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Despite Covid-19 lockdown, 20 students take part in virtual Vacation Scheme

We continue to invest and find alternative ways to support our potential future talent.

Scheme included students dialling in from Poland and Nigeria

Every summer from our Manchester office, we run an always heavily oversubscribed Vacation Scheme for students looking to enter the legal profession. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown however, this year’s Scheme looked to be a non-starter – that is until we demonstrated ouragility to adapt to new and innovative ways of working by holding it remotely.

At the beginning of July, a dozen partners, solicitors and litigation executives were joined by more than 20 students for the week long virtual scheme. Amongst the students were some who even connected across the continents, with a couple joining the sessions from Poland and Nigeria.

Despite being unable to interact directly with the students in our Manchester office, our team delivered an invaluable and insightful experience in a virtual format facilitated via Microsoft Teams. Training was delivered by a wide range of our market-leading experts covering topics such as fraud, credit hire, credit hire fraud and commercial awareness.

These were also accompanied by a number of sessions exploring personal and professional development including an opportunity to quiz existing trainees and litigation executive on their experiences at the firm, a Q&A with a number of partners to gain careers advice and a workshop looking at how LinkedIn can help support their career aspirations.

Speaking on the Scheme and how it was delivered this year, our Talent Acquisition Partner, Sarah Halliwell-Moran, said: “Whilst recruiting in the current environment may be viewed by some as daunting, we see this new way of working as an opportunity to evolve and advance how we frame and shape our candidate experience. Throughout lockdown we have continued to successfully recruit and onboard new starters remotely from the safety of their own homes.”

Adding that remote and virtual recruitment will likely be here to stay once the pandemic subsides and that the firm has yet to encounter any part of the recruitment process they couldn’t adapt, she said: “Ensuring a quality virtual recruitment experience for our candidates and embracing new technologies to enable our recruitment team to work in innovative ways, is our primary focus.

“As well as utilising video interviews in our shortlisting stages and improving our time to hire –  as candidates and managers are now able to connect easily and efficiently with the click of button – we have even ran our internal promotion process for Associate Partner and Partner promotion remotely.

“Now is the time to truly embrace our enterprising nature. Our Vacation Scheme students were even invited to well-being workshops and a HIIT workout session!”

Alice Norton, an LLM student who took part in the scheme said: “I am extremely grateful to have completed the Horwich Farelly virtual vacation scheme. It was a fantastic opportunity to develop my knowledge of the firm, specifically surrounding their fraud and credit hire teams.

“It was especially interesting to hear from those who already work for the firm and I want to thank all of the trainees and Partners who took the time to talk to us, sharing their advice and expertise and for all the effort they put into producing such an insightful week.”

Horwich Farrelly’s Vacation scheme first launched in 2017. Around 70% of those from past schemes are offered full time roles at the firm, including a number who subsequently complete training contracts and qualify.