Hogan Lovells Shortlisted for The Lawyer Management Awards 2014

We have been shortlisted for The Lawyer Management Awards 2014 for 'Best Trainee Recruitment Campaign.'

Our trainee recruitment campaign

A review of our graduate assessment and selection process began in early 2013, driven by a small but significant increase in trainee solicitor performance issues and feedback from our lawyers that some trainees were not adequately equipped with the resilience and client focus required to thrive in the demanding environment of an international law firm.

The key aim of the project was to improve the way our recruitment process tests for resilience and client focus. We engaged with a business psychologist who had previously worked with the firm on the design of lawyer development programmes, to create new elements to our application form and assessment day. We created elements unique to Hogan Lovells, and for which students would not be able to prepare in advance or research online. Our hope was that this would mean that we would see beyond the polished façade that many candidates show and force them to think independently about what a career at Hogan Lovells would involve and their motivation to join the firm and the legal profession.

Running alongside this project, we partnered with Rare Recruitment, an organisation for talented students from ethnic minority and low socio-economic backgrounds, to develop a programme of unconscious bias training for partners involved in graduate recruitment interviewing.


•The first candidates recruited using the revised assessment and selection process were our winter vacation scheme students in October and November 2013. The result was an exceedingly strong cohort, of whom 95% were offered training contracts. This is an increase on the 83% offered following our 2012 winter vacation scheme. We also saw improvements in our offer acceptance rates, with 90% of those offered following the scheme accepting those offers, compared to 80% in 2012. The calibre of the winter vacation scheme students was noticed across the firm.
•An impact was also seen in our diversity figures, with candidates from Black or Asian ethnic minority backgrounds making up 25% of those interviewed for the 2014 summer vacation scheme, 24% of those offered and 27% of those hired. This is a significant improvement on the 2013 figures, when 24% of those interviewed were BAME, 19% of those offered and 18% of those hired. We have also seen a positive impact on the diversity of universities represented, with 16 universities represented on the 2104 summer vacation scheme, up from 12 in 2013.
•With the vacation schemes forming a crucial part of the firm’s graduate recruitment strategy (55% of trainee solicitors recruited in 2012/2013 had completed a vacation scheme at the firm), this has directly contributed to the firm’s diversity commitment. 

The benefits for us and our clients

•The return on our winter vacation scheme meant that we needed to run just three training contract assessment days for our non-law recruitment campaign. In 2013, six were held, which saved approximately 48 hours of partner time for interviews.
•We have also seen an improvement in the interview to offer ratio, meaning that we have been able to run fewer interviews to fill the programmes. For example, we interviewed 11% fewer candidates for the summer vacation scheme in 2014 compared to 2013. We also saw an improvement of 5% in our offer acceptance rate for this scheme, increasing from 81% in 2013 to 86% in 2014.
•The situational interview has provided supervisors – often senior associates advancing towards partnership – with an important development opportunity, and their input in hiring decisions has enhanced the robustness of the recruitment process further. 
•The review of the London graduate assessment and selection process has attracted attention from our counterparts in other Hogan Lovells offices globally who are looking to follow suit. 
•By ensuring that our assessment and selection methods are fit for purpose, we can deliver the very best graduates to the business enabling the firm to deliver the very best service to our clients.
The full shortlist will be available online this week here. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 22 October at The Brewery, London, EC1Y 4SD.

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