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Selecting employees with competence

Getting recruitment wrong can have a huge impact in terms of costs to a firm. Bettina Alderton, an occupational psychologist at Longbridge International, explains why law firms might have been getting the recruitment method wrong and examines how the interview process can be better used to predict job performance.

2 December 2002

The cost of a hire not only includes the recruitment fee paid to a recruitment agency, but also the salary paid to the employee, plus the additional costs of

re-recruiting the role, as well as the costs of any training and development that has been invested in the employee. With this in mind, can law firms, like other businesses, afford financially, culturally and legally to be making these mistakes, especially given the present downturn in the market? Law firms need to address their present recruitment strategies. They need to ask themselves, “What are we basing our selection decisions on?” “Are we selecting with competence, and if not, why not?”

The role of the interview

The interview is by far the most popular method of selecting individuals. Selection interviews can be conducted in many different ways, but one method that is prevalent in law firms is the unstructured interview: a general chat with the applicant and a personal judgement...

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