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15 minutes with Manager Helen Dodds

Posted by
07 Jun 2017
To celebrate our 15th year in business we sat down with Manager Helen Dodds to discuss her career to date and her advice to anyone looking to secure a finance role in the public sector.

What is your current role at Sellick Partnership?
I currently head up the Newcastle team specialising in the placement of finance, procurement and IT professionals across the public sector in the North East on an interim, contract and permanent basis. 

How has your career developed since joining Sellick Partnership?

I have had a fantastic career since joining Sellick Partnership in 2012. I quickly progressed from a Candidate Resourcing Consultant to Recruitment Consultant, before being promoted to Manager of the Newcastle office in 2016.

What do you believe makes Sellick Partnership so successful in the North East?

I specialise in public sector finance recruitment at all levels and in terms of our success in the market I believe that it improves as our reputation grows. There is always and will always be a huge market for public sector finance professionals and it is down to agencies to ensure they are equipped to tap into the market. At Sellick partnership we invest heavily in our brand to ensure we remain well known in the marketplace and I believe that is why we continue to be a market-leading recruitment firm across the region. We are very good at building and nurturing relationships with our clients and candidates. I think that is a lot to do with the networking events that we sponsor and attend, in particular HFMA North East. Events like this allow us to meet and socialise with clients and candidates in a relaxed setting, and gives us the opportunity to build our reputation and develop the levels of trust needed to be successful.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to start a career in public sector finance?
There is a real shortage of candidates across the North East so if I was to give advice to clients it would be to look at candidates that have sufficient transferable skills to cross-qualify. In today’s market it pays to be adaptable, and if clients can adapt their requirements it is likely they will have a larger pool of talent to choose from. I have countless examples where a client has asked me very specific requirements and it is impossible as the ideal candidate on paper does not exist. I will therefore discuss this with my clients and send over candidates that may not 100 percent fit their requirements but that I know can do the role and more often than not they are very successful.
For candidates, in my opinion, having a good CV is the most important aspect of finding a new role. I spend a lot of time with candidates perfecting CVs to ensure they have the best chance at getting a role, and I know it can often be a daunting task, particularly for senior finance professionals who have been out of the job market for a longer period of time. I would therefore advise all candidates to seek help where needed, discuss your CV with a professional and make sure it is up-to-date and relevant for your sector and the roles you are applying for. 

Where do you see your market progressing in the future?
My clients are doing a lot more fixed-term recruitment, and I see this being a trend that will carry on over the next 12 months. Organisations are still uncertain about the current state of the UK economy and what effect Brexit and the political landscape will have and are doing everything in their power to reduce costs. The trouble here is that many contractors are turned off by fixed-term roles, so clients are limiting their talent pool by doing so. 

What has been your proudest professional moment at Sellick Partnership?
My biggest achievement is not a moment as such, but being promoted to Manager and developing the Newcastle team office’s brand has been amazing. We have always had a strong public sector presence in the North East but I am excited to see our private sector brand really breaking through, and our team here now is fantastic and really helping to solidify Sellick Partnership as the recruiter of choice in the North East.
To find out more about our 15th anniversary campaign please visit our dedicated webpage, alternatively you can find out more about Helen Dodds and the roles she has on offer here. Helen Dodds

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