Law firms hire from a smaller pool of universities than any other industry sector, despite spending more money on their recruitment activities, new research has revealed.

A survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) found that law firms visit an average of 17 universities in the course of their trainee recruitment activities, and end up hiring from an average of 19.

The latter number is the lowest out of the 11 industry sectors surveyed.

By contrast, accountancy firms typically visit 32 universities per year, and end up hiring graduates from 50.

Banking and financial services institutions hire from an average of 30, while public sector bodies recruit from nearly 60.

AGR university hiring

The research also revealed that the average cost of recruiting a graduate is higher for law firms than any other sector.

Law firms spend an average £5,195 per graduate on attraction and marketing activities, then a further £1,516 on the selection and assessment process, giving a grand total cost of £6,811 per trainee.

That is more than double the £2,863 average spend of the accountancy and professional services firms.

At the bottom end of the scale, companies in the construction sector spend an average of just £1,296 per graduate hire.

Meanwhile, the AGR research also made clear the rising popularity of video interviews as a recruitment tool. Some 42.1 per cent of the law firms surveyed now use video interviews to help select trainees.

Across all sectors, use of video interviews has risen from 6.3 per cent in 2011/12 to 41.9 in 2015/16.

Numerical and verbal reasoning tests have declined slightly in popularity with employers over the past three years, while situational judgement tests are becoming more popular.

Recruiters identified Brexit as the biggest challenge they would face in the coming year, with 29.2 per cent citing it as a problem.