This week we are proud to be celebrating UK Charity Week. #UKCharityWeek is a campaign designed to give the people of the United Kingdom an opportunity to place awareness and fundraising for charities high on the national agenda, and at a time of the year when people are statistically at their most giving. As a business we are committed to supporting the communities in which we work, and we currently support a number of charities across our seven office. In this blog, Managing Director Jo Sellick gives his thoughts on the benefits of corporate giving, and why he thinks it is so vital in today’s society. 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 £100,000 for good causes across the country. 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 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 charities 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.
On Wednesday 31 October 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a market study into how general insurance firms price home and motor insurance policies. The study, which is designed to ensure insurers have appropriate strategies in place to protect and treat customers fairly is set to be released next year. Alongside this, they have also published a paper that discusses fair pricing, both designed to try and make insurance pricing more transparent and fairer across the board. The FCA has raised concerns that current pricing strategies may cause harm, or alienate vulnerable customers and believes that insurers should be held more accountable and justify the rates they are charging their customers. The supervisory work that was carried out prior to this announcement has already highlighted a number of concerns, including firms failing to have appropriate or clear pricing strategies, governance and controls. Basically, the FCA has found that auto-renewal contracts and discrepancies with pricing certain items is very inconsistent, and could be catching some customers out. The FCA’s position appears to be that this is no longer acceptable and it needs to be addressed so that everyone has equal and fair access to insurance policies across the market. As a minimum the FCA expects firms to look after the interests of all customers and treat them fairly, whether they are new or long-standing. Whilst there seems to be some apprehension from some sections of the market as to how intrusive and revealing the probe may be, the general feeling is one of realisation that this review is long overdue and that general insurance pricing activities ought to have a greater level of consistency and fairness across all firms. What does this mean for the pricing market? This review will undoubtedly mean some major changes are on the horizon for insurers. If the review uncovers what many expect it will, I foresee some regulatory changes coming into effect to stop practices that may be deemed harmful, unfair or discriminatory. If this is the case, major insurers should be prepared to make some radical changes to their pricing process, practices and governance. If the FCA run at this market review as hard as we expect them to, I think new business premiums will rise due to many insurers having to reduce renewal premiums to comply with the FCA’s expected recommendations. This unfortunately will hit the pocket of all customers buying personal general insurance products and has the potential of greatly impacting customers who choose not to renew existing policies and shop around every year. The main question many insurers are asking at the moment is not whether change is coming but when change is coming. As you will expect, insurers are keen to understand how quickly proposed changes to current practices will need to be implemented by. This no doubt will be a contentious and contested point for the regulator and industry to iron out. What does this mean for the recruitment market? As for the recruitment market, I believe this will create some real opportunities for skilled candidates in this area. As with any major change comes work, and I envisage that this review will give insurers serious food for thought. Many will have to ask some hard hitting questions around whether they wipe the slate clean and start from scratch or implement a remedial or redress programme to bring their pricing in line with FCA expectations. I would therefore advise candidates in the area to look out for any developments that are released over the next 12 months. For those insurers that feel major changes will be needed, now might be the time to look for the resource you require to carry out such work. For candidates currently in the sector and thinking of a new opportunity, I believe the next 12 months will see the demand for talent increase, which could push salaries / day rates above current market rate. The FCA aims to publish an interim market study report in summer 2019, which will set out preliminary conclusions including a discussion of potential remedies. It aims to publish its final report and, where required, consultation on proposed remedies by the end of 2019. If you would like to discuss how this news might impact you, please feel free to get in touch with me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly on 0151 224 1480.
Being rejected from a job can really affect your confidence levels; you’ve gone from the high of a potential job opportunity, to the low of being of being turned down. This can be very disheartening, especially after all of your preparation, not to mention the pressure of going through the whole stress-inducing interview process. So what can you learn? Well first of all, you shouldn’t view rejection as a negative. I’m a firm believer that if you did all you could, then this opportunity just wasn’t for you, and it means that something better is around the corner. Often there may be a whole host of reasons behind why you weren’t selected for the role that aren’t even as a result of your performance – there might have been an internal candidate, or simply another candidate who performed slightly better than you on the day. It could be anything that might never even become apparent, so you shouldn’t always take it personally. Instead you try to look at the situation objectively. You should look at the experience as an opportunity to learn and to grow, so that you can ace the next interview and land yourself your dream job. Wherever possible, I would always advise that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for positive and negative feedback when you have failed to secure a role. Although negative feedback can be harsh, it’s usually the best way you can help yourself to be more successful next time. If you know which areas let you down, you know which areas to focus on next time. The best thing to do after any interview is to make a note of the questions you were asked. This way you know that if you struggled on anything, you can go away and research it, so next time it comes up you have the relevant knowledge. For niche sector-specific interviews (for example childcare law, or employment law) the same main topics will usually come up in most interviews, as they will be current and topical – so use the opportunity to develop your technical skills where you know you’re lacking. If the feedback was that your answers were not detailed enough, then use the chance to practice your interview questions and elaborate on them. There is a fine line between being clear and concise, and coming across as not having enough knowledge. In addition to the negative, ask for positive feedback too. This is great as it helps with your self-esteem if you’re feeling slightly down after being rejected for a position. If you know what you’re good at, you know what key areas to highlight at your next interview. As a recruitment team we will always do our best to prepare you and help you through the interview process. We can help you with interview preparation as well as send you interview guides. If you’re not used to interviewing and want some guidance, we can practice the interview process with you – all you need to do is ask! If you would like some help securing your next role or would like more advice on what your next step should be, feel free to contact me by emailing email@example.com or you can call me directly on 0161 834 1642.
We know that recruiting the perfect candidate can often be a lengthy, costly and challenging process. That is why we have put together our top 12 festive recruitment tips that should help take the load off this Christmas. 1. Write better job descriptions – your job description is one of the most important aspects of recruitment. This is what will entice (or put off) candidates so it is imperative that you think about what to include and ensure you give prospective applicants all the relevant information. Make sure you detail things like salary, specifics of the role, what previous experience is required and most importantly, the type of person you want to attract. If you are completely clear at this stage of the process, you should attract the right level of candidates for you and it will make the whole process quicker and smoother. Need some more help? Why not check out our useful guide on writing the perfect job description. 2. Ask the right questions – it is important to ask the right questions at the interview stage to ensure you have all the relevant information needed to make a decision on the perfect candidate. You need to strike the perfect balance between being sociable and asking questions that will give you an insight into the candidate’s skills and experience. If you fail to spend enough time asking about the candidate’s skills, experience and ability to do the role you are in jeopardy of hiring the wrong person. You can use different question styles to help with this. For example you can use competency based questions to test their skillset to get an insight into their skillset or behavioural to measure their past behaviour to predict their suitability for the role. Still need some help? Check out our guide on making your interview process as detailed as possible. Or get in touch and ask for our interview guide for detailed tips on answering difficult questions and ensuring you are interview ready. 3. Seek (and embrace) diversity – a diverse team will give your business a major competitive advantage, and building one starts with the recruiting process. When looking at diverse recruitment it is important to remember that diversity can take many forms so you may need to alter your recruitment strategy in different ways. A successful approach will attract applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds and life experiences. If you want to ensure your workforce is diverse but not sure where to start, take a look at our tips on building an inclusive workforce. 4. Never discount previous candidates – just because a candidate is not right for a particular role does not mean they are not right for your business. Always think about where that person might fit in, and always consider repeat applicants. In doing so you are widening your talent pool and increasing your chances of placing the perfect candidate in your organisation. 5. Utilise the knowledge of your recruitment partner – recruitment professionals have a great deal of knowledge both in their markets and recruitment, so it is advisable to utilise their knowledge when you can. If you are finding it hard to attract the right candidates ask them to assist with writing your job descriptions, or get help with your interview process to ensure you hire the correct person. You could even ask if they would be willing to carry out some internal training for your business to upskill your own staff. Most recruiters will be more than happy to help, and it could save you time and money long-term. 6. Concentrate on your employer brand – your employer brand will be a major deciding factor for prospective candidates so ensuring this is positive is essential. Candidates want to know that your organisation is a great place to work and that you look after your staff, so making sure this can be easily seen from the outside is very important. Creating a specialised section on your website, utilising social media to share company news and getting involved in national awards that celebrate great workplaces are all fantastic ways to promote your employer brand and ensure you are attracting the right candidates to your organisation. For even more great advice on ensuring you are seen as an employer of choice, head over to our employer resources section. 7. Make the use of digital tools and social media – content marketing and social media are two innovative and effective ways to attract potential talent, particularly passive candidates that may not be actively looking for a role. Workplaces and job seekers have become so technologically connected that they are more likely to find companies they are interested in working for through sponsored ads and blogs posts, rather than solely hunting through job sites. It is therefore important that you consider where your candidate base is spending their time, and make sure you are visible on these platforms to maximise results. Looking for more tips on attracting candidates through content and social media? Take a look at our guide. 8. Take a good look at your benefits and remuneration packages – candidates today are looking for much more than a good salary. They want to know what else you can offer them and will usually be expecting additional benefits as part of their package. It is therefore important that you tailor your benefits to suit each role, or each candidate. You could offer benefits such as flexible working, private medical insurance, a company car or the option to buy or sell holidays. This will give you a competitive edge and make you a much more attractive option to the highest quality candidates. 9. Check references to avoid a bad hire – it is important to always check references to ensure you are making the right decision. As a minimum ask for two references for two previous employers that you can call for a quick chat about their time at the business. It is important to plan these calls in advance and think about what you want to ask. This is your opportunity to follow up on anything the candidate may have told you at interview, and get an even better understanding of their ability to do the role. If you fail to do this you are at risk of taking someone on that may not be right which would be costly and time consuming. 10. Utilise your current workforce – the impact of employee referrals and the reach of your current workforce are priceless. Offer referral bonuses and encourage your people to share vacancies with their network. You will be surprised how many people they know, and this will widen your talent pool even further. 11. Conduct exit interviews – having a tailored off-boarding process is just as important as an on-boarding one. When employees are leaving the business sit down and talk to them about their experience working for you and their reasons for leaving. This will give invaluable insight into any challenges they have had, or any processes that may not be working, giving you an opportunity to rectify any problems before taking on any more new staff. 12. Think outside the box – finally, try to be as unique as possible throughout the hiring process. There is so much competition in the market that it is important that you stand out from the crowd. Think about what you can do differently to stand out from your competitors and try to make your recruitment and on-boarding process as interesting as possible. Still need help with your recruitment? Get in touch with one of our expert team today by calling 0161 834 1642. They will be more than happy to answer any questions, and get your recruitment off to a flying start.
Earlier this year the Board of Directors at Sellick Partnership appointed myself and 8 other employees to a newly founded committee that would be responsible for the (Corporate Social Responsibility) CSR strategy and charitable donations for the company. Almost 12 months on, I can happily say that this move has been a huge success, and over the past year we have seen our people get involved in supporting our chosen charities and causes that are close to them. As it is UK Charity Week I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss some of the things we have been up to, and explain why supporting charities within your local community should not just be a box ticking exercise. Paid day off for CSR One of the major initiatives myself and my fellow committee members were passionate to introduce was to give every employee at Sellick Partnership a full days paid annual leave to help one of our chosen charities or a cause close to them. So far, 23 members of staff have used their CSR day to volunteer and fundraise, and have helped a number of causes including Mustard Tree, Wood Street Mission, Leeds Children Charity and Friendship Care & Housing. Some of the activities our people have done include volunteering at the weekly Mustard Tree Soup Kitchen, helping to clear ground for building at Leeds Children Charity and a charity abseil for Wood Street Mission. We hope that next year we can continue this theme, and get even more of our people helping causes and our communities. Annual sporting tournaments Every year we host a number of sporting events in aid of our charities, the most prominent of these being our Manchester Professionals’ Cricket and Football Leagues in Manchester and our Midlands Football Tournament held in Derby. These remain some of our most successful CSR initiatives, and always attract some of the UK’s biggest and most prominent employers. This year was especially big as we celebrated ten years of the Manchester Professionals’ Cricket League (MPCL). The 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 two of our Manchester office’s chosen charities, St Ann’s Hospice and The Lord's Taverners and to date has raised over £80,000 for these charities. Companywide events In addition to our sporting events, we have also held a number of internal fundraising events to raise a little bit of extra cash for our charities. Our Newcastle office arranged a day where the business dressed in denim for dementia for The Alzheimer’s Society, our Manchester team arranged a Wear Pink Friday for Cancer Research UK and we even held a Halloween Charity Bake-Off which was enjoyed by everyone. Additional events like this are a great way not only to raise money, but also to keep momentum up and motivation high. We feel, by having small events throughout the year we are able to remind people of the importance of charitable giving, whilst giving everyone an opportunity to have a bit of fun in the process. Many of us often forget that supporting charities is not just about giving money, so we have also been busy collecting clothes and items that will help people in need across the year. We have asked our people to donate clothing, toiletries, gifts and anything else they might be able to spare that would put a smile on someone’s face. These items have then been delivered to our charities across the regions we work in, to try and make life a little bit easier for those in need. This is something that anyone can get involved with, and I urge anyone that is having a clear out to think about what could be reused. Even the smallest of things can make someone else’s day. Extra-curricular activities Some of our people even decided to go the extra mile this year, taking part in events outside work raising money for a range of causes. Manager Adam Rouse took on the London Marathon, Principal Consultant Kate Jasper, Manager Mark Croston, Finance Director Mike Hoyle and Recruitment Consultant Sara Robinson all took part in the Manchester Half Marathon and Recruitment Consultant Barney Gibson brushed up on his boxing skills for a Charity Boxing Match. Some very valiant efforts, and we cannot wait to see what our people challenge themselves to next year. This is just a snapshot of what we have been up to as a business this year. I think it is incredible that so many of our people continue to get behind the causes we support, and I hope this continues well into 2019 and beyond. If you would like to find out more about our year of charitable giving you can check out our website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of the CSR Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.