To celebrate our 15th year in business we sat down with Managing Director Jo Sellick, and Group Directors Hannah Cottam and Ray Wareing to discuss why they think Sellick Partnership has been so successful, and where they think the business will be in 15 years.
How did you first become involved with Sellick Partnership?
Jo Sellick – I have worked in recruitment for the majority of my career and I learned a lot from my previous employers, but around 15 years ago I realised that it was time to work for myself and build a business with a unique culture. I had sometimes felt undervalued as an individual when working for other firms and I felt passionate about creating a working environment that addressed this. I knew that I still wanted to work in recruitment, as it is an industry I have always enjoyed and thrived in, so it made sense for me to set up my own recruitment business. Since I formed the company in 2002 I am proud to say we have grown significantly and now have offices in seven locations around the UK, including Manchester, Derby, Stoke, Leeds, Newcastle and London, employing more than 80 members of staff.
Ray Wareing – I became involved with Sellick Partnership through my relationship with Jo Sellick. I had worked with Jo at a previous recruitment firm, and when he presented me with his vision of Sellick Partnership and what he wanted to create I was sold. I completely bought into the culture he wanted to create and what he wanted the business to look like, and I was excited to work with him on building this from the ground up. Our values have always and will always be aligned, and that is why Sellick Partnership has been around now for 15 years, we have created something special and it has been amazing to be part of building it.
Hannah Cottam – I had been working in Australia for a number of years at various recruitment firms and on my return to the UK I was ready for a new challenge. I reconnected with Marianne Sellick who I had worked with previously and she encouraged me to join Sellick Partnership and build something fresh with her. We investigated the legal market and found that there was a real gap for a specialist legal recruitment firm, and decided that it was the perfect way to compliment the already successful Finance division. We then worked hard to build the legal division from scratch, and have managed to grow it to be a market-leading division.
Why do you think Sellick Partnership has been so successful over the past 15 years?
Jo Sellick – The success of Sellick Partnership is based on the people that we employ. I am dedicated to creating an environment that individuals thrive in and are able to work to the best of their ability. I take the time to get to know all of our employees across the business, assist with their training and development, join in on the various team nights out and offer advice whenever it is required. I love going into the office in the morning, and I want to ensure that all of my employees feel the same.
I also put a lot of this success down to the company’s ability to constantly evolve, and to not be scared of change – specifically when it comes to technology where there have been so many advances lately in terms of recruitment platforms and channels. It is also key to listen to the feedback from our employees, we do this through a variety of platforms including a quarterly staff forum, our annual engagement survey and through their one-on-one reviews. Through these channels we are able to implement new initiatives, introduce policies and provide a working environment that generates success and a sense of achievement for everyone.
Ray Wareing – Our success is down to the way our business operates. We have recruited sensibly and very well throughout our 15 years in business. As a business we are excellent at people matching, and are committed to building and nurturing lasting relationships with our clients and candidates, keeping our mission and values at the heart of everything we do. Sellick Partnership would not be where it is today if our people did not enjoy working for us, and I am thrilled that our team continues to grow and have fun with us along the way.
Hannah Cottam – I think we have been successful because we have made excellent commercial decisions. We have invested heavily in marketing, and our social media presence is huge enabling us to stay ahead of the competition. We have also made good business decisions at the right time about where and when we have opened new operations. I think that particularly for the legal markets we have rolled with the current climate and we have expanded our offering at the right time. We have managed to tap into exceptional markets at the right time and maximised the opportunities within those markets.
As a business we also have an excellent track-record of holding onto our staff. We look after people very well. The majority our or employees have been with the business for a number of years. Which in my experience is rare within recruitment.
What do you think is Sellick Partnerships biggest achievement to date?
Jo Sellick – Something I am most proud of is achieving awards for our commitment to being a great employer, which was my main motivation for creating the business in the first place. We were honoured to have been recognised as one of 2017’s top 100 Best Workplaces™ in the UK by Great Places to Work®. I addition to this we were listed in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report, have achieved Investors in People Silver for the second time, and attained ISO 9001 certification – all of which I feel demonstrate our reputation for quality and continuous improvement.
Ray Wareing – I would say our biggest achievement it that we still have got that small company atmosphere, despite being a larger company now. We have successfully maintained the culture we set out achieve which has resulted in us building a really solid and loyal team.
Another big achievement is the sustained period of sensible growth which we have had. We have made very controlled and sensible decisions which have allowed us to reach our 15th anniversary this year.
Hannah Cottam – Our biggest achievement is undoubtedly our longevity in the markets we operate. We have managed to navigate through a number of huge obstacles in our 15 years in business, but still remain profitable and a market-leading recruitment specialist. We have managed to grow and build on our successes whilst remaining agile and adapting our offering to whatever the market has asked of us.
What would be your message to clients, candidates and staff from the past 15 years?
Jo Sellick – My message to our clients, our candidates and employees is to continue to give us feedback. As a business we are exceptional at getting feedback from all our stakeholders and we are able to understand our strengths and weaknesses. This feedback allows us to grow with our clients and candidates, and ensures we are able to continually deliver our exceptional service.
Ray Wareing – My main message would be thank you for your loyalty because everyone has bought into our vision, which is playing a long game. Recruitment tends to get a bad reputation, but we wanted to buck that trend and work with our clients and candidates on building lasting relationships, which we have managed to do successfully.
Hannah Cottam – I think that as a business we have always maintained that our staff, our external clients and candidates are all equally important and I think my message would be to please continually feedback into us about our service. I think we are always striving for continuous improvement and we are always open to new ideas and feedback that might help us to stay ahead of the game.
Where do you see the business going in the next 15 years?
Jo Sellick – My plans for the future are to build on this momentum and continue to keep employees happy and motivated, as well as ensuring our candidates and clients are equally content. We have ambitious internal recruitment plans over the next 18 months, and we are also looking at expanding into other specialisms which complement the sectors we are already strong in. We recently launched two new divisions, Housing & Property Services and HR, and I would like to see these industries grow to match the strength of our Legal and Finance offerings.
To find out more about our 15th anniversary celebrations please visit our dedicated web page.