updated on 26 June 2020
Magic circle firm Linklaters has revealed plans to move graduate recruitment online this autumn subject to the UK’s lockdown restrictions.
The firm’s plans involve recreating an online assessment day using digital assessment centre software TopScore. Candidates will be required to complete a timed exercise, a partner interview and an interview with human resources as normal.
The firm has already used TopScore to recruit graduates in Australia and the platform was well received by candidates, who described it as “very interactive and user friendly”.
Graduate recruitment partner Alison Wilson said her experience of interviewing online was “positive overall”, according to the Law Gazette.
She added: “It takes practice. Normally when you interview someone you walk with them from reception... You don’t get the same gradual start to an interview online and you have to work hard at the start to put candidates at ease.” Wilson explained that while candidates tend to find virtual interviews more tiring, “you still get a good sense of their capabilities”.
Meanwhile, with trainees due to start work this autumn, City firms are considering various options. Wilson said: “This is an unfortunate situation for students across the years. Learning about the firm is going to be more difficult for them. And, for us, learning about who they are as individuals is equally challenging.
“It’s one thing for a senior lawyer to think a remote office works just as well, but for junior lawyers it can be different.”
Trainee start dates at international firm DLA Piper will be staggered, with graduates offered £10,000 to delay starting until August 2021. And Irwin Mitchell has delayed trainee start dates from August 2020 to February 2021.