Queens Court, 24 Queen Street, Manchester, M2 5HX
- Specialism: Legal
- Sector: Public Sector
- Roles: Locum, fixed-term and permanent
- Location: London and Kent
Type a day in the life of sellick from Alexis Aarons
What type of legal roles do Sellick Partnership recruit for within the public sector? Sellick Partnership is a market leader in legal recruitment and as such, we have built expert knowledge of our sector – our clients want us to use our knowledge to help bring talented legal professionals into their teams on both a temporary and permanent basis. Previously, we were predominantly specialised in locum positions, but as a result of our years of experience and trusted expertise, more and more of our clients now approach us to help with permanent positions. To put it into numbers, in 2020 Sellick Partnership increased recruitment numbers by 50% for permanent legal roles within the Public Sector. Newly Qualified Solicitors: Does Sellick Partnership recruit junior roles, or do you only recruit to mid-senior level roles? What experience level do Sellick Partnership recruit for? The Sellick Partnership legal team recruit for vacancies at all levels including partners, senior solicitors, newly qualified solicitors as well as paralegals and legal officers. Many of our long-standing candidates have progressed their career with us after initially securing Paralegal roles. Whatever stage you are at in your career – Sellick Partnership can help. It is highly likely that we will have a role that will match whatever you are looking for in your next move. If you are struggling to determine what that next move might be too, we can always offer some advice and guidance on this. It is also worth noting that public sector organisations are always keen to receive applications from more junior candidates as they are keen to offer training and development opportunities and provide a structured career path for them. Again, to give you some numbers Sellick Partnership have increased placements of NQs by 20% in a role within local authority in 2020 compared with 2019, with numbers in 2021 continually growing. Are Sellick Partnership in contact with hiring managers all the time – will my manager find out I am looking for a new role? Confidentiality is something we take very seriously at Sellick Partnership, and we have a responsibility to do so. We would never discuss your circumstances or share your CV without your consent. As market leaders in the legal recruitment industry, our clients and candidates choose to work with us time and time again not just for our expertise, but also the level of confidentiality and assurance we provide. Any conversations with our Consultants regarding your professional development and any potential career moves are completely private and confidential. How safe and appropriate is it to look for a new role at the moment given the COVID-19 pandemic? Every candidate across every industry and sector has probably felt a little anxious about moving roles during a global pandemic. However, at Sellick Partnership, we have seen the organisations we work with really embrace either fully remote working or a mix of remote/office based working. This has meant that many organisations have quickly found alternative ways to on-board, train and welcome new team members remotely. Things such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, regular team catch ups and buddy systems have all played a huge role in this. Where is the best place for Newly Qualified Solicitors to look for roles? Is there specific places where recruitment agencies and hiring managers would advertise them? It is really important for Sellick Partnership to reach as many potential candidates as possible, and this is why we engage with a wide variety of media. Sellick Partnership use the traditional job boards, such as Totally Legal, Simply Law and Indeed, however regularly post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. That being said, websites like Lawyers in Local Gov are a valuable resource for NQs and not just for job seeking. It is important for Sellick Partnership to target our specific candidates so that the jobs that arrive in your inbox are as relevant as possible. If you have any further questions or if you would like some more advice, please contact us and speak to your Sellick Partnership Recruitment Consultant. Alternatively, you can check out our latest live public sector legal jobs here.
It is a well-known statistic that 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives; we hear about this in the media all the time and this is backed up with the figures shared by the NHS. Latest figures from Mind state that 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England. It is also widely documented that more people are dealing with mental health problems across the population over the last 15 months, as a result of living in a world dominated by COVID-19. Anxiety and depression has impacted even the most emotionally resilient people, and the figures from mental health charities definitely back this up. Naturally, this will impact on staff wellbeing and performance, so employers really need to be proactive to try and help their people through any mental health and wellbeing struggles. Employees are the most important asset of any business; without them organisations would simply not be able to survive. Employees need to be looked after both physically and mentally. Companies and organisations who have more awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues and who have plans and activities in place to help their employees are much more likely to have a productive workforce. Employees who feel valued and cared for will naturally be more productive and will be more likely to stay with their current employer, improving overall staff retention rates. There are many actions that employers can take to help improve the mental health of employees. As a specialist legal recruiter, I have noticed that many of our clients are implementing more and more wellbeing initiatives. In a world where the competition is fierce, it is great to offer thoughtful initiatives that really stand out and ensure employees are offered an excellent working environment. I have listed below some simple ideas on how to incorporate mental health and wellbeing initiatives into the working week. We have implemented many of these at Sellick Partnership with great success. I also took the opportunity to speak to one of my clients in local government, Louise Round and Josy Smith at the South London Legal Partnership, to see what initiatives they have in place. South London Legal Partnership have a fantastic approach towards employee wellbeing and have some great ideas. Mental Health First Aiders One really effective idea is the introduction of Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace. We have five at Sellick Partnership and they act as a point of contact for anyone needing some assistance. South London Legal Partnership also have 33 Mental Health First Aiders. There are registered courses that staff can attend to get some excellent insight into helping employees with any mental health concerns. The role of a Mental Health First Aider involves as a point of contact and offering reassurance to a person who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. It is important for employees to know that they can speak to someone at work on a confidential basis. Group activities and classes South London Legal Partnership have knitting groups, language classes and Zumba, to name a few. These team activities are fantastic, as it encourages bonding between colleagues. Additionally, some of the activities on offer, such as knitting, are very relaxing! Zumba and Yoga are great for both mental and physical wellbeing. Language classes can be a good way to take your mind off daily stresses whilst learning something new. South London Legal Partnership also have a LGBTQIA+ focus group for people to share their insights and opinions. Wellbeing Wednesdays and extended lunch breaks South London Legal Partnership have Wellbeing Wednesdays which is a staff resilience and wellbeing group. Employees who attend find it a useful forum to share experiences and wellbeing tips. Here at Sellick Partnership we offer all employees an extended lunch break once a week to join an exercise class, or to go on a long lunchtime walk and enjoy some fresh air. The aim of this initiative is to help people get away from their desks and to try and relax a little after a busy morning. Tea & Talk Something as simple as a “Tea & Talk” session is really effective. Tea & Talk sessions are great because they also offer a chance to fundraise for the Mental Health Foundation. Tea & Talk is about having conversations with those around you, because talking is good for your mental health. It encourages colleagues to spend time together and talking is always good for wellbeing! These are just a few wellbeing initiative ideas which are not too onerous to implement, and these have been received really positively. It is important for employers to reduce stigma around mental health concerns and wellbeing and create a positive workplace for employees. Some of the ideas above can lead to improved team work, productivity, and engagement. If you are interested in discussing this topic further or have any other fantastic ideas as to how mental health and wellbeing can be improved in the workplace, I would love to hear them. Please feel free to contact me on 0161 834 1642 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and like many other industries, the legal sector has seen a real shift towards remote working in the last 15 months. Looking forward, it is highly likely that a hybrid way of working will continue. Local Authorities and other Public Sector clients seem much more open to hiring a legal locum or even a permanent member of the team from outside of the geographical area on the basis the role will be conducted fully remotely. Prior to 2020 and the pandemic, fully remote working opportunities were rare, but we have seen many more become available in recent months. With home working here to stay, onboarding new employees has never been more important. A well thought out onboarding process will help your legal professional feel equipped with the relevant tools and knowledge to settle and thrive in their new role – regardless of whether or not they are fully remote, office-based or a mix of the two. The legal recruitment market is extremely competitive, with prospective employers working hard to attract the best talent. Having a robust onboarding process in place means your new starter can get up to speed quickly and effectively, whilst also ensuring that they feel welcomed and engaged with their team and the wider organisation. Since March 2020, Sellick Partnership has facilitated many new legal locum and permanent placements, the majority of which have been on a remote working basis. After speaking to a number of my legal clients and candidates who have successfully navigated this process, I have collated some top tips to help employers create a good onboarding strategy for remote workers. Ensure your new starter is fully equipped with all relevant IT equipment, log in details and systems access Delays in having access to relevant systems can be a source of huge frustration for new legal professionals keen to get to grips with a new caseload. Make sure IT equipment is ordered and couriered out to them in plenty of time. Ensure log in details are requested from IT as soon as you have a start date confirmed. Either make arrangements to send them to your new starter prior to or on their first day so that they can access the system as soon as possible. The initial induction is also a good time to help get your new starter logged on to the system for the first time by walking them through the process. Make sure they know who/where to seek help for any IT related queries. Schedule in a virtual induction Book in an induction meeting for the first day. Video meetings work well as it is more personal and engaging to speak to someone face-to-face rather than over the telephone. Also consider sharing screens where possible. Take the time to give some background information on their immediate team and the wider organisation. Explain the team structure, who people are and what they do in their roles. Introduce your new legal professional to their wider team and the support staff via a video call. Welcome them into the wider team, put faces to names and help break the ice. This way, when your new starter may need to ask a colleague for some help, it will not be the first time they have spoken to them! Schedule in time for training on the case management system Where a case management system will need to be used, schedule in some time before allocation of work for your colleague to familiarise themselves. Offer training if appropriate. This may avoid any potential delays later down the line. Set clear expectations It is important to communicate what is expected of your new starter as they start to settle in. Guidance and targets can help in those early weeks of working remotely and provides tangible goals to work towards. Clearly explain any processes that will need to be followed. For example, how to record information on the case management system, how much communication you expect from them with regards to keeping you up-to-date with case files or their whereabouts. Make clear what admin/paralegal support is available to them and what they are expected to do for themselves. Have a virtual open door policy Often clients who require a legal locum need them to hit the ground running and work under minimal supervision. However, it is very important to convey an open door policy. Working remotely does not allow for on the desk learning or an impromptu conversation. Often a new starter may be hesitant to pick up the phone to ask for help therefore it is important that you make it clear that they can contact you at any time to ask for help or guidance. Getting to grips with a new system remotely can be tricky. Try to be there when needed and take the view that there is no such thing a stupid question! Even the most experienced legal professional sometimes needs a helping hand navigating a new internal system. Schedule regular supervisions Keeping in regular contact will provide the opportunity to review performance and iron out any teething problems. Provide the opportunity to discuss their workload and to share ideas with a manager and/or colleagues in the wider team. Keep it social One of the biggest things people miss whilst working from home is the social interaction. Not all team meetings have to be work related. Schedule in some time for a more casual, social interaction among the wider team. You may want to go one step further and consider arranging a virtual activity for your team. There is now a lot of choice available to suit remote working, such as online escape rooms, virtual wine tasting, team bingo and murder mysteries. Virtual team activities can help keep the team connected, motivated and engaged. Remote working has so far proven to work well for many organisations. One of the biggest advantages for employers who recruit a legal professional either on a part or full remote working basis, is access to a much wider talent pool not constrained by geographical location. By choosing to tailor your onboarding process and including some of these tips, you are enabling your new starter to settle in quickly and smoothly. If you are thinking of hiring a new legal professional either on a locum or permanent basis and wish to discuss your recruitment needs or the market generally, please do not hesitate to contact us.