Assessing potential equity partners for an international law firm

Nicholson McBride worked with this major city based international law firm on their new Equity Partner selection process.  The key tool was the creation of Development Centres that were designed to:

  • Identify candidates' strengths and areas for development across a range of key competencies.
  • Allow the candidates to experience the role in order to inform their own decision making.
  • Test candidates skills and observe their behaviours in a range of common partner situations.
  • Establish whether or not the candidate was Partner standard, could be developed to Partner standard, or would struggle to meet the required standard even with development.
  • Generate a personal development plan to be used to help with future development.

Candidates were observed throughout the Development Centre, lasting a day and a half, across a number of different activities.  These included networking, a client meeting, an employee meeting, a presentation and a group discussion. Those observers included a mix of Partners from the Partner selection committee and HR professionals. Candidates performance against key competencies, e.g. Leadership, Managing People and Commercialism, was then discussed in an open forum, based on evidence gathered during the day and a half. A consensus was reached on the standard attained.

The outputs for each individual included a report detailing individual candidate's key strengths and areas for development. This was fed back in one-to-one interviews between the candidates and Nicholson McBride. The firm itself took responsibility for advising candidates on whether or not they had been successful in achieving Partner status.

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