LexisNexis Legal & Professional added 150 new employees at its offices on N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus in 2016 and expects to accelerate its hiring this year in light of the success it has enjoyed in attracting first-rate technology talent.
Mike Lipps, managing director of the legal software solutions division that is headquartered in Raleigh, projects the company will hire “a minimum of 175” employees in 2017. LexisNexis’ website currently lists about 50 open positions it is trying to fill.
The employees LexisNexis added last year started with annual salaries of more than $100,000.
“That’s reflective of the fact that we have found great talent here,” Lipps said, noting that the company’s local hires have been “more varied and more senior” than the company originally envisioned.
In 2012 LexisNexis announced plans to more than triple the size of its local workforce by adding 350 jobs over five years with an average salary of $91,644, making it eligible for up to $8.9 million in state incentives. The company has exceeded its hiring target and ended 2016 with 620 local workers.
In 2014 LexisNexis shifted its local operations from Cary to Centennial Campus, where today it is the largest private employer.
LexisNexis’ hiring plans for this year arose from several factors.
First and foremost, the company is creating new positions – both for the division Lipps heads as well as technology jobs for other LexisNexis businesses that cater to the legal profession, such as its legal research and news and business units.
“We think of (Raleigh) as our R&D headquarters,” Lipps said.
The company also is scaling back its outsourcing of some technology functions overseas “because of the depth of the technology talent in North Carolina,” Lipps said.
Co-locating engineering, product management, customer support and other functions at Centennial Campus ultimately will make the company more responsive to its customers’ needs, Lipps said.
Lastly, a small number of positions are being shifted to Raleigh from other LexisNexis sites. LexisNexis, a division of London-based RELX Group, employs 10,000 employees worldwide.
LexisNexis invested $3 million to reconfigure its Raleigh office last year to expand its capacity from roughly 600 workers to about 855, as well as adding amenities such as a new employee lounge and an expanded gym.
In addition, the company renovated a 1,500-square-foot space that houses the new LexisNexis Experience Innovation Studio, a joint effort between the company and N.C. State that is opening Wednesday.
“For all intents and purposes, it’s an innovation design studio,” Lipps said.
The studio will enable LexisNexis customers “to test user interfaces, to give us feedback on product design concepts and actual products in usage,” Lipps said. “We will have them road test our products to help us make them be easier and easier to use and ensure they are solving the problems that we set out to ... solve.”
N.C. State contributed equipment to the lab, and university faculty and students will be able to collaborate with LexisNexis and its customers as well as use the lab to work independently on their own projects, Lipps said.
Lipps said the lab is an extension of a strong relationship with the university that includes an agreement in which the university provides LexisNexis with research on the company’s products and markets.