Recruiting a successful lawyer has huge financial implications for law firms.
01 Jul 2013
International law firm Carey Olsen was getting its recruitment decisions right about 80% of the time, but was looking for the selection insights that would nudge that figure to 90% and beyond.
“If we recruit a really good lawyer, they might bring in half a million pounds a year in revenue”, says Simon Nash, HR Director, Carey Olsen. “So it’s vital that we get more and more of these decisions right. Cognitive ability is a vital characteristic for a successful lawyer. By bringing in cognitive ability testing we’ll be adding an edge of strength, validity and reliability to our decision making, by giving recruiters some scientific evidence to go on.”
Having decided on the BPS accredited Test User: Occupational, Ability (TUOA) qualification as the way forward, Simon chose OPP as the course provider.
“Having found the training we wanted we looked at several potential training providers OPP came out very strongly”, he says. “They have a good reputation across the breadth of psychometrics, and were very flexible about the way they could deliver the programme for us.”
The training was conducted in-house, with members of the Carey Olsen staff and delegates from neighbouring businesses in the Channel Islands. This enabled Simon to avoid the costs of sending staff to the UK to train, and also provided a good networking opportunity.
The firm applied their new skills to the recruitment process for the first time in June 2013.
“The first priority was to get the members of my team who completed the course registered to use the instruments”, says Simon. “We’re also going to do some verbal reasoning tests on our existing lawyers, to get some idea of a benchmark internally. This will also help build credibility for the TUOA instrument among the partner group.”
Simon comments that, as a practitioner who has been writing about lawyer recruitment for a number of years, this experience should give him material for another paper on the subject.
Carey Olsen is an international law firm based in the Channel Islands and the Caribbean. It is one of the largest offshore law firms in the world. Simon Nash is the author of Effective Selection Interviewing for Law Firms, (Ark Group, 2010, ISBN 1907787100), the only book dedicated to lawyer recruitment.