One of the great privileges of running a business is being able to give generously to community organisations and charitable causes. Since the establishment of Sellick Partnership in 2002, we have actively supported the communities our business operates in through charitable giving and voluntary work, and have so far raised over £80,000 for good causes across the country. This year is the tenth anniversary of our Manchester Professionals Cricket League, and our Charity Awards Lunch is happening on Friday 19 October. Across the UK we work with a number of regional and national charities with this very special event being in aid of St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord’s Taverners. Here I discuss why we support these charities and the overall benefits of corporate giving to business. Sellick Partnership: our Corporate Social Responsibility At Sellick Partnership we pride ourselves on our ethics as a business, and strive to ensure they lie at the heart of everything we do. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy stems naturally from our core values – and we are passionate about how our business can make a real, positive difference to the environment and community around us. As a business owner I believe it’s extremely important to give back, and our CSR policy is set out to ensure that we have guidelines in place for our internal and external activities The Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL), part of our external CSR programme is a league founded and run by the team at Sellick Partnership. Over the last ten years the MPCL has supported Manchester’s St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord's Taverners, two charities close to my heart, whom I have forged strong relationships with. Charities and not-for-profit organisations such as these are constantly looking for funding to help accomplish their goals, and investing in them is not only the morally right thing to do – but it can also deliver huge benefits to you and your business. Giving back is good for you Businesses today are in an unrivalled position to help those less fortunate – not only by offering a great product or service, but having the opportunity to collaborate with organisations like St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord’s Taverners to help promote the ‘greater good’. It gives me an immense sense of pride when we are able to create new opportunities for people, help those in need, and strengthen our position as a supporting arm in the community. A considerable benefit of supporting charitable and community organisations is the impact it can have on you. The act of helping others can create an improved sense of wellbeing, and simply by knowing you have sacrificed time, finances or property can give you an inimitable feeling of joy and self-worth. Altruistic behaviour has been linked scientifically to the release of endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the ‘helper’s high’, activating regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. Being happier in business will undeniably have a direct result on performance and success. Science also supports this notion with various researchers reporting on a direct correlation between contributing to charity and reducing stress. We all look to find new, innovative ways to improve physical health and longevity, more often than not through self-medication or costly herbal/life plans, but charitable giving could be a much more rewardable option. Motivate your workforce The respect gained by giving a helping hand to worthwhile causes is beyond compare, and increased visibility will go a long way in building and maintaining a well-rounded and motivated workforce. Human beings seem genetically programmed to help in tragedy, take the tragic bombing in Manchester as an example. The fundraising campaign set up to help the victims and families of those affected and dealing with the aftermath currently stands at over £4 million. This is a huge sum of money donated by, in the most part, complete strangers to all affected. The unforgivable act of hatred has mobilised communities and motivated people across the world to help in whatever way they can. It is this motivation to help, and desire to give back we should all draw upon every day in business, not only to help our colleagues, but also to motivate and build morale in the workplace. I believe businesses that are a positive force in the community are held in much higher regard by their employees and peers. It’s clear that charitable giving has significant benefits for any organisation, big or small, but that should not be the only reason to get involved. The mission Sellick Partnership operates from is “putting people first, to create the brightest future” and Sellick Partnership will continue to support worthwhile causes, not only because it directly benefits the business, but because we have a moral obligation to support those in our community. If you would like to find out more about our CSR initiatives and the charities we support you can check out the CSR page of our website here.
We are absolutely thrilled to have been listed as one of just three UK based recruitment firms on the third annual Companies to Inspire Europe report. In this pioneering report, London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) indentifies the 1000 most dynamic and fastest-growing, firms throughout Europe. 1000 Companies to Inspire is London Stock Exchange Group’s celebration of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Europe. As well as identifying 1,000 companies, the annual reports examine in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the British and European economies. Only 160 UK based companies made the report with Romania and Hungary laying claim to the fastest-growing companies on average. When asked about the listing Managing Director Jo Sellick said; “we are delighted to be acknowledged in the third edition of the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe! It is an honour to be recognised as it displays our dedication to providing exceptional recruitment solutions to our clients and candidates. We are proud to be contributing to the European economy. What a fantastic achievement.” This is the third time we have been recognised by the London Stock Exchange having already been listed in the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report twice. You can find full details of this and our other awards and accreditations here. Alternatively you can view the full 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe report here.
Client retention and repeat business is an important factor to the success of most businesses, but especially so in the legal sector. A strong, reputable workforce plays a crucial role in this, yet recruitment can be a difficult area for many law firms, particularly those within specialisms where skills gaps are rife. The following recruitment tips can help law firms of all sizes to address this issue and ultimately operate more efficiently and successfully as a business. Consider junior trainees and interims Junior vacancies will always be easier to fill as there are more candidates seeking positions such as paralegal or trainee solicitor roles than niche roles like commercial property, residential conveyancing and private client positions. The number of trainee contracts on offer among law firms is now starting to return to pre-recession levels, and offering these types of roles can benefit candidates and clients alike. A more junior workforce could be particularly useful to smaller firms that are just starting out, helping them to create a full team on a lower budget. However, it is important to invest in training and skills development to ensure that the workforce can compete with other firms that might be able to offer more experienced counterparts to their clients. At the other end of the scale, interims can be a useful talent pool to consider when looking to hire. These candidates tend to be extremely experienced and can offer a wealth of expertise to firms across niche areas. This more creative way of working is perhaps best suited to firms that witness ebbs and flows in demand for certain specialisms, allowing employers to tap into these experts as and when they are needed. The drawback is that interims can be costly if they become relied upon as a more permanent solution. Build your employer brand A strong employer brand is one of the most useful assets for law firms battling it out in the war for talent. It is essential to think about what you can offer candidates, as recruitment is a two-way process and those wishing to attract the best talent need to give them something in return. Candidates will likely be attending a number of interviews, so consider what will make you stand out against other firms that are hiring and be sure to emphasise your unique selling points throughout the hiring process. Company websites are often the first port of call for prospective employees, so it is advisable to have a careers section that displays further information about the various roles on offer, as well as shedding light on the team environment and benefits to staff. ‘Meet the team’ pages are typically among the highest-viewed sections of any site, so ensure these are kept updated and that the content is engaging and dynamic; it will entice people who want to work in an environment where they can see similar personalities to their own, as well as inspiring staff to mimic career paths that they aspire to. Be sociable Social media is a vital in your hiring toolkit and is a useful means to demonstrate the strength of your employer brand. Candidates often head straight to LinkedIn to view recommendations, testimonials and the profiles of their prospective colleagues so it is important to adopt a social media strategy that gives a positive impression across all channels. Different networks offer their own unique benefits; Twitter is a useful way of showing some personality and interacting with influencers, while Facebook pages tend to be more suited to demonstrating what it is like to work for the company. The legal profession can be known to shy away from using social media, but provided it is used in a responsible and targeted manner it can be hugely beneficial. The same is true for all the above tips, not only in the recruitment process but also in terms of staff retention, which ultimately makes for a happier workforce, a satisfied business owner and a loyal client base. For more information on recruiting your next legal professional or if you have a position that needs filled please don’t hesitate to contact me on email@example.com or call me directly on 0113 224 1480.
If you dislike where you work, but you don’t dislike your job, then maybe it's time to think about where the dissatisfaction stems from. Have you ever wondered that it could be related to the lack of appreciation from your employer? If it is, then maybe it's time you moved on. Research shows that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs specify lack of appreciation as their reason for doing so. This is a statistic I can personally relate to. After several months of being unemployed, I was eager to step back into the workplace. So I didn't think twice about accepting a job, even if that meant going backward in my career. In the past, I have always taken up administrative roles in between jobs to keep myself occupied, particularly because it was a short-term solution. But after several years of service, I decided to quit. I realised that the dissatisfaction was due to the lack of being valued in that organisation, which was sucking all the pleasure out of my personal life too. I worked hard, put in as much overtime as I could but it was never enough. Then I landed my current role at Sellick Partnership on a contract basis. While it meant drifting away from my career aspirations, I decided to take it up on a temporary basis anyway. Within a few months I noticed what a massive difference it made to be a part of an organisation that cared for me and my work. I decided to stay at Sellick Partnership despite knowing that this was going to potentially take me further away from my career path. After almost two years, I can now say that I have made the right choice. Today, I am happier than I ever was even when I was pursuing a career in journalism. And I have no regrets. My employer supports and encourages my growth even if that may not fit into the traditional mould of how this role would have eventually progressed. Even the smallest of tasks I do are appreciated and acknowledged. When I express interest in a particular project, the management supports my interests and nurtures my growth. Science also supports my experience and the fact that being appreciated can increase personal satisfaction. Being rewarded regulates our emotional responses by releasing ‘happy hormones’ such as dopamine which drives the reward system in our brain. Oxytocin is another hormone, which regulates social interaction and allows us to maintain healthy relationships. Serotonin is the hormone that maintains our mood by regulating memory, learning, anxiety, sleep and appetite allowing us to stay focused and remain calm. Our work environment can affect how much of these happy hormones are released, thus allowing us to feel more satisfied in our personal lives. Working in a close-knit and cooperative team, having an appreciative manager and being part of a company that values our opinion can directly have an impact on our overall wellbeing. Most importantly, it can improve our efficiency at work. On average, we spend the majority of our time at work and spending those 40 hours a week in a company that sees you as a number isn’t worth your time. Try to find an employer that will support your growth and value your ideas and ambitions. It may mean that you compromise on a longer commute or a lower pay, but it will be worth it in the long run. At least in my case, it has pushed me to explore my passion for being a voiceover artist, inspiring me to write and experiment with being an entrepreneur in my spare time. For the first time in my life, I have managed to strike a good work/life balance and I have never felt more motivated. A happy employee is a productive one and many employers are now learning to create a culture of appreciation. This is the reason why companies such as Google and Facebook are continuously being ranked as some of the best companies to work for. They keep their employees motivated and focused by offering benefits, career opportunities and generally treat their employees really well. You may not land a job at Google, but you can certainly aspire to work where you are valued as a person and as a professional. If you are interested in joining me and working for a company that truly values you check out Sellick Partnership’s latest vacancies here. Alternatively you can read blogs from my colleagues across the business here.
Last week, Laura Smith and I exhibited at the Lawyers in Local Government conference in Gateshead. It was really great to catch up with our existing clients and candidates and we met some really lovely new people. The event began on Tuesday evening with a river cruise along the river Tyne with drinks, canapés culminating with freshly cooked fish and chips - officially my first takeaway on a boat. We even got the chance to steer the boat for a while. This is probably a good opportunity to offer apologies to those on board who found this less comforting than being steered by me. It’s definitely easier than it looks! On Wednesday 3 October, the conference opened with a rousing speech from Suki Binjal, LLG President and was followed with a full itinerary of plenary sessions delivered from key figures within the local government legal world. Unsurprisingly, the themes this year revolved around some of the more prominent issues that have risen over the previous year. The seminars covered how to deal with data handling with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations Act (GDPR) and how to tackle the uncertainty of the ‘b-word’, Brexit. Over the breaks and lunchtime, we kept delegates entertained with our ‘Wheel of Fortune’ game which involved copious quantities of pick 'n' mix sweets and stationery packs. In the evening we attended a black tie dinner, where we had the privilege of meeting 'The Right Honourable Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar, CBE'. Baroness Prashar has a truly impressive career history, including serving on the Iraq inquiry, being the first Civil Service Commissioner in 2000 and a current member of the House of Lords. The after dinner speech was really engaging and was followed by an animated Q&A segment. The Baroness is an accomplished and humble public speaker, infusing genuine warmth and character into her anecdotes, littered with classic witty references. On Thursday 4 October, Sellick Partnership's Director Hannah Cottam presented a breakout session on the topic of ‘Personal Resilience in the Face of a Changing World’. Attendees said that they really appreciated the focus on personal well-being and mental health and found the session to be thought-provoking. It feels like everybody is under more pressure to work harder and produce more, with less time and resources than ever before. In these pressured environments, it’s crucial that people manage their stress levels and seek the support that they need to stay healthy and be able to work effectively. If you attended the conference, hopefully you had chance to come over to our stand and tried your hand at our ‘Wheel of Fortune’. We will be exhibiting at the Weekend School in April and look forward to seeing you all then. In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about the vacancies that we are currently recruiting for or would like to discuss any of our upcoming events, please get in touch for more information.