Simmons brings in psychometric testing in graduate intake overhaul

Simmons & Simmons has overhauled its recruitment process, extending elements in a bid to better filter applicants.

Applicants will now visit the firm twice as part of the initial recruitment process but will only be interviewed by a fee earner if they pass a first-round assessment consisting of a number of written tests, including a newly-added psychometric testing element.

The top 15 UK law firm said the changes were partly implemented in a bid to reduce the time fee earners spend on the recruitment process.

After a consultation earlier this year, Simmons has added the Watson Glaser test, which examines critical thinking, to its trainee recruitment process and plans to also roll it out to vacation scheme applicants next year. Other firms to use Watson Glaser testing in recruitment processes include Hogan Lovells.

Graduate recruitment partner Alex Brown commented: “The critical reasoning test is one among other tests that we score and rely on and which act as a filter in the first round of the recruitment process. Successful candidates have to pass a variety of tests.”

The news comes as Simmons also updated its application form in a bid to weed out less committed candidates by deliberately making it more time-consuming to fill out. However, Brown said that the upgrade merely put the form in line with those of competing law firms.

The form was changed between the 2009 and 2010 recruitment rounds, contributing to a 21% fall in the number of applications, from 2,556 to 2,021. On average, Simmons has a total of 80-90 trainees in its London office at any given time.