Table of Contents
7 steps to legal recruiting for all hiring stagesHiring is not a one-step process. Especially when it comes to legal recruiting, you need several stages or several candidate filters. Here are the 7 steps of the hiring process and what to assess at each stage:
- Cover Letter Review and Resume Review: Assess if the applicant is proficient and can accurately show their work journey
- Personality Assessment: Match the candidate against the ideal DISC personality fit
- Skills Assessment: Determine if the candidate has the right skillset
- Phone Screen Interview: Interview for high-level job fit and effective verbal communication skills
- Career Story Interview: Interview for behavioral fit
- Final interview: Interview for cultural fit
- Reference Check: Validate information and references from a candidate. Never hesitate to speak to previous employers.
Stage 1: Cover letter and resumeThe hiring cycle begins with a candidate’s application: their resume and cover letter. These documents give you a limited, yet meaningful first impression of a candidate’s skills and experience. There’s just enough information on paper to know whether you should meet with them or they don’t have the right job qualifications for the position. Be sure to focus less on where they went to school or previously worked, and more on the actual skills they list. Their resume should be able to demonstrate that they can perform the work. For guidance, here are a few questions to grade the documents for their credentials. Rank your answers from 1 to 5, with 1 meaning definitely no, and up to 5 meaning definitely yes.
- Do their past job roles relate to the position you’re hiring for?
- Do their descriptions of their previous accomplishments align with the role expectations?
- Do they list skills that are needed in your role?
Stage 2: Professional personality assessment using DISC+At this point, you’ve learned relevant information about your candidates’ credentials. Now it’s time to figure out whether their personal traits fit the role. Instead of moving straight to an interview, start with a professional personality assessment. A formal test can identify the right personality fit for candidates, so you can quickly determine whether they would be a good fit. A personality assessment that we recommend sending to candidates is the DISC assessment. It identifies patterns around four key behaviors: being decisive, interactive, steady, and cautious. Once candidates have taken the personality assessment, you can pair the results with the ideal personality of a candidate. To help you analyze their results, ask yourself: How many of their qualities, as described in these test results, align with the requirements of this role and being a part of this company? Rate the results again from 1 to 5, with 1 identifying a lack of alignment and 5 meaning their personality is totally aligned with the role. Depending on the personality test scores, invite the top 75% to the next step. If your applicant pool is already pretty small, you can just note which applicants performed extremely well instead of eliminating candidates. Using a personality assessment allows you to evaluate what’s difficult to measure: abstract personal attributes. With these test insights, you head into the next screening stages so you know which candidates are most likely the best fit for the role. Wizehire’s service automatically sends the DISC personality assessment to every candidate to determine their personality fit.
Stage 3: Skills assessmentAfter you have determined if their personality is set up for success in the role, send candidates either a skills test assignment or conduct a role play interview to measure their skills. This pre-employment testing should address a skill that they would be using regularly. For example, a consultant might be asked to complete a case study, while an office assistant may be asked to craft email responses for hypothetical clients. Keep work expectations clear by putting a cap on the time candidates should spend on the assignment. Depending on time investment, you may want to consider paying candidates for their assignment, even if it’s just $25-$50. If it’s something quick (up to an hour), it’s generally fine for them to do it for free. But for longer assignments, especially if they’re repurposed for clients, candidates should be paid. Because test assignments are industry-specific, you’ll need to create your own evaluation criteria. As a general benchmark, though, you should ask yourself: How well did the applicant complete the assignment in comparison to people who’ve held the position in the past? Rank your answer from 1 to 5, with 5 being exactly like people who’ve held the position. Invite the top 50% of candidates to the next step. After the skills assessment stage, you can feel confident in your applicants’ skill set.
Stage 4: Phone interviewPersonality and skills assessments, of course, aren’t perfect. No matter how great a candidate scores, you’ll still need to have a conversation with them to make sure they’re a great fit. Setting up a phone screening or video interview is ideal for your first meeting. They require less work than in-person meetings but still allow you to interact and connect with candidates. You can listen and watch them react to get an authentic impression of their personality and hear more about their experiences through genuine conversation. To grade their overall job fit, ask the candidate these interview questions:
- How do you prioritize your work in a day?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why are you applying for this job?
- Why have you left your most recent job or why are you leaving your current job?
- Tell me about a time a project you were working on failed and how you handled it.
Stage 5: Career history interviewMost candidates who make it to this stage are a good fit for the role. The in-person career story interview allows you to refine your choices even further and evaluate what it would actually be like to work with these people. If you’re a remote company, you can always replace this on-site meeting with a video interview. The purpose of the career story interview is to understand how their past job performance will help them in the opportunity in your company. In order to understand candidates’ potential, you need to ask behavioral questions. To grade their behavioral fit, ask candidates these interview questions:
- How would you handle X situation if you were hired in this role?
- How do you choose your work priorities on a typical day?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Stage 6: Final interview for culture fitThis final interview is a great way to have additional team members evaluate the candidate so you can make a final decision. The goal for this final interview is to determine cultural fit. Making sure that this person would fit in the company culture is very important to your employee morale. The right job fit is more than skills and personality, how they align with what the team values determine their productivity. Let multiple employees with their different sets of expertise interview candidates. Ask that the hiring manager or human resources team evaluate whether the candidate would be a good cultural fit. Then, department members can see whether candidates have the right work style for the team. Between your team, ask candidates these questions to assess how they would fit culturally in this role:
- Explain why you feel you would be a good fit for our team.
- How will your values help you to operate in the role?
- Based on their answers, how well do you think the candidate would match the culture of this role and the company?
- How well do you think the candidate’s work style fits with the department they would be joining?