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Clifford Chance

“We’re not just hiring for today, we’re hiring for five, 10, 20 years down the line”

Magic Circle law firm Clifford Chance takes a long-term view of talent. “We’re not just hiring for today, we’re hiring for five, 10, 20 years down the line,” explains Sarah Langton, Head of Resourcing. “We need to make sure that the people we are recruiting have the skills, personality and ability to deliver what the clients of the future need, and that we can find the best talent for all our roles, regardless of where the talent might be.”Sarah Langton Head of Resourcing

Clifford Chance hires around 100 graduates every year. Its graduate recruitment process consists of an application form, the Watson-Glaser critical thinking test, and an assessment day that includes a competency-based interview and a case study interview. 

To combat unconscious bias, the firm has introduced a ‘blind’ interview process for all face-to-face interviews. The interviewer doesn’t have the candidate’s application form – in fact, they don’t know anything about the candidate other than their name. “There are no preconceptions and we ask all the candidates similar questions,” Langton says. “It’s popular with candidates because it’s seen as very fair.”

For more experienced hires, Clifford Chance adopts a “high-touch” acquisition strategy, whereby candidates are assigned a designated personal contact within the recruitment team. That person will guide them through the recruitment process and, if they take a job with the firm, support them through their first month in their new role.

Langton believes that the firm’s talent acquisition strategy is making it fit for the future. “We can see a change in the demographics of our trainee intake in terms of social mobility and minority ethnic hires, which increased threefold over a two-year period.” She adds that greater diversity of talent will help the firm to match its ever more diverse client base. “The broader the diversity of the team, the more likely the team is to be creative and innovative and the better the service we can deliver to our clients of today and tomorrow.” 

Jon Mannall

Jon Mannall
Global Head of Sales, Solutions and Innovation, Hays Talent Solutions
Jonathan is the Global Head of Sales, Solution and Innovation for Hays Talent Solutions, having joined Hays in 2011. Previous roles held at Hays included Client Director, Service Delivery Director and Head of Sales for the UK. He is now responsible for leading the approach to engaging and securing new clients and to ensuring that the products and services offered by Hays Talent Solutions continue to meet the changing needs of our global, regional and local customers. For more information about Hays Talent Solutions, visit our website

Prior to joining Hays, and after completing his Masters in Philosophy and Management, Jon worked in the RPO and MSP sector for 10 years with a range of Financial Services, Public Sector, IT & Telecommunications, and Insurance clients in Sales and Operations Director roles.

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