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The following illustration will answer this question!
A PLC organisation recruited its first General Counsel 6 months ago called us on the 3rd November looking to build the team with a senior commercial lawyer.
This is how the process and timetable ran:
Day 1: HR contacts BCL Legal
Day 2: General Counsel briefs BCL Legal on both the job but also the required personality. (This brings the role and requirement ‘to life’ giving us a great insight to what/who will fit this requirement).
Day 4/5: CVs sent from BCL Legal. (The company is based in a location we know well and therefore we are aware of candidates who both match what the client is looking for but also vice versa- that the lawyers we speak to about the role are also interested in this as their next move including fitting with the salary banding).
Day 9: First interviews held with GC and HR. Relatively informal interview that tests experience through a range of competency based questions but also some discussion on legal scenarios and experience of working in a fast paced environment. The interview is focused on both the CV and experience gained by the candidate but also the role on offer. A two way conversation leads to buy in from the candidates with all being interested in the role, company and working with the GC.
Day 10: Immediate interview feedback received with one candidate being the preferred choice. In the GC’s own words: “what’s the point in interviewing anybody else at this stage when this candidate is exactly who I’m looking for and as much as I could work with the others this person is head and shoulders above the others”.
(This allows BCL to get complete buy in from the candidate that they are first choice and in return this company is his first choice). The candidate is in one other process… More about that shortly.
Day 16: 2nd interview held with the Finance Director and Head of Procurement. Much tougher than the first interview!
Day 17: Informed that the interview had gone well and an offer will be forthcoming.
Day 18: 18 working days since the briefing: Offer emailed and verbally accepted.
There were many aspects that worked well – in short the client knew what he was looking for, trusted us to find them the right person and they got on with the process quickly especially when it was clear the GC had found ‘the one’.
In contrast the same candidate that was offered the role had endured 5 online tests with another company that he was interested in, with the first interview still due to take place, 5 weeks after his initial application. Before the other company even got started our client had ‘snapped him up’.
Thankfully the legal recruitment market remains busy with a relative shortage of applicable candidates. This means good candidates are going off the market quickly… This reduces the number of ‘top’ candidates waiting around for slow processes to complete! So back to the initial statement: the more complex and dragged out a company makes their recruitment process the more likely they are to lose out in the race for talent!