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8 Unique Hiring Practices Used by Successful Law Firms

8 Unique Hiring Practices Used by Successful Law Firms

In the quest to attract top talent, companies are getting creative with their recruitment strategies. We've gathered insights from CEOs, HR professionals, and other key decision-makers to reveal eight unique hiring practices. From implementing blind resume screening to simulating a day in the life of a potential role, discover the innovative methods firms are using to identify and secure the best candidates.

  • Host a Skills Showcase Event

  • Implement Blind Resume Screening

  • Incentivize Employee Referrals

  • Engage Candidates with Gamification

  • Recruit Tech Talent on Niche Platforms

  • Hire from Local Expat Communities

  • Conduct Real-World Problem-Solving Sessions

  • Simulate a Day in the Life

Host a Skills Showcase Event

One unique hiring practice that a firm can implement to attract talent is hosting a Skills Showcase Event as follows:

Format: Organize an event where candidates can demonstrate their skills and expertise in a real-world scenario. This could involve solving a relevant business challenge, completing a mini-project, or participating in a group activity.

Customization: Tailor the event to showcase the specific skills and qualities your company values. For example, if you're a tech company, you might ask candidates to collaborate on a coding challenge. If you're in marketing, candidates could work on a creative campaign.

Interaction: Design the event to encourage interaction and collaboration among candidates. This can help you assess not only individual skills but also teamwork, communication, and problem-solving abilities.

Real-Time Feedback: Provide candidates with real-time feedback from your team during the event. This shows your commitment to their growth and development and gives them a glimpse of your company culture.

Cultural Fit: Incorporate elements that give candidates a taste of your company culture. This could be through informal networking sessions, company presentations, or a casual lunch with current team members.

Networking: Create opportunities for candidates to connect with your current employees. This can help them understand the working environment and build rapport with potential future colleagues.

Showcasing Impact: During the event, highlight how the skills demonstrated align with the company's mission and impact. Show candidates how their contributions can make a difference.

By implementing a Skills Showcase Event, you can provide a unique and engaging experience for candidates, allowing them to demonstrate their abilities and giving you a chance to assess their skills and fit within your company. This approach also helps candidates better understand your company's expectations and values while fostering an environment of collaboration and learning.

Implement Blind Resume Screening

To combat unconscious bias, we've implemented a “blind screening” process for initial resume screening. This involves removing names, addresses, and other personally identifying information from resumes. Our hiring managers focus exclusively on skills and experience matching the role. 

This practice:

- Promotes diversity: We find hidden gems often overlooked, expanding our access to top talent.

- Objective evaluation: Skills are front-and-center, reducing focus on other factors.

- Demonstrates commitment: This sends a strong signal that we are an inclusive and equitable employer.

Incentivize Employee Referrals

Our unique hiring practice focuses on referral-based hiring. We offer incentives for our employees to refer candidates, and while those candidates go through all the same screening and interview processes, we have found that these candidates are better cultural matches from the start. 

Referral hiring has also resulted in significantly higher retention rates with the added internal enhancement of higher employee engagement. I think one of the most important aspects of referral-based hiring is the time savings. The entire process is streamlined by reducing the time and resources spent on sourcing candidates.

Samantha Swart, Human Resources Manager, McKean Smith

Engage Candidates with Gamification

As a recruiter, I'm always looking for unique and effective ways to sort through top talent. Creating an interview process that mimics the workplace is key to landing the best worker for the role, but it's easier said than done. Simulations and hypotheticals can only take you so far.

I prefer group gamification.

Challenges like puzzles or escape rooms force interaction and teamwork. Candidates' true selves are revealed as the game unfolds: how they handle setbacks, how they communicate, and whether they're prone to leading or following.

Skills like creativity can be hard to tease out in a questionnaire, conversation, or essay, but real-time problem-solving lays it bare. It's also a great way to see who works well under pressure and who falls apart.

And, as a bonus, it's engaging and interesting for candidates, some of whom might still be exploring other options.

Recruit Tech Talent on Niche Platforms

A company I ran across in Poland took a pretty informal approach to hiring tech talent by not posting formal job advertisements on recruitment platforms; instead, they had their recruiters chat people up on GitHub and Stack Overflow directly. 

It was a long and ongoing process because they essentially needed to establish their bona fides with the tech community in their niche over the course of months. However, these conversations eventually bore some excellent fruit as they managed to get a good talent pipeline by going directly to the source and establishing themselves as a good employer in their market.

Hire from Local Expat Communities

Hiring specifically from local online expat communities. I run an international business, so it always made sense to me to have an international staff—who would know the customers better? Local expat communities on sites like Facebook are excellent sources for these types of hires, so long as you're willing to take a less formal approach to recruitment. It makes sense if you think about it—expats are usually in your country to work or because they married a local and are looking for work. 

They are usually skilled, have a unique perspective, and are happy to work with you, so long as you don't mind going the extra distance when helping them get their work authorization in your country. It's a great way to add value, diversity, and inclusion into your organization, in my experience.

Conduct Real-World Problem-Solving Sessions

One innovative hiring practice adopted by a firm I know involves what they call "Real-World Problem-Solving Sessions." This method steps away from traditional interviews and instead immerses potential candidates in a typical work scenario relevant to their role. The firm invites job applicants to participate in a day-long workshop where they are grouped with other candidates and tasked with solving an actual problem the company is facing or may face in the future.

This practice not only provides a practical demonstration of the candidate’s problem-solving and teamwork skills but also offers insights into their ability to operate under pressure and adapt to real-world challenges. Additionally, it gives candidates a transparent view of the company's working style and culture, which can be crucial for both parties in assessing fit.

The results of this approach have been impressive. Not only has the firm been able to assess candidates more holistically, but it also enhances the candidate experience by engaging them in meaningful work rather than conventional interviews.

Niclas Schlopsna, Managing Consultant and CEO, spectup

Simulate a Day in the Life

We use "Day in the Life" simulations. This involves candidates participating in a series of tasks and activities that they would typically handle on a normal working day in the role they are applying for.

This practice allows us to assess candidates’ technical abilities and problem-solving skills in real-time and gives us insights into their interpersonal and decision-making skills. It gives candidates a clear idea of what to expect and helps them determine if the position aligns with their career aspirations and working style.

This method has proven to be highly effective in ensuring that we select candidates who are not only capable but also a good cultural fit for our company. It helps in reducing early turnover and increases job satisfaction.