There are lots of benefits for businesses hosting teambuilding events, including increasing morale and building trust among employees. One of the main benefits is employee motivation and how events like this can increase productivity. In this blog, Managing Director Jo Sellick looks at why he thinks hosting teambuilding events like this is important for the business and explains the positive impact it can have on employees. It is that time of year again when Sellick Partnership comes together for our annual 'Teambuilding' event which will be held on Thursday 15 August 2019 to Saturday 17 August 2019 at Bangor University. This annual event is one of my absolute favourites and is highly anticipated by everyone across the business. It is a chance for all of our people to come together, socialise and share experiences which I believe is vitally important to ensure morale and productivity remains high all year round. Our very first ‘Teambuilding’ event happened in 2005 with just 15 members of staff travelling to Cumbria in the Lake District. It was really important to me to create an event that people would enjoy, where employees across the business regardless of position or seniority can socialise and have the opportunity to catch up with colleagues they wouldn’t normally see day-to-day. Since then we have grown considerably, and this year 80 of us will be heading to Bangor University making this one of our biggest events to date. Despite our growth, and the challenges that comes with arranging an event of this size, I still believe it is one of the most important events we put on each year. In previous years we have asked our people to create rock bands, we have competed in our very own ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition, hosted a “bake off” and in 2017 we took all of our employees for a two night break in Majorca to celebrate our 15th anniversary. It is something our people always look forward to and an event I will always insist that we do in some form. I can honestly say that our Teambuilding events have been instrumental in strengthening relationships across our seven offices and have helped us retain many of our long-standing employees. Here are just some of the reasons why I think hosting teambuilding days like ours are so important to keep morale and productivity high all year round. Increased productivity: the collaborative nature of a teambuilding event teaches people how to work together more effectively. It allows you to see that everyone has different skills and approaches to a problem. This knowledge is then transferable to the office environment, as individuals understand how to make best use of each other’s abilities. Develop problem solving skills: because teambuilding exercises usually involve a simulated problem that must be solved, participants can feel like there is less pressure compared to when an issue comes up in the workplace that they need to deal with. They can then find ways to reach a goal despite hurdles, and feel more confident about their ability to do this. The problem solving skills they gain are ones that they can make use of in the corporate setting. Develop future leaders in your business: teambuilding activities usually requires people to step up and take charge to reach an end goal. These leadership qualities can be invaluable to a business and can help you grow your senior management team. This is an excellent opportunity for you to find out who those people are in your business and decide whether they can utilise those leadership skills within your business. Increased networking/communication skills: most businesses rely on effective communication and networking to survive, and teambuilding days can be an excellent way of improving these skills amongst your workforce. Create teams of people who do not usually interact on a regular basis. In doing so you will encourage employees to step outside of the box and help them improve their communication and networking skills overall. Improved company culture: in my opinion this is the most important and valuable benefit. A good company culture will give you the basis to attract and retain the very best employees, and teambuilding activities like ours can really help in boosting the culture within your organisation. A happy workforce is one that is connected and collaborative, and events like this will really help you to reach that goal. But ‘Teambuilding’ for us is not just about increasing morale or improving productivity, it is also our way of saying thank you to the commitment and hard work of all of our staff. Without a great team of people no business can succeed, and here at Sellick Partnership we have a team that I am immensely proud of. It is important to remember that and to always give credit where credit is due. For more information on our annual Teambuilding events or what it is like to work for Sellick Partnership, visit the work for us section of our website and browse our internal vacancies. Alternatively you can see more news, resources and insights here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me directly on 0161 834 1642.