There are a few simple steps to hiring. We’ve always been a fan of the group hiring method. It gives you a chance to:
1) Review resumes and cover letters for writing skills, formatting skills and some basic communication skills.
Anyone with spelling errors or formatting problems will not be invited to the group interview.
2) You get to witness the candidates idea of “prompt” based on what time they arrive for the group meeting (I usually have the receptionist note the time of arrival as she puts them in the conference room with an application).
Anyone arriving late is automatically removed from my list for a second interview.
3) You get a chance to see how they interact with each other.
4) You get a chance to see them speak in front of a small group of people they don’t know.
5) You also have narrowed down the introduction of your firm (usually made by the attorney), the introduction of the position (made by a senior staff person) and the introduction to your culture (made by someone else in the firm)…. One time instead of individual meetings covering that information
6) The next thing I like to do, is to offer up a chance for candidates to have 2-4 minutes to say something about what they loved and didn’t love about their last position and what interests them about this position.
If they say anything negative about a former employer, they’ll say it about you. Pay attention to the wording used. If they mention that they noticed something on your website or fan page on Facebook, take note that they were serious enough to do some homework before coming in.
Have all staff in your office attend so that after the meeting everyone can vote on the top 2-3 people to come in for a private interview or testing.
Tell each candidate that they will be contacted the next day and either thanked for coming in and showing an interest in the firm, or be invited back for a second interview. Explain your process to them.
Collect the applications and make reference checks for the people you intend to bring in for an additional interview.
We highly recommend testing new hires, using tests similar to what is offered by Personnel Profiling. Everyone in your firm should be tested so when new hires are brought on, your Personnel Profiling consultation will cover information about how strengths of your new candidate will work or not work with your existing team members.
In the event that you are suddenly left with a hole to fill, it’s tempting to hire too quickly. Don’t. I always have the number of Robert Half handy, so we can have a temp come in if necessary to help out through a transition.
Director, Member Services, Marketing & Recruiting
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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