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OCI  Insights

Who’s Doing What? Virtual vs. In-Person Callback Interviews

min read

The last two years have taught us a lot about the resiliency of the legal industry. The benefits of virtual engagement in recruiting programs has helped us understand that an entirely in-person recruiting model is a thing of the past. From quicker “time to hire” to expanded candidate pipelines, there is a lot to be said about how virtual aspects have left a long-lasting impression on the legal industry. 

Despite virtual recruiting's proliferation and the benefits that come with it, candidates, interviewers, and recruiters still miss some of the in-person aspects of their previous process. So what does this mean for recruiting? 100% in-person? 100% virtual? Or is it a hybrid? These questions led Flo Recruit to explore how law firms are structuring their recruiting processes to hire the right talent to stay ahead of the curve in this very competitive market. 

Flo Recruit team members, Hannah Kelly (Senior Manager of Employer Sales) and Courtney O'Donnell (Senior Manager of Business Development) hosted a webinar, “Who’s Doing What? Virtual vs In-Person Callbacks” to unpack this question through the results of a survey of U.S. legal recruiters conducted late May 2022. Seventy-four recruiters responded from all across the U.S, representing firms with anywhere from 80 up to 3,000 attorneys. The below data represents their responses and key takeaways.

Data shows that offering both in-person and virtual options to candidates is the most common plan for 2022 callback interviews, no matter the size of the firm. BigLaw firms show a higher likelihood to host fully virtual interviews, while midsize firms are more likely to go in-person.

Trends hold relatively steady even when adjusting for whether a firm’s candidates are local or have to travel. Even if candidates were local to a given firm, recruiters were still more likely to offer both in-person and virtual options. 

In the graphs below, there are three interesting trends to note from this survey. Firstly, the most popular choice for the format of the upcoming callback interviews was to offer both in-person and virtual interviews. This trend did not change when taking into account firm size and location. Secondly, bigger law firms (defined here as >350 attorneys) were twice as likely than small to medium-sized law firms to offer a fully virtual callback program. Lastly, there is a large number of firms that are still “undecided” about the format of their callbacks. 

So what does that mean for the future of legal recruiting? It is safe to say that we are embracing virtual elements of the callback process. However, it is all about balance. Illustrated below, firms are considering both virtual and in-person elements for both interviews and non-interview events, like office tours, offer receptions, and other networking opportunities. Our survey found that over 80% of firms are already planning on hosting a non-interview event alongside callbacks to communicate a firm’s culture and maintain that personal touch.

It is also interesting to note that the majority of participants felt some degree of satisfaction when it comes to their callback interview plans. There are, however, some firms that are not as confident in their plan and thus still in the process of making changes. 

Managing both virtual and in-person recruiting processes is easier said than done. Some of our recruiting leaders mentioned it feels like double work. That is why having the proper recruiting system in place has proven to be more crucial than ever. The speed of virtual recruiting combined with the personal touch of in-person touchpoints seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to increasing hiring rates. From what we have seen, the firms that will “win” this year are those that are offering both in-person and virtual options. 

Flo Recruit’s platform streamlines the legal recruiting management process so that recruiters can save time on manual tasks and focus on creating a seamless, efficient recruiting experience for candidates. Process efficiency means extending offers earlier, which allows firms to remain competitive in this hybrid environment and save attorneys and firms both resources and billable hours.

With the creation of hybrid interviewing, Flo Recruit enables law firms to make sure their recruiting process reflects the modern workplace. Recruiting is complex and complicated. Your recruiting software should not be. Flo Recruit is excited to continue to work together with both law schools and law firms to build the future of legal recruiting. 

We are all in this together! Hybrid has created an opportunity to enhance recruiting processes. Stay tuned for PART 2 where we explore strategies and considerations we think “undecided” firms should consider. If you have any questions regarding this data feel free to reach out! You can also book a meeting with us to explore the Flo Recruit system in more depth.

Watch the full webinar here.

Carla Jean Bay

Carla Jean Bay is a Business Development Representative at Flo Recruit with a sales and marketing background cultivated through tech start-ups in Austin.

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