Competition for good candidates forces many practices to reduce the time to partnership. The typical two-year wait is dangerously short already—that’s not much time to evaluate a new associate as a potential partner. But the market often forces recruiting practices to promise a fast track.
However long a recruit must wait, don’t make partnership automatic—only promise eligibility. Then follow these principles when deciding whether to promote your associate:
- Use frequent evaluation and discussions to gauge your new associate’s progress to partner suitability
- Recognize that clinical skills don’t equal owner/leader skills. Determine if the candidate has qualities like judgment, decision-making skills, and trustworthiness
- Watch for major differences in philosophy Regardless of the length of time to partnership you promise, base the start date on your fiscal year rather than employment anniversary date. That avoids having to produce a mid-year set of books to arrive at buy-in and income amounts.