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Why do so many new hires fail within the first 18 months of starting a job?

Mark Murphy (author of Hiring for Attitude) recently highlighted in a Forbes magazine article that after researching 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months – that is over 9,000 hires not working out!

Looking into the reasons for this failure it was ascertained that 89% didn’t work out due to the attitude of the person as opposed to lack of skill/ ability to actually do the job.

Having worked in legal recruitment for over 10 years and assisted large UK companies with hundreds of moves I am not surprised by these findings. I meet lots of talented and capable lawyers however where I and the team truly add value is working out which lawyers will work well with the legal teams and companies that we assist. In most instances this comes down to knowing our clients and candidates well through relationships that have been developed over many years increasing our ability to get the match right.  I am proud to say that I can count on one hand the placements that the in-house legal team at BCL Legal have been involved with that haven’t worked out.

The article goes on to pose the question: Are technical and soft skills therefore less important than attitude?

In response the author answers that ‘it is not that technical skills aren’t important, but they are much easier to assess at interview’. The crux of this article being that attitude, not skills, is the top predictor of a new hire’s success or failure.

It is pretty easy to assess a lawyers capability and commercial acumen by setting a contracts review test or similar at interview. What’s harder to assess during a 1 or 2 hour interview is the person’s attitude, motivations and overall personality (especially outside of the interview environment).

What is even harder to tell is from a CV who is truly right for your business and who should/ should not be called for interview. A whole other blog!

Of course I have a vested interest in what I am about to say but our success rates proves that the following is far from being simple sales rhetoric or hot air. Working with experienced recruiters with a proven track record in the field you are recruiting for will increase the chances of your next recruit being a success and not falling into the 46% fail category.

By Mark Levine
marklevine@bcllegal.com

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