wide web it’s become increasingly common and happens thousands of times more often than thirty years ago, as outlined by David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption is actually all that matters using a start-up,” Roberts told delegates with the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference in the Gold Coast last month.
RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will offer the recruitment sector a comparable jolt.
The web page allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants by the hour, as opposed to paying commission to a agency in line with the candidate’s salary, whenever a role is filled.
RecruitLoop had a low-key launch eighteen months ago and ended up being to present an impromptu showcase from 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 average 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 percent.
For clients, it’s a saving of 80-90 % on fees charged by recruitment agencies, Overell says.
Recruiters are screened before being permitted to offer their services using the site and simply one in eight gets the guernsey.
“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.
The business uses 50 recruiters across Australia, Nz, Dubai along with the west coast from the US and plans to expand into other countries as demand builds.