Articles From the Team

How to make the interview process work for your law firm

When speaking to law firms about new vacancies, there’s often a start date in mind and more often than not the ideal start time is “within the next few months.” Despite this, we see some interview processes spanning over a longer period due to busy schedules to work around.

However, depending on the level of seniority of candidates, notice periods can vary from one month up to anything near the 12 month mark. So, if an interview process alone takes two to three months, this can have a substantial bearing on the firm.

Delays in the interview process are detrimental to the firm; both in terms of prolonged increased workload for current employees and success in finding the right person for the job.

Too often we see great candidates slipping through the net because the interview process is dragged out. The firm is left with a weaker pool of lawyer candidates to choose from, or in some cases, has to restart the whole search again – costing precious time.

I understand that firms are extremely busy and want to see dedication from prospective employees. In reality, if lawyer candidates are already active on the market, they’re looking to make their next career move imminently.

To help the interview/offer process move more efficiently, here are my top tips:

  1. Within 24 hours of receiving a CV, confirm whether you wish to take the application further;
  2. Arrange a mutually convenient interview slot within seven days of receiving the CV;
  3. If you can’t interview the candidate due to a busy schedule, delegate this to someone who can;
  4. Make sure your legal recruiter obtains interview feedback – from both the candidate and firm – on the interview day;
  5. Should their be a need for a second interview, arrange this within 24 hours of the initial one;
  6. Any concerns or issues should be addressed within 24 hours of the final interview;
  7. Should the matter proceed to offer, aim to make this within 24 hours of the final interview;
  8. Allow the candidate 24 hours to consider/negotiate any offers;
  9. Once an offer has been accepted, issue the paperwork to the candidate within 24 hours;
  10. Stay in friendly contact with the candidate to establish their start date;
  11. Invite the candidate to come in and meet the team for drinks to prevent buy-back from their current firm – you don’t want to lose them at the last hurdle!

Time is precious and time is money. Firms know this all too well. Apply this philosophy to the recruitment process – even if it means meeting the candidate outside of working hours or having an initial telephone interview – and you’ll find the process runs with ease and speed.

If you would like to discuss this further and need any help with your current or future vacancies, please get in touch. My number is 0113 532 1977. I look forward to hearing from you.

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