HKFSI puts entrepreneurial vision at heart of post-merger recruitment process

HowardKennedyFSI has set out its strategy for recruiting its trainee solicitors, moving away from a selection process with an emphasis on academic qualifications.

The newly-created West End firm will place just a 20 per cent weighting on academic excellence. HowardKennedyFSI graduate recruitment partner and head of corporate restructuring Vernon Dennis reasoned that stellar grades among candidates were so common as to be a given, and said that the firm wanted to focus its assessment on graduates’ other strengths such as interpersonal skills and the ability to identify with clients’ backgrounds and entrepreneurial needs.

Both legacy firms, Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent, which merged in January of this year, took a traditional approach to graduate recruitment, assessing via CV and interview and forgoing assessment days. The selection approach now features an assessment day between the CV selection and interview stages.

The assessment day features round-table discussions and a presentation on a subject of the interviewee’s choice. Recent assessment days have featured presentations on such topics as the history of cake making and axolotls – a type of salamander known for being able to regrow limbs.