It is that time of year again when Sellick Partnership comes together for our annual 'Teambuilding' event which will be held on Friday 14 September 2018 at the amazing Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa in Cheshire. This annual event is one of my absolute favourites and is highly anticipated by everyone across the business. It is a chance for all of our people to come together, socialise and share experiences which I believe is vitally important to ensure morale and productivity remains high all year round. Our very first ‘Teambuilding’ event happened in 2005 with just 15 members of staff travelling to Cumbria in the Lake District. It was really important to me to create an event that people would enjoy, where employees across the business regardless of position or seniority can socialise and have the opportunity to catch up with colleagues they wouldn’t normally see day-to-day. Since then we have grown considerably, and this year 86 of us will be heading to Rookery Hall in Cheshire making this our biggest event so far. Despite our growth, and the challenges that comes with arranging an event of this size, I still believe it is one of the most important events we put on each year. In previous years we have asked our people to create rock bands, we have competed in our very own ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition and in 2017 we took all of our employees for a two night break in Majorca to celebrate our 15th anniversary. It is something our people always look forward to and an event I will always insist that we do in some form. I can honestly say that our Teambuilding events have been instrumental in strengthening relationships across our seven offices and have helped us retain many of our long-standing employees. Here are just some of the reasons why I think hosting teambuilding days like ours are so important and the benefits that they can offer to you and your business. Increased productivity – the collaborative nature of a teambuilding event teaches people how to work together more effectively. It allows you to see that everyone has different skills and approaches to a problem. This knowledge is then transferable to the office environment, as individuals understand how to make best use of each other’s abilities. Develop problem solving skills – because teambuilding exercises usually involve a simulated problem that must be solved, participants can feel like there is less pressure compared to when an issue comes up in the workplace that they need to deal with. They can then find ways to reach a goal despite hurdles, and feel more confident about their ability to do this. The problem solving skills they gain are ones that they can make use of in the corporate setting. Develop future leaders in your business – teambuilding activities usually requires people to step up and take charge to reach an end goal. These leadership qualities can be invaluable to a business and can help you grow your Senior Management Team. This is an excellent opportunity for you to scope out who those people are in your business and decide whether they can utilise those leadership skills to your advantage in your business. Increased networking/communication skills – most businesses rely on effective communication and networking to survive, and teambuilding days can be an excellent way of improving these skills amongst your workforce. Create teams of people who do not usually interact on a regular basis. In doing so you will encourage employees to step outside of the box and help them improve their communication and networking skills overall. Improved company culture – in my opinion this is the most important and valuable benefit. A good company culture will give you the basis to attract and retain the very best employees, and teambuilding activities like ours can really help in boosting the culture within your organisation. A happy workforce is one that is connected and collaborative, and events like this will really help you to reach that goal. But Teambuilding for us is not just about increasing morale or improving productivity, it is also our way of saying thank you to the commitment and hard work of all of our staff. Without a great team of people no business can succeed, and here at Sellick Partnership we have a team that I am immensely proud of. It is important to remember that and to always give credit where credit is due. For more information on our annual Teambuilding events or what it is like to work for Sellick Partnership, visit the Work for us section of our website. Alternatively you can see more news, resources and blogs here.
Building a great website is the single biggest thing you can do for your recruitment business. Practically everyone starts their job search online and your website is your first port of call. At Sellick Partnership, we take great pride in creating an outstanding user experience at every touchpoint with our business. And our website is no exception. We worked in close partnership with Volcanic’s experienced project management team to create the perfect recruitment website for our business. It has been a great journey, and we have all taken away key learnings from the process. In this first in their series of guest blog posts, Volcanic tell us their must-haves to help your website project get off to a good start. Before you rush excitedly into building your shiny new site, follow these steps to make your plan work for you. 1 Get buy-in from the top Keep your leadership team involved at critical stages throughout the project. No one likes surprises – at least not in a professional context – and getting buy-in from the outset from the ultimate decision-maker on the functionality and look of your website will pay dividends as the project unfolds. 2 Think outside your business It is really common for people to approach their website from the point of view of their own business. Telling the visitor about yourself is not your goal here. If you are not speaking to them immediately, you will lose them. The most important thing you can do is to put yourself in the shoes of your user. Pinpoint who your audience is, what makes them tick, and create a site for them – one that is not about you and your company, but is all about their needs. 3 Decide what success looks like First of all, decide what you want your website to achieve. What is the single most important message your visitor can take away. Define your KPIs so you are working to set targets from the outset - it might sound obvious but aligning with your website supplier on the brief before the project starts is one of the most important things to get right. Take care in over planning – never let your brief stifle a great design concept – but do not leave it too open or you may not agree with the results. 4 Define your user experience What is critical here is to balance functionality with design – first and foremost, your website must be designed with the user experience in mind. Take inspiration from other websites you love, not necessarily in recruitment. 5 Trust your recruitment technology provider Whether you are completely new to the process of creating a website and it all feels a little daunting - or whether you have years of experience, you will have plenty of great ideas to bring to the table. And trust your website provider – they have years of experience in recruitment website design and know how to make things work while keeping to your brief. Check back in for the next in this blog series, which looks at your design and content strategy to make the most of key opportunities. If you would like advice from Volcanic on any aspect of recruitment technology, get in touch – they would love to help.
I have recently returned to work following an accident which meant that I was unable to work in the office for a period of three months. It can be extremely challenging being out of the office for such a long period of time, having limited access to your work/life and generally being ‘out of the loop’ which can be quite demotivating. However, there are lots of ways to stay positive and focused while you are working from home, and I thought I would share my top tips from my experience below: Keep in touch with your manager and colleagues – I had several visits from both my manager and colleagues during my recovery period which really made such a difference. This meant that I was kept up-to-date with all aspects of what was going on within our team, and the wider business as a whole such as: Staffing changes and information around new people that had joined the business. Business updates including information on our new dress code policy. Recruitment updates – what roles the team were getting through and how those were progressing. Try to be as involved in your role as possible whilst not being in the office – once my initial recovery period was over and I was given the green light to start working again (albeit remotely), I knew I wanted to do as much as possible. I worked closely with manager and team members to ensure I offered as much help as possible whilst working remotely. I was given a laptop and mobile phone which enabled me to be fully connected to Sellick Partnership. It allowed me to act as if I were in the office which helped me a lot. I was able to log in to the system each morning, access my emails and take calls from clients, candidates and colleagues. This was a really key moment for me as I started to reintegrate myself into the working day. I also had a conversation with my manager twice a day to ensure that both the team and I were updated on our work and vice versa. Use the technology at your disposal – at Sellick Partnership we are passionate about technology and we are lucky enough to have all the software in place which made it possible for me to video call into training sessions. This was a brilliant way to ensure I didn’t miss scheduled training, and it helped to keep me on track with my training plan. Consider a phased return – as tempting as it is to jump straight back into full time work you should really support the idea of a phased return. It doesn’t have to be drawn out over a number of weeks, but easing yourself in gently is a must – you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this makes. Having broken my foot, a phased return allowed me to physically reintroduce my commute to work (challenging when you haven’t been able to walk for months!) as well as getting used to the normal working hours. Don’t be scared – it is unnerving to have been out of the office for a long period of time but if I could offer one piece of advice it would be to embrace your transition back to the office and enjoy being part of the office ‘buzz’ again. Returning to work is undoubtedly daunting after any period of absence, but I really couldn’t wait to get back to work and am pleased to now be back in the office full time. Overall, having three months out of the office was a really challenging experience. My main piece of advice would be ultimately to use the tools at your disposal so you can stay involved in your role and the team, and keep in touch with your manager and colleagues. The combination of all of the above meant that something such as returning to work could have been extremely overwhelming, but by the time I was back in the office full time I was really ready, and two weeks later it feels as though it never happened! If you have any questions about your return to work please feel free to contact me on email@example.com. Alternatively you can read blogs from my colleagues here.
Looking into hiring a legal locum can be a completely new experience for clients as it is a very different recruiting process to taking on permanent hires. I regularly get asked a number of common questions so I thought I would put a some frequently asked questions (FAQs) together to help if you have thought about locums but are not 100 percent sure they are right for your business. Why do I need a locum? Locums are available at short notice and are able to parachute into firms to assist in times of real need. This could be to cover; sickness, holidays, extended leave, maternity leave, project work, an influx of work or cover whilst the firm is recruiting permanently. This can be a great way to bring a legal professional in without having to commit to a permanent full-time member of staff. The locum will only stay as long as you require them helping you relieve pressures on your business. What’s the history of a locum? Our locum candidates usually have around 5 years PQE and are all highly experienced legal professionals. This is to make sure they have a wide range of experience in their practice area and will be able to hit the ground running with minimal supervision to progress matters quickly. When deciding on a locum you will be given a copy of their CV and details of the assignments they have completed for us previously so you can make sure they are the fight fit for your business. We will also ensure all major checks are completed before we send a candidate to you including; references, right to work, payment set up and checked their history with the SRA (finding or conditions). How much will a locum cost? You will be charged an all-inclusive hourly rate plus VAT, this includes everything (their pay, our fee, holiday pay, national insurance, apprenticeship levy, pension contributions and benefits etc). As they work on a flat hourly rate, you only pay for the hours completed and have no hidden extras such as sick pay, holiday pay, bank holidays, as these are all included in the rate we give to you. We will also pay the candidate so you don’t have to worry about adding them to your own payroll making the process as simple for you as possible. Do they have their own insurance? No. Legal locums will always be covered under your professional indemnity insurance. Depending on your insurance, you may need to inform your insurance company that you are taking on a locum so it is best to check what their process is. Some insurance providers may ask for their CV, practicing certificate or a questionnaire to be completed etc. How quickly can I get someone in? Very quickly! Giving us plenty of notice about the need is always preferred but in a lot of circumstances it is impossible to tell when you will need a locum as your needs will change on a daily basis. We often get new instructions for a locum to start the following day so we can turn everything around very quickly. We’re a little different to other firms, will the candidate be able to adapt? Absolutely. Most of our locums have been professional locums for years meaning they have worked in many different sized firms across the UK. They have seen and heard it all, from firms that still don’t use emails to ultra-modern firms that have systems and new technologies in place. Our candidates will be able to work anywhere and usually we will be able to find you someone that has experience working in a similar firm to you. Do I have to give notice to end the contract? No. As the candidate is self-employed you do not have an employment contract. If you have booked the candidate in for specific dates and need to end the contract early, we would just ask you give us as much notice as possible so we can secure them their next contract. When you cancel the contract it ends immediately. I’m only looking for someone part-time, would that be an issue? Not at all. We have a wide selection of candidates that are all looking for roles that suit their requirements. If you only need someone 3 days per week, there will be a candidate that is only looking for 3 days. Similarly, if you need a full-time candidates we will have a locum to suit your exacting requirements. What will the candidate actually do whilst in post? It is completely up to you. Some firms only require someone in the office to answer the phones, return emails and sort out any very urgent matters, and some firms require that person to run a caseload an act as a permanent member of staff. Our locum candidates can incept new files, progress matters and close matters. They will do whatever you need whilst they are in contract with you. These are just some of the usual questions I am asked. If you have any more or would like to discuss employing your next legal locum I’m on the other end of the phone. Please give me a call on 0203 741 8189 or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can check out more of our legal Insights here.