Facebook Tracking


15 minutes with Associate Director Nikki Kinsey

by Nikki Kinsey | 19 June 2017

To celebrate our 15th year in business we sat down with Associate Director Nikki Kinsey to discuss her career to date and her advice to candidates.

How has your career developed since joining Sellick Partnership?
My team and I specialise in the provision of interim, contract and permanent professionals within the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, recruiting across a range of professional disciplines and variety of roles. I was headhunted to join Sellick Partnership in 2005 as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant. I have always been ambitious and quickly realised that I wanted to progress to Director level within the company. After gaining valuable experience and building my reputation, I was promoted to Senior Consultant, Team Leader, and Manager respectively. In 2009, I became Associate Director with responsibility of establishing the Derby office, which is now the Midlands and South Yorkshire division.  

It has always been important to me to be a positive role model for other consultants coming through the business and I have worked extremely hard to prove myself as a strong leader. As Associate Director I lead the Midlands & South Yorkshire Division, covering the East and West Midlands, South Yorkshire and East of England. As a team we have also recently established our Housing & Property Services brand which operates UK wide from our office in Derby. 

I have always worked in finance and accountancy recruitment since my career began at Sellick Partnership and I was brought in specifically to develop the Midlands public sector area. I have now developed my offering to include programme & project management, change & transformation and procurement; specialisms that I am passionate about. I first became interested in procurement because of the links it has with the rest of the business from both a finance and legal perspective, so it seemed like a natural step to take. Our recruitment business has evolved to meet the needs of our clients, and the Sellick Partnership name has become synonymous with genuine commitment, level of knowledge and outstanding service.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to start a career in procurement?
Although you can enter the profession at any level and from other disciplines, most employers will expect to see some relevant training on your CV – this could be a general business degree or a more specialist purchasing and supply qualification. A CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) graduate diploma is a qualification which can be studies via a variety of flexible study options. This diploma is considered a benchmark education programme for the purchasing and supply profession, so I would advise candidates hoping to progress in procurement to consider it. The CIPS qualification is a great way to learn and develop the valuable skillsets needed to be successful in procurement. Particularly if you are new to the profession, a relevant CIPS qualification can help to focus your knowledge and help to make your CV appeal to employers in this industry. 

The CIPS network offer excellent branch support and assist candidates throughout their training, for example I was previously invited along to one of the Derby events. This was a networking event designed to provide candidates with a platform to meet industry experts, giving them the opportunity to ask advice and develop the skillsets needed to be successful. One of the key aspects of procurement is communication and networking and CIPS use events like this to assist candidates in developing the skills needed to be successful. As a procurement professional you have to work and communicate with a range of stakeholders, from Board members within the organisation to suppliers outside, so events like this are key to helping candidates studying for their CIPS develop those skills. 

I would also urge candidates to decide what sector they want to specialise in prior to looking for and applying to roles. Procurement is vast and there are so many different areas that you can go into, so candidates need to have the relevant experience of that particular sector. 

Where do you see procurement progressing in the future?
There is always going to be demand for procurement specialists because the sector is so vast and as a result organisations are going to have to work harder to ensure they attract and retain highly skilled procurement specialists. Clients need to be aware of what candidates are looking for in terms of benefits, and tailor packages to suit if they want to remain competitive in the market. For example, a number of candidates I have recently worked with have decided to move from the commercial sector to the public sector in order to achieve greater benefits and a better work/life balance despite having to take a drastic reduction in salary. By doing this public sector organisations are widening their talent pool, and attracting candidates from the commercial sector. Commercial clients should therefore look at the needs of their skilled workers in order to retain the best talent. I believe that recruitment agencies should be working closely with both public sector and commercial clients, advising them on suitable pay grades and benefits packages. Recruiters can assist organisations in attracting and retaining candidates that are essential to an organisation’s business operations and ensure they are not left with a gap as the national skills shortage grows.

Finding candidates with exactly the right experience and skills remains a challenge and offers are not being made unless the majority of the boxes are being ticked. The best candidates are receiving multiple offers in this candidate-led market; so employers need to ensure they engage candidates and offer competitive packages to attract the specialist talent they need. Key issues for our clients continue to be finding the right expertise and technical skills as well as checking cultural fit and stakeholder management experience. If candidates can demonstrate a truly successful track record in their market in conjunction with excellent soft skills and the right professional qualifications, they are more likely to achieve the most desirable positions.

What has been your proudest professional moment at Sellick Partnership?
My proudest moments at Sellick Partnership are all around my team. Seeing them succeed is truly amazing having built up the Midlands division from scratch. A lot of my effort goes into ensuring they are equipped to tackle the day-to-day challenges their roles bring, and I am delighted that we are currently performing at our highest standard.

To find out more about our 15th anniversary campaign please visit our dedicated webpage, alternatively you can find out more about the roles Nikki and her team are recruiting to please contact the Derby office on 01332 542580 or email nikki.kinsey@sellickpartnership.co.uk