The COVID-19 pandemic has created some truly difficult times for people around the world, but those who have lost their jobs due to the resulting economic downturn, are among those who have been most seriously impacted. If this relates to you, these developments can feel devastating — but there are steps that you can take to accelerate your journey back into employment. In most cases, those who have been made redundant as a result of COVID-19 will not have lost their jobs due to any problems with their job performance or capabilities. As such, even though the current jobs market may seem demanding, it is important to remember that your credentials are just as impressive as they ever were. Those in this position should take a moment to consider a few simple pieces of advice that could potentially help them to get their career back on track as soon as possible. Make the right preparations when leaving your current role If you have only recently received the news that you will be made redundant from your role, you are likely to still be experiencing some shock. However, it may be helpful to realise that there are steps you can take to ease your transition into the next phase of your career, even before you leave your current post. For many, a key priority will be to ensure that their immediate financial future is as secure as possible, which means making sure that your current employer is paying you all the money that you are entitled to. This may include: Redundancy pay Your final salary payment Any pay in lieu if you are not working your full notice period Any remaining holiday pay you are due to receive Outstanding bonuses, commissions or expenses If you have worked for your employer for at least two years at the end of your notice period, you may also be entitled to ask for some paid time off to apply for jobs or go on training, so it is worth investigating these options to see if they are available to you. Take some time to consider your career direction Once you have left your previous role, the temptation may well be to launch yourself back into an identical or similar role as quickly as possible. However, it could be worth your while to take some time and consider whether there are any alternative career directions that may suit you better. Ask yourself the following questions: Were you truly happy in your previous role? Would you want your next role to be similar? Are there any alternative roles that you could pursue in a related field, using transferable skills from your previous job? Would you be interested in changing your career path completely? What kind of new skills and qualifications would you need to accomplish this, and how long would these take to acquire? Are you willing to explore a new type of working? For example, would you be keen to go from a full-time role to freelancing, or to start your own business? When you are involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of a full-time job, it can be hard to find the time and mental space to consider these questions, so, in this respect, you may be able to use the current situation as a rare opportunity to change your direction. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile These are obvious steps to take whenever you are looking for a new role, but should nevertheless be considered top priorities, especially if you have not updated these profiles for a number of years. Both your CV and LinkedIn profile should be expanded to include all of your most recent roles and work experience. Your CV in particular should focus on creating a concise, easily scannable profile of your professional credentials, and needs to be tailored specifically to the requirements and focal areas of the job for which you are applying. If you have made the decision to change your career pathway, this may require you to revise your current CV and professional profiles more extensively, making sure to highlight the transferable skills from your previous role that qualify you for your new choice of career. Review and reach out to your business contacts The purpose of building up a network of business contacts over the course of a career is to generate new opportunities and chances to collaborate when the time is right. Now that you are looking for new opportunities, it may be a good time to reach out and see if any of these prospects are worth cultivating. Reviewing your list of contacts may be a good way of discovering career opportunities that are not being actively advertised, or give you an advantage in an application process due to an existing relationship with the right people. In the current circumstances, a friendly contact is likely to be sympathetic to the reasons for your redundancy, and may be able to find ways of assisting your job search. Look into skills training and coaching Being out of the workforce could give you a perfect opportunity to take some time to upskill yourself, whether this is to enhance your application for a position in your current industry, or to earn the qualifications you need to pursue a brand new role. This may involve enrolling on a college-based vocational training course, taking up a personalised career coaching programme, or exploring one of the many free and paid training courses available to home-based learners online. The latter option may be particularly suitable in the current circumstances, allowing you to expand your skills in your own time without the need for face-to-face interactions. By completing a vocational course, you will be able to earn formal qualifications that can enhance your CV and make your application that much stronger. Sign up with a recruitment agency Knowing where to look for career opportunities is a challenge at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic and economic downturn. As such, many candidates will be looking to sign up with a professional recruitment agency to make the job hunting process easier and less complex. Partnering with a recruitment specialist can help to get you back into work quicker by giving you a centralised database of potential vacancies to browse online, as well as allowing you to sign up for alerts based on your specific skills, credentials and preferences. These agencies have direct connections with leading employers on the lookout for promising applicants, potentially giving you access to roles that are not advertised elsewhere. Recruitment Consultants will also work to get to know you and your capabilities in depth, helping them to identify different opportunities that will suit you perfectly. Not only will this save you time, but it will also give you a significant advantage in finding the right role. By following all of these pieces of advice, you should be able to greatly increase your chances of securing a new role after your redundancy, ensuring that you will quickly be back on a positive career trajectory as the UK begins its own recovery from the COVID-19 disruptions. If you would like some help or advice on searching for a new role, get in touch, we would be more than happy to talk to you. You can also search our current jobs 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.