We know that recruiting the perfect candidate can often be a lengthy, costly and challenging process. Employers these days have so much more to think about, from asking the right questions at interview and writing job descriptions that attract the right talent, to building a positive employer brand and offering the right benefits. 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 recruitment tools at your disposal. Your job description will generally be the thing that entices (or puts off) candidates so it is crucial that this is right and that you ensure you give candidates all the relevant information. Make sure you include things like salary, specific duties, what previous experience is required and most importantly, the type of person you want to attract. You may also want to briefly outline what benefits are on offer and a bit about your organisation, as these are the things that will likely make you stand out against your competitors. If you make your job descriptions completely clear at this stage of the process, you should attract the right level of candidates for your business 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, or get in touch with our team and we will be more than happy to help. 2. Ask the right questions throughout the interview process It is important to ask the right questions at the interview stage to ensure you have all the relevant information needed to make an informed 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 and get an insight into their suitability or behavioural questions to measure their past behaviour. It is also important to think about the questions you ask at each stage of the process. For example, you might want to use an initial telephone interview to find out more about the candidate, and touch on their experience and skills. You can then ask more in-depth questions on this when you meet face-to-face. Use each stage of the process to get to know each candidate a little better, rather than trying to find everything out at once. Are you still unsure about what questions to ask and need some help? Check out our guide on making your interview process as detailed as possible. Or get in touch with a member of our team for one-to-one advice now. 3. Seek (and embrace) diversity A diverse team will give your business a competitive edge, and building one starts with your recruitment 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. For example, you might want to think about training your interview team to remove unconscious bias from your recruitment process, or interview using panels of employees from across your workforce. Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you make steps to attract a diverse talent pool to remain competitive in the highly competitive recruitment market. 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. Or speak to your Consultant today for advice on how you can remove bias from your recruitment process. 4. Never discount previous candidates Just because a candidate is not right for a particular role now, does not mean they are not right for your business. We always advise our clients to think outside of the box and consider where that candidate might fit in. It is also important to consider repeat applicants as they may be more suited now than they were before. You might also want to keep a record of all the candidates you interview and review this whenever you have a vacancy open. 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 – of their markets and recruitment – so it is a good idea to utilise their knowledge when you can. If you are finding it hard to attract the right candidates speak to an experienced recruiter working in your market and ask them for assistance. A good recruiter will be able to help with things like writing your job descriptions, setting up a successful interview process and what questions to ask 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 up-skill 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 job 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 just 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. Take a look at our handy blogs on the benefits you should consider for your business, and making them work for your business here. 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 you should ask for two references from 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 hiring someone that may not be right, which would be costly and time consuming. 10. Utilise your current workforce Employee referrals and the reach of your current workforce are priceless. Offer referral bonuses and encourage your staff to share vacancies with their network. Create social media graphics that your employees can share and ask your staff to ask their friends and family. 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 you 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 on the market that it is important that you stand out from the crowd. Think about what you can do differently to stand out against your competitors and try to make your recruitment and on-boarding process as interesting as possible. Can we help you this Christmas? 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. Alternatively, you can check out more tips on hiring the right staff for your team in our Employer Resources section.
I started my career at Sellick Partnership approximately five months ago and like everyone starting a new role it can be very daunting. Not only the fear of being the “new person” but also new systems, a new team and new candidates and clients to get to know. For me it has been something a lot bigger, as for the past 10 years I have worked in education. I got my first job at a local high school, where strangely enough I had actually attended. I started in the Pupil Services department, primarily taking over all absence matters and I was the first aider for the school. The nature of education means that everybody becomes very familiar with each other, from attending regular events, training, meetings and frequently visiting other schools. As a result, a local teacher offered me my first role in the recruitment industry after making many visits to my school, offering me the chance to run the recruitment for their PGCE programme. My responsibilities ranged from attending graduate fairs, organising interview days and managing the UCAS portal. I recruited for primary and all secondary subjects. I found that the key skills needed to be successful were communication, organisation and product knowledge. Particularly product knowledge, as entry criteria and funding were different for all subjects. After four years at the school I moved to Manchester City Centre and secured a role closer to me at an education recruitment agency that provided schools with supply teachers. After 6 months there I felt that I needed to get out my comfort zone of education and enter a new industry for the first time in 10 years and was lucky enough to land a role at Sellick Partnership. Joining Sellick Partnership has been a huge learning curve and the training and support that has been provided has been invaluable. I have had to start over understanding how the legal world works, what qualifications and experience are needed and what different legal professionals there actually are. After you have this as a base for growing your knowledge, I have found that the fundamentals of recruitment are the same. If you are considering a career in recruitment I would advise the following: Communication – communicate with your team, candidates and clients at all times to get a clear understanding in every respect. Organisation – the nature of recruitment is to try and get there before one of your competitors do, so do what works for you; use post-its, create spreadsheets and even set late night phone reminders when you have a sudden thought 9pm at night before nodding off! Product Knowledge – get to know as much as you can about a job, candidate, client, word, council, location etc. Finally, don’t be afraid to take the plunge and get out your comfort zone, there are so many sectors to submerge yourself in, and one of them will be perfect for you. Are you interested in starting your career in recruitment? Check out our internal vacancies at Sellick Partnership, or get in touch today to discuss what opportunities we may have available.
It is hard to believe that Christmas is under a week away and we will soon be entering 2019. I have been recruiting to the public sector for over 6 years now and I still find it interesting how the locum market constantly changes, and the need for legal locums becomes more and more prominent, especially within the public sector market. With an increasing number of roles available across the public sector nationwide, attracting talent has become the number one focus. In 2017 a number of legislative changes impacted the market hugely, including the introduction of IR35 within the public sector. As a result of this we have continued to see a shift in lawyers and paralegals changing sectors to the private field, something I feel will continue into 2019. Shared services Over the past 12 months we have also seen an increase in the number of local authorities sharing legal services and creating alternative business structures. Local authorities for the past 8 years have had considerable cuts to their budget spend which has ultimately led to them needing to consider their commerciality within their sector. Operational teams were, and still are looking to inject commerciality into large legal services, and as a result we have seen a large demand for candidates with private sector experience. Private sector candidates tend to have a more innovative way of bringing commerciality into these organisations. However, finding such talent can prove difficult especially with the changes to IR35, and the rates of roles within the public sector vs those within the private sector. This year, we have seen some significant changes to some of the long-standing shared services and have witnessed many more local authorities moving to unitary authorities, for example, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. We also saw the Tri-Borough (Hammersmith, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster) part ways along with Thurrock, Barking and Dagenham. These local authorities still have some shared arrangements in place, but with this brings changes and the need for locums to manage this change. Part time roles Part time roles have been on the increase this year and we have seen a significant amount of part time roles come through to us. One of the reasons behind this follows on from budget cuts. The work is very much still there but it aims to keep the costs down for locum recruitment when the changes appear. For those seeking that flexibility for that work/life balance, now is a good time! Housing and Litigation It is without a doubt that every local authority has seen the impact of the housing crisis across the UK. The charity ‘Homeless Link’ estimated that they have seen a 15 percent increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets. This is as a result of a significant lack of housing across the UK, the biggest increase being in the North West of England. From a recruitment perspective, we have seen an increasing number of local authorities recruiting housing lawyers on a locum basis to deal with the increase in work falling into legal services, with homelessness applications, JRs and a backlog of disrepair work. There has also been a surge in the recruitment of housing lawyers as a result of the devastating fire at Grenfell tower, where fears of unsafe cladding has resulted in local authorities being investigated. This inquiry, and the regulations that have followed has required legal professionals to step in across the UK, and I would expect this need will carry on into 2019. Regeneration and Development Following from the housing crisis, the government has boosted funding for local authorities to build thousands of new homes across the country. Likewise, we have seen a boost in the need for experienced regeneration lawyers to bring these projects to life. Local authorities are creating regeneration arms of their property legal teams to assist with this and we are constantly on the lookout for those with these specialised skills. As we fast approach 2019, you may want to consider your options within the public sector. The locum legal market is as busy as ever and I anticipate with Brexit, it will become even busier. If you want to have a confidential chat about the market and your specialised field, please do give us a call on 0161 834 1642, or you call email me at email@example.com.
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.