Recruiters slam Eversheds' demands for diversity

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Readers' comments (125)

  • Diversity

    Eversheds' diversity credentials are fairly tarnished when it comes to employing, promoting and retaining both ethnic minorities and women.

    With typical Sheds' spin they are making a virtue out of a necessity, given that renewal of their highly prized (but disasterously priced) contract with Tyco and its voluble GC Trevor Faure demanded positive action in relation to diversity.

    Rather than bashing the recruiters (who can only work with the talent pool available) why don't Eversheds put their money where their mouth is and do something useful in the community? Painting infant school toilet blocks isn't going to do much to improve the career prospects of inner city kids. Eversheds might also look hard at their own selection and promotion processes to open up opportunities to a wider group.

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  • Feeling the pinch

    It is entertaining that the large/top law firms, having trained up a large pool of middle-class, white and mediocre lawyers are now going to scrabble for 'diverse' candidates.

    While it is good to see that Tyco has the power to cause a wholesale change in a law firm’s approach to recruiting, it is sad to see that the first thing Eversheds does is pass the buck and recruiters whine like spoilt brats about how difficult it all is.

    If they don’t want to work for their money, all they have to do is walk away from the proposal.

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  • Diversity

    One of the major problems with diversity in the legal field is that no-one is actually owning up to the facts:

    1. There is positive discrimination in favor of men. Women are graduating at a far higher rate than men in law and broadly at university as a whole yet law firms try to maintain a near 50/50 ratio of men to women.

    2. A large part of the problem with BME students starts long before they apply to a law firm. BME students, especially black ones, are underrepresented in LLB and GDL programs. This is particularly the case at the traditionally well respected unis.

    Law firms and recruitment agencies can only work with the people that have met the required standards to be there.

    The solution is to begin to address the problem of lack of BME students at an earlier point. Trying to fix serious educational inequality at the law firm stage is too little, too late.

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  • Speaking as a recruiter...

    Speaking as a recruiter for a top UK consultancy I can honestly say that we always provide our clients with the best shortlist of candidates regardless of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. What the Law firms decide to do with those shortlisted candidates is up to them.

    Recruiters are an easy target to pass the buck to, and are a much maligned group by the legal profession as a whole. The lack of professionalism exhibited by some recruitment agencies give those who genuinely add value for both their candidates and clients a bad name.

    In a talent-scarce market we save partners valuable billing time in sourcing high calibre candidates whose ambitions and personalities match that of the firm.

    Contrary to popular belief, we do not cold call candidates with irrelevant roles, nor do we pressure them into accepting unsuitable roles - to do so would be to undermine our hard earned reputation and undercut our long term growth for the sake of a quick buck.

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    I think the approach Eversheds is taking due to the pressure of its client is well weighted, however like most of the individuals have pointed out below, I agree that its the firm who has the last say.

    I am of an ethnic origin, I graduated from a University with not such a well repute, i went on to complete my LPC but had no joy gaining a training contract due to the diversity issue, so i took to the route to qualify in a commonwealth jurisdiction as an Advocate - finally i can qualify in the UK as a solicitor.

    The point is how much time and funds I have wasted to qualify in the UK just purely due to the fact that my name did not sound as the law firms wanted it to, I do welcome this change but putting it into practice is another story.

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  • Diversity

    As a senior in-house lawyer, I don't care whether firms are diverse or not - what I care about is that I receive a first class legal and commercial service. Counting numbers of people from different ethnic backgrounds etc. is irrelevant tosh - if law firms miss out on good people as a result of their own prejudices, service will deteriorate, firms will lose clients/work, and firms will need to recruit better to redress their failings. Recruit on merit, and ignore everything else.

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  • Response to: 'Diversity: let's not kid ourselves'

    An interesting post, I am from an ethnic minority background and I went to a public school. I totally disagree with the post below 'Diversity: let's not kid ourselves'. Most of my peers from public school dropped out of higher education and never completed their degrees.

    Their academic education might have been 'better' but it does not mean that the school instilled a sense of confidence, hard work and discipline in them at all. Therefore, going to public school does not give you a better foundation in life. All it does is install a false sense of superiority and confidence in you which isn't going to get you far in the big wide world, chump.

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  • Don't tar us all with their brush

    I was interested to read the article on the front page of The Lawyer regarding diversity and legal recruitment consultancies. There only appeared to be a few recruiters mentioned, which I suspect doesn't necessarily give a fair and accurate view of how seriously diversity is taken into account by all recruiters.

    At Taylor Root, and across the whole of The SRGroup, we have our own diversity policy and have monitored all new candidates since 2004, looking at race, gender, sex and age. This information is completed by the candidates at registration stage on a voluntary basis and all information is stored anonymously.

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  • Re: 'Diversity: let's not kid ourselves'

    Re the post at 9.01, you're hyperbolising massively. If you are really saying that MOST of the people you went to public school with didn't finish their degrees, which is hard to believe, you went to an untypically bad public school.

    Though we can argue about the fairness and the explanations behind it, no-one can seriously deny that public schools have on average consistently better academic results than state schools - insisting otherwise just isn't credible.

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  • Discrimination... in favour of men?

    Re yesterday evening's post about 'positive discrimination' in favour of men, I'd question how positive that really is. Women might be overtaking men in terms of new law graduates, but even with a 50/50 ratio among new lawyers, most firms remain dominated by men for several years to come. I for one thing that a legal world of the future dominated by women would only be pay-back!

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