Using data to hire (and fire) better.
yers—the ones who will effectively service clients and
add value to the firm as partners in 10 years—right? The
decision whether to modify the list of “accepted” recruitment schools is based largely on anecdotal information
or internal politics.
Hiring decisions based on gut and intuition are problematic because subjective measures are not highly predictive of
actual candidate performance. Ample research across many
industries outlines the errors in using one-on-one or interests-based interviewing as the primary selection tool for per-
MONEYBALL ANALYSIS REVEALS UNEXPECTED SUCCESS FACTORS
after conducting a biographical analysis, one am Law 100 firm was surprised to learn that top schools, law review and joint
degrees, for example, were not strong predictors of success at their firm. another am Law 200 firm uncovered that out of the
four regional schools from which they had been recruiting for decades, only one was consistently generating high-performing
lawyers for their firm.
And then, to choose among the candidates at these
schools, the firm uses grades as a screening tool and a
series of one-on-one interviews as the primary selection
mechanism. The unstructured 20- to 30-minute one-on-one interview, which is mostly a free-flowing conversation
about shared interests, allows the interviewer and interviewee to “get to know each other.” The interviewer is then
asked to complete an evaluation with a checkbox at the
end—hire, no hire or hire with reservations. Most of the
time, if the interviewers “liked” the candidate, the decision
is made to schedule an additional round of interviews or
to hire the person.
formance. Studies show that interviewers get it right about 50
percent of the time using an interests-based interview. The
same odds as a coin toss. Considering that a bad hire costs
about $250,000 annually, these odds are not good enough.
This coin toss-style selection results in a new crop of
entry level (and lateral) associates each year. Some are
C players from the beginning, while others start strong
and falter later because they can’t (or won’t) develop the
ever-expanding skills set required at the next career stage.
Either way, C players take developmental time and focus
away from the A and B players whom the firm desperately
wants to advance and retain.
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