The Importance of a Planned Interview Process

Just as a law firm or legal department would not carry out a litigation process without planning ahead, so should the firm or department avoid carrying out a hiring process without planning ahead. By first identifying the type of candidate who will “fit” well with the organization and who has the skills to succeed on the job, hiring managers can both improve the quality of the candidates they select and target the interview process to identify the best candidate in the group.

How can hiring managers plan the interview process to improve results? Consider the following tips:

  1. Know your needs before you create interview questions.

It’s easy to type “interview questions for legal support staff” into a search engine and find a prewritten list. But this list may fail to target the specific skills and qualities your firm or department needs in its legal support team.

Before you hop online, review the job description and talk to co-workers and supervisors about the most important skills, qualities, and responsibilities. Then, choose questions you gather online or from your staffing partner to meet your needs – and discard the rest.

  1. Create a form.

Comparing candidates side by side after interviews are completed is simpler if hiring managers have a standardized form for capturing their notes and evaluating candidates. Use your knowledge of your needs to build your form. Your staffing partner can give you guidance on how to create an easy-to-use evaluation system as well as room for comments.

  1. Involve multiple parties in the interview.

Hiring managers rarely, if ever, have firsthand expertise with every position in the firm – especially those held by legal support and administrative staff. When hiring for these positions, involve co-workers and direct supervisors. They can ask questions targeted toward the job itself, while the hiring manager focuses on behavioral questions and field-specific questions, like those about client confidentiality.

  1. Talk to your recruiting partner.

Staffing firms that specialize in providing legal support staff know how to think “long term,” improving the interview process to improve retention and identify the candidates you’ll need in the future. Work with your recruiting partner to improve your entire hiring process.

Your recruiting partner can help you plan the interview process to identify the candidates who offer the best fit for your organization. The more openly you communicate with your staffing firm, the better their recommendations for the interview process will be.

At Kent Legal, our staffing partners can help you plan and execute an interview process intended to identify the top legal support talent you need. Contact us today to learn more about our legal support recruiting services in Toronto and beyond.

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