<B>The fourth time’s the charm</B>

Law firms surveyed on average make job offer after four interviews

Potential employees and hiring personnel in the legal field now have a second, third and fourth chance to make a good first impression. According to a recent survey, lawyers often interview candidates an average of four times before extending an offer of employment.

The survey, developed by legal staffing service Robert Half Legal, included responses from 200 lawyers among the 1,000 largest law firms and corporations in Canada and the United States.

“Definitely four interviews is what we’re seeing in usually every situation,” saidRob Hosking, regional vice-president at Robert Half Legal, who added that trend holds true right across the country.

Hoskings saidthat the multiple interviews give more people a chance to be involved in the hiring process and look beyond a candidate’s skills.

“The personality and environmental fit is equally, if not more, important,” said Hoskings. “People are willing to train new hires to get the right personality piece.”

He also recommended interviewing candidates at different times of the day and in different situations to get a better picture of what kind of person the candidate is.

Lawyers aren’t the only ones who think more is better. At CNC Global, a Canadian IT recruiting firm, recruiters and managers have been doing an average of four interviews before hiring a candidate for many years.

“We’ve always had that policy on board,” said Leandra Lackie, the firm’s vice-president of human resources. “It’s important that (the candidates) fit in with our team.”

Lackie said CNC Global involves many people in the interview process. These would include a peer panel that looks at how the candidate would fit in with the team, the hiring manager who looks at the candidate’s skill set, and an HR representative who looks at the candidate’s motivation and how well he will fit with the corporate culture.

Hosking warned that while more interviews are becoming the norm if employers take too long to complete the interview process, they might miss out on a great candidate.

“You need to tighten up the process,” said Hosking who recommends completing the multiple interviews in a week or two instead of four or five. “That way you run less of a risk of losing that person to somebody else who may be faster.”

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