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Five ways that law firms can make recruitment more of a science than an art

By Julious P. Smith Jr, Chair Emeritus, Williams Mullen

21 August 2015

Over the summer, many professional sports teams added new faces to their rosters. They spent several months testing the physical and mental attributes of prospects. However, a large percentage of draftees will still end up on benches and in broadcast booths. Why? Because pro teams treat adding players as a science: they follow their process with little regard for the art of hiring. The unknown often trips them up.

On the other hand, law firms treat recruitment as an art. Most firms have no process to follow. They tend to invest their dollars not in due diligence, but in signing who they hope will be the next superstar. That decision usually turns on the recruit's stated book of business.

Even firms with recruiting departments generally use their personnel only to arrange meetings and check references, if any. Firms know surprisingly little about a new hire. As a result, a large nu...

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