BCL Legal Recruitment
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Paul Warburton

Paul Warburton – consultant in BCL Legal’s North West team – on why your people and the process of getting them must be the best…

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  • It sounds like a cliché, but a firm is only as good as its people. Talent is key but so is having the right personality and outlook. All too often, we’ve had to come in and help when a square peg has been forced into a round hole!

    Most lawyers are – quite rightly – focused on fee earning and many take a lack lustre approach to recruitment. Just because a person looks good on paper that doesn’t mean it always translates to the office floor. Being lazy and recruiting quickly can often have dire consequences; both financially and on staff morale. Our advice is to look at every position as a new project with its own set of aims, objectives and criteria.

    A simple analysis of what’s required is vital and should follow two key strands; The Package & The Process. Get these two right then you should be OK….

    To clarify, when I say The Package, I don’t mean what you’re offering them but the other way around! When you receive a CV, pay careful attention to their experiences and how they describe their career to date. Being part of a team and having the ability to work with others should be a given but when you meet them try and analyse their personalities to see if what they write is mirrored in how they act. Do you think they would engage with your clients? Will they be proactive? Will they be a good ambassador for your firm? And will they fit well into the current structure? A lot of it will be gut instinct but there are some things you can do…

    When you do think you’ve found a possible candidate getting the interview process right is the next challenge. The key objective must be to structure it correctly and not rely on a 45 minute interview. We are big believers in detailed excercises that are cognitive based incorporating role plays, case studies and tests. By doing it this way, you get a far more comprehensive and honest overview of who is in front of you. Also, don’t be scared or apprehensive of going down this road as a good candidate will always appreciate and understand the reasons behind it.

    So, in summary – when you’re recruiting always be structured, always be bold but most importantly never be too quick!

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