The Smart Way to Hire: Why It’s Time to Shake Up Your Law Firm’s Hiring Process

*This article appeared in the October 2019 edition of our print newsletter

Most businesses use a similar hiring process. Prospective candidates send in their resumes for the hiring manager to review. Then, based on almost nothing more than those resumes, they decide who is valuable enough for an in-person interview. Finally, after a 30–60-minute conversation, they choose the perfect employee. If that doesn’t sound crazy to you, keep reading!

First, a resume isn’t an adequate yardstick to measure skills and competency. Anyone can throw words on a page, and there’s nothing qualitative in even an honest work history. Simply knowing that someone completed certain tasks isn’t an indicator of how well they did them, and, while adding an interview is a necessary improvement, it doesn’t solve the problem. The truth is, if you hire someone after only two steps, you won’t know their true skill level. Instead of evidence, you’ll need to rely on assumptions and guesses.

The missing piece of the hiring puzzle is a test of competence. At Spotlight Branding, we’ve solved that problem by sending all of our applicants a pre-interview assessment to complete at home. You can do the same thing by giving potential employees mock work to do before their interviews; for example, send them contracts to review and give feedback on or request that they draft a mock letter or email to assess how they would communicate in a specific scenario. This allows you to spend your time wisely by only interviewing the candidates with demonstrated abilities.

Furthermore, we suggest providing another test that is in-person after the interview. This usually means providing the candidate with a private spot in the office for a second round of mock work. That will give you a chance to see how they work in real time and lay to rest any concerns about whether they had assistance on the original test or struggled to complete it in a timely manner.

When designing these tests, ask yourself, “What do I want to test for?” Is it their ability to craft an argument on the spot? Their writing skills? Their attention to detail? Choose a skillset, then work backward to identify tasks that can demonstrate it. Paired with a clear job description and challenging interview questions, this hiring formula is practically foolproof. And, it sure beats making decisions off of just a resume and a conversation!

The following two tabs change content below.

Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!