Having shaken up the realm of bricks-and-mortar retailing, technology entrepreneurs use cut-price, online offerings to disrupt pricey professional services including law and recruitment.
Thirty minutes using a city lawyer costs no less than $200, but clients from the newly launched LawPath website can consult a specialist practitioner for just $29. On the other end of your spectrum, engaging legal recruitment may mean a placement as well as other hefty fees. Yet not should you engage them through the hour, online, on RecruitLoop.
Technology entrepreneurs are utilizing cut-price, online offerings to disrupt professional services for example law.
Technology entrepreneurs use 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 internet site allows people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford a legal representative to have a basic consultation for little outlay. Customers pay the low fee to question a matter, LawPath pockets the fee and farms the enquiry in the market to a specialist lawyer who consults for free. In return, lawyers may convert the session right into 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 company and private individuals receiving professional advice and lawyers generating leads. Besides, lawyers’ modus operandi is overdue for a re-think, he says.
“The legal profession is probably the last channels to become modernised. I do view it as a disruption although not within a bad way – inside an efficiency way. It’s about finding out how the web can facilitate connecting with clients.”
The model has found favour with the technology sector, he says, along with it start-ups comprising 50 per cent of clientele so far.
“It’s not devaluing [lawyers’] work – they’re more than happy to take it,” Lupson says. “They’re up for the loss leader.”
The phrase disruptive innovation can be used to explain change that improves a product or service in such a way the current market failed to expect.
Since the development of the net it’s become increasingly common and happens thousands of times more frequently than three decades ago, in accordance with David Roberts, a vice-president of 77dexrpky Valley’s Singularity University.
“Disruption is all that matters by using a start-up,” Roberts told delegates on the Australia Association of Angel Investors conference around the Gold Coast last month.
RecruitLoop founder Michael Overell hopes his venture will give the recruitment sector the same jolt.
The internet site allows companies to engage independent recruitment consultants through the hour, as an alternative to paying commission to an agency based on the candidate’s salary, whenever a role is filled.
RecruitLoop possessed a low-key launch 18 months ago and ended up being to present an impromptu showcase of its 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 the consultant’s time. RecruitLoop requires a commission up to 30 per cent.
For clients, it’s a saving of 80-90 % on fees charged by recruitment agencies, Overell says.
Recruiters are screened before being allowed to offer their services through the site and just one in eight receives the guernsey.
“We’re being really tough about maintaining quality,” Overell says.
The corporation uses 50 recruiters across Australia, New Zealand, Dubai as well as the west coast from the US and wants to expand into other countries as demand builds.