A number of firms have radically overhauled their selection procedures in a bid to weed out weak applicants as competition for training contracts remains high.
Herbert Smith has added two exercises to its recruitment process to test what the firm calls ‘intellectual ability’. The top 10 outfit will be adding an online situational judgement test, which candidates will have to take when they first fill in their application form.
Would-be lawyers will also have to take a logical reasoning test, which has been added to the existing verbal reasoning exam.
Herbert Smith head of resourcing Peter Chater said: “We think we’re improving the objectivity of our selection process by introducing online testing. We’re able to reduce the length of our application form and will be able to respond to candidates more quickly.”
Elsewhere, SNR Denton will be introducing psychometric testing to its online application form, while Addleshaw Goddard is adding a verbal reasoning test to its existing selection procedure.
Addleshaws graduate recruitment manager Brett Galloway said: “We’ve put in this extra stage to make the application process as robust as possible and I think it’s necessary to use other tools apart from the usual application form because it’s often difficult to differentiate between applicants on the basis of academics alone.”
Meanwhile, Pinsent Masons has introduced a telephone interview element to its recruitment process. But the firm’s graduate recruitment manager Edward Walker has denied that the extra test is just another hoop for candidates to jump through.
“This is for candidates to prove that they’re right for the firm beyond a piece of paper,” insisted Walker. “As an increasing number of people apply for a career in law, we’ll need more ways to distinguish between applicants other than the traditional application form.”