Graduate recruitment & trainee development adviser

A vacancy has arisen in Macfarlanes’ graduate recruitment & trainee development team within the human resources department for a graduate recruitment & trainee development adviser.

The team

The team comprises one graduate recruitment & trainee development manager, two graduate recruitment & trainee development advisers (the successful hire will replace one of the advisers who is relocating) and one graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant.

The team are responsible for attracting, recruiting and retaining 31 trainee solicitors a year.  Each year the team hosts and attends approximately 100 events around the country.  The work, whilst cyclical in nature, is very varied and will change from month to month.  The team is incredibly busy with peak seasons in the summer months and October to January. In addition the team is also responsible for the development and pastoral care of all the trainees.

The role

Key duties will include:

Candidate attraction

  • Build relationships with university careers services, professors and student societies with the majority of the target universities;
  • Plan and deliver recruitment activities around recruitment requirements including on-campus and off-campus events with the graduate recruitment manager and fellow graduate recruitment & trainee development adviser (in total approx. 100 events per annum) including;
    • Organise sponsorship activities including academic prizes and student society sponsorship packages with allocated target universities;
    • Organising logistics: bookings for room, catering and travel;
    • Briefing, arranging partner, solicitor and trainee representatives to attend events; and
    • Attend events.
  • Work with the graduate recruitment & trainee development manager and marketing team on marketing and advertising programmes including the website and social media;
  • Processing invoices and providing input into budget; and
  • Work with the graduate recruitment & trainee development manager on managing publications and partnerships.


  • Screening of application forms (approx. 2,000 per year) and selection of candidates for assessment with graduate recruitment and trainee development manager and graduate recruitment and trainee development adviser;
  • Run vacation scheme assessment days (10 – 13 days) and training contract assessment days (10 – 13 days) with the graduate recruitment & trainee development adviser and graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant;
  • Telephone interview candidates for First Year Insight Programme;
  • Provide telephone feedback to unsuccessful candidates in conjunction with graduate recruitment & trainee development manager and graduate recruitment & trainee development adviser;
  • Coordinate offers to successful candidates  and manage application and headcount trackers and offer letters for each programme with the HR Hub;
  • Ensure selection processes are managed to ensure equality, fairness and diversity neutral;
  • Assist with the implementation of any changes to the applicant tracking system (ATS); and
  • Assist the graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant with the administration of the vacation scheme assessment days and training contract assessment days including collating attendee and interviewer packs.

Programme management

  • Manage and run three two-week vacation schemes (Easter and two summer schemes) including attendance at social events with the graduate recruitment & trainee development adviser and graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant;
  • Assist with arranging involvement from partners, solicitors and trainees for events across the schemes with the graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant;
  • Assist with the administration of the training contract assessments for the vacation schemes with the graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant; and
  • Manage and run the First Year Insight Day with the team.

Trainee development

  • Working with the graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant to administer the induction programme including arranging involvement from support staff and fee earners for training sessions and organising the timetable of events;
  • Supervise the graduate recruitment & trainee development assistant for the Professional Skills Course Training;
  • Oversee the Trainee Solicitor Annual Dinner;
  • Attend and contribute to Trainee Solicitor Committee meetings as required; and
  • Act as a key HR contact for all trainee solicitors and future trainees including pastoral care.

Diversity initiatives

  • Assist graduate recruitment & trainee development manager and diversity partners with diversity initiatives; and
  • Oversee adjustments required for candidates attending graduate recruitment events.

The candidate

The successful individual will fulfil the following criteria;

  • A minimum of 18 months experience as an assistant/coordinator up to adviser level at a law firm;
  • Experience of attending events and talking to key stakeholders whilst promoting the firm.  Keen to gain more exposure in this area;
  • Confident, committed and calm under pressure;
  • Organised, with the ability to multi-task and meet deadlines;
  • Able to cope during busy periods and manage a high volume of work;
  • Good communication skills and able to quickly build relationships with senior stakeholders;
  • Approachable and friendly manner;
  • Strong attention to detail; and
  • Eager to play a role in the development of the more junior member of the team.

Please note that the job description is not exhaustive and will vary in line with changes in the team’s objectives and firm’s policy.

Hours of work

Core hours are 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, but flexibility is required, including morning, evening and occasional weekend attendance at internal and external events.

Our commitment to inclusion

At Macfarlanes we understand the importance of an inclusive culture, the continued development of which has been identified as one of our key priorities. Our focus is to foster an inclusive culture throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership.  It is about recruiting, retaining and promoting all groups in the firm fairly, and we are continually reviewing our processes to ensure that everyone has the same chance to develop and advance.  An inclusive, forward-thinking culture also enables us to provide innovative solutions to our clients.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, bringing different perspectives and experiences, making Macfarlanes an exciting and stimulating place to work. We seek to recruit the best candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, background, religion, physical abilities, sexual orientation or any other characteristic.

Apply here