Workplace diversity and social mobility are being put at the core of the latest graduate recruitment rounds of two of Scotland’s leading law firms.

Following a successful pilot using the Law Society of Scotland’s contextualised recruitment scheme in partnership with diversity recruitment specialists RARE, Morton Fraser and Dickson Minto have committed to using the recruitment system for their latest trainee recruitment rounds, which are now open or will open soon.

The RARE recruitment system helps organisations uncover any external factors that may have contributed to a candidate’s grades and experience, and helps firms identify self-motivated, driven, outperformers by ensuring their applications are reviewed in light of their wider personal circumstances.

Heather McKendrick, Head of Careers and Outreach at the Law Society, said: “We’re delighted that both Morton Fraser and Dickson Minto have chosen to continue to use the RARE contextualised recruitment system. The system allows candidates to enter information such as the school they went to, whether they received free school meals, if they have been a carer or been in care, amongst other things. This gives their application a context that shows they have had to overcome a lot of barriers to achieve a certain outcome and demonstrates they might well have performed even better, if those barriers were removed.

“This in turn allows recruiters to make their decisions based on a level playing field and have a more rounded and unbiased view of all the candidates before them. It’s a great opportunity for our member firms to get the most out of their recruitment.”

Martin Glover, Director of HR at Morton Fraser, said: “We’ve been extremely pleased with the outcomes of the pilot recruitment round last year. Where we previously might have only focused on grades and relevant work experience, we are now able to see that someone might have great potential, but due to their circumstances were unable to take an unpaid internship or relevant work experience because they needed to earn money to support their family or pay their rent. This type of recruitment is a massive leap forward in promoting social mobility and ensuring that we recruit on a level playing field. I would highly recommend all legal firms consider signing up to the system.”

Allan Fraser, recruitment partner at Dickson Minto, said: “We’re strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity amongst our colleagues and the wider profession, and using contextualised recruitment is a really great way of helping us deliver that. We would strongly encourage all applicants to our graduate scheme to complete the contextualised information; it can only ever be received positively.”

Legal firms can sign up the Law Society’s partnership with RARE, giving them easy access to the contextualised system for a fee that is based on the number of vacancies advertised.

For more information on the system, please contact Head of Careers and Outreach Heather McKendrick at heathermckendrick@lawscot.org.uk.

Contextualised recruitment

We have brought contextualised recruitment software to the Scottish market by working in partnership with Rare. This is a robust way to tackle social mobility, enabling employers to recruit in an objective, socially responsible and affordable way.