Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is a leading law firm with 27 offices across the US and UK. Recognized as one of the most innovative law firms in Europe, the company is constantly looking to hire trainees with strong analytical thinking and communication skills, who also possess the drive and adaptability to build long term careers with them.
In the UK, WBD receives 1500 to 2000 applicants each year for their Training Scheme. While recruiting managers have a clear competency framework to guide their hiring decisions, they were also keen to explore technology that could strengthen their ability to identify candidates from non-traditional backgrounds or lack the usual academic experience, but had great potential nonetheless.
Committed to widening access to opportunities, WBD began working with pymetrics in 2019 to measure potential accurately and fairly.
To build a data-backed, representative profile of a successful WBD employee, pymetrics invited high performing incumbents from across the firm’s disciplines and of varying experience levels to complete our behavioural-based exercises. The data revealed the cognitive, emotional, and social attributes that, when represented in an AI model, can objectively and efficiently predict a candidate's fit to the traineeship. pymetrics audits the model for bias in the form of disproportionate recommendation of one demographic group over another before it goes live.
During the actual hiring process, candidates are invited to play the pymetrics exercises after submitting an online application. The platform automatically generates a personalized insights report for every candidate who completes the games. At the same time, recruiters receive a recommendation score based on how closely the applicant’s attributes match the success profile, which WBD considers alongside other criteria in their recruitment process.
WBD has cemented its position as a trailblazer by leveraging AI to broaden its talent pool with pymetrics. In the first cycle of using pymetrics, the firm progressed 65 candidates to interviews who might not have been considered previously. Of this group, five were eventually confirmed. 24% of the total final offers were made to non-traditional candidates, including graduates from outside of WBD UK’s usual target universities.
Candidates further affirmed the enhanced experience with an astounding 99% invitation to completion ratio and a 96% satisfaction rate. In the words of candidates themselves, “I have just completed the assessment and by far it was one of the best tests I have ever undertaken...At first I was a bit unsure about how pymetrics could showcase who I am, but upon receiving my results I was able to recognise myself and was very impressed that you were able to capture what I believe to be 'me'.
WBD and pymetrics are now entering the third year of partnership to continue to raise the firm's talent diversity through a fair and consistent recruitment process.