The members of 20 Essex Street are proud to become the first chambers in the country to adopt the Contextual Recruitment System (CRS), a unique data driven approach to unearthing talent from non-traditional and diverse backgrounds. The decision reflects a determination to secure the best possible recruitment data to inform its selection processes.
The CRS, run by Rare, a diversity recruitment specialist, is helping to attract talented graduates and apprentices from disadvantaged backgrounds into the legal sector. The CRS is already proving to be an incredibly useful tool to ensure fair assessment of applications for 20 Essex Street. The set has seen excellent response rates from candidates in the recent recruitment round.
20 Essex Street joins a collection of more than 70 City firms who have been using the software to great effect including, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group. More than 90% of graduate applicants to top law firms are now processed through the software.
Duncan Matthews QC, co-Head of 20 Essex Street says: “Much work has been undertaken since the Neuberger Review to revolutionise the Bar Council’s approach to recruitment. I am extremely proud that our Chambers is taking this proactive approach to ensuring wider access to the Bar. The adoption of CRS complements our ongoing work with placements via the Social Mobility Foundation and the personal time our members give to aspiring barristers from diverse backgrounds. Tomorrow’s top practitioners will be found from the broadest backgrounds and we are determined to identify and recruit accordingly.”
Commenting on the news Michael Coburn QC, Head of Pupillage at 20 Essex Street, said: “We are delighted to be using Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System in our selection process at 20 Essex Street. We are committed to improving access to the Bar. Our aim is to recruit candidates of the highest standard by giving fair and equal opportunity to everyone. We believe the CRS will be invaluable in helping us achieve these objectives. Its technology and data will allow us to put a candidate’s achievements into their wider context, so that we can identify real talent that might otherwise have been overlooked.”
As the first technology and data-driven tool of its kind in the UK, Rare’s CRS hardwires social mobility metrics into companies’ existing graduate recruitment databases. It allows firms to see, at a glance, not just the achievements of candidates, but the context in which those achievements were gained, taking into consideration several factors, including postcode, school quality, eligibility for free school meals, refugee status and time spent in care.