Queens Court, 24 Queen Street, Manchester, M2 5HX
- Specialism: Compliance
- Sector: Public Sector
- Office: Manchester
Type a day in the life of sellick from Emma Hamilton
A bad hire can be horrifyingly costly, so hiring the right candidate is essential for any businesses. Hiring the wrong person will cost you valuable time and money, two things very few business can afford to lose. However the negative impacts do not stop there. Bringing the wrong candidate on board could impact employee morale, productivity and could take away time from your management team, potentially impacting your client or customer service. Here we outline our top tips to ensure you do not hire the wrong candidates. Create a comprehensive job description: the devil is in the detail when it comes to outlining a job specification. You need to have considered all eventualities. Remember to include as much detail as possible, this will help you attract candidates most relevant to the role you are advertising. Ask technical questions: you should ask candidates with some difficult technical questions in the interview. Remember, the interview is not a torture chamber but you should try to challenge the interviewees so you can properly ascertain their skill level and analyse how they respond under pressure. Train your interviewers: to give your company the best chance of finding the best candidates you must ensure your interviewers are fully trained and have a clear idea of the sort of candidate they are looking for. Interviews are not about trying to find the first candidate that fits your specification. Interviewers need to be patient, consider all the candidates, and ascertain the best qualities from every interviewee in what is a stressful situation. You may also consider a staged interview process to meet candidates on a variety of occasions. This can often help relieve the candidate of nerves that a first time meeting can throw up. You do not want to miss out on the best person for the job because they are not good at interviews. Thoroughly research your candidates: recruitment is not a witch hunt, but you should always do some research on your candidates before or after you have interviewed them to look for any information they may not have included in their CV or application. Check their LinkedIn profile to see if their career history matches their CV, explore social networking sites to make sure they are not posting anything controversial that could harm your company’s reputation, and check their references – calling the referee to verify their words. Check candidate references: doing your own research is all well and good, but remember to check references to ensure you are hiring the right candidate. Hiring a ‘toxic’ employee can leave trails of negativity. Make sure you ask for at least three. This should be enough to get a good understanding of the candidate and their employment history as employees usually leave their fingerprints – good and bad – all over their former employers. Protect yourself: protect yourself from any gruesome hiring mistakes by putting a probationary period in place. In essence, a probationary period gives you the option of terminating a contract in the event that a new employee does not perform as expected. While these clauses are not loved by new employees, they have become so commonplace that they have become universally accepted. This is also beneficial for the candidate as it gives them some breathing space to decide if you are the right organisation culturally for them. For more handy tips on ensuring your recruitment process is a success check out our employer resources section. Alternatively you can get in touch with our expert team today to discuss your recruitment needs.
Client retention and repeat business is an important factor to the success of most businesses, but especially so in the legal sector. A strong, reputable workforce plays a crucial role in this, yet recruitment can be a difficult area for many law firms, particularly those within specialisms where skills gaps are rife. The following recruitment tips can help law firms of all sizes to address this issue and ultimately operate more efficiently and successfully as a business. Consider junior trainees and interims Junior vacancies will always be easier to fill as there are more candidates seeking positions such as paralegal or trainee solicitor roles than niche roles like commercial property, residential conveyancing and private client positions. The number of trainee contracts on offer among law firms is now starting to return to pre-recession levels, and offering these types of roles can benefit candidates and clients alike. A more junior workforce could be particularly useful to smaller firms that are just starting out, helping them to create a full team on a lower budget. However, it is important to invest in training and skills development to ensure that the workforce can compete with other firms that might be able to offer more experienced counterparts to their clients. At the other end of the scale, interims can be a useful talent pool to consider when looking to hire. These candidates tend to be extremely experienced and can offer a wealth of expertise to firms across niche areas. This more creative way of working is perhaps best suited to firms that witness ebbs and flows in demand for certain specialisms, allowing employers to tap into these experts as and when they are needed. The drawback is that interims can be costly if they become relied upon as a more permanent solution. Build your employer brand A strong employer brand is one of the most useful assets for law firms battling it out in the war for talent. It is essential to think about what you can offer candidates, as recruitment is a two-way process and those wishing to attract the best talent need to give them something in return. Candidates will likely be attending a number of interviews, so consider what will make you stand out against other firms that are hiring and be sure to emphasise your unique selling points throughout the hiring process. Company websites are often the first port of call for prospective employees, so it is advisable to have a careers section that displays further information about the various roles on offer, as well as shedding light on the team environment and benefits to staff. ‘Meet the team’ pages are typically among the highest-viewed sections of any site, so ensure these are kept updated and that the content is engaging and dynamic; it will entice people who want to work in an environment where they can see similar personalities to their own, as well as inspiring staff to mimic career paths that they aspire to. Be sociable Social media is a vital in your hiring toolkit and is a useful means to demonstrate the strength of your employer brand. Candidates often head straight to LinkedIn to view recommendations, testimonials and the profiles of their prospective colleagues so it is important to adopt a social media strategy that gives a positive impression across all channels. Different networks offer their own unique benefits; Twitter is a useful way of showing some personality and interacting with influencers, while Facebook pages tend to be more suited to demonstrating what it is like to work for the company. The legal profession can be known to shy away from using social media, but provided it is used in a responsible and targeted manner it can be hugely beneficial. The same is true for all the above tips, not only in the recruitment process but also in terms of staff retention, which ultimately makes for a happier workforce, a satisfied business owner and a loyal client base. For more information on recruiting your next legal professional or if you have a position that needs filled please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly on 0113 224 1480.
Last week, Laura Smith and I exhibited at the Lawyers in Local Government conference in Gateshead. It was really great to catch up with our existing clients and candidates and we met some really lovely new people. The event began on Tuesday evening with a river cruise along the river Tyne with drinks, canapés culminating with freshly cooked fish and chips - officially my first takeaway on a boat. We even got the chance to steer the boat for a while. This is probably a good opportunity to offer apologies to those on board who found this less comforting than being steered by me. It’s definitely easier than it looks! On Wednesday 3 October, the conference opened with a rousing speech from Suki Binjal, LLG President and was followed with a full itinerary of plenary sessions delivered from key figures within the local government legal world. Unsurprisingly, the themes this year revolved around some of the more prominent issues that have risen over the previous year. The seminars covered how to deal with data handling with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations Act (GDPR) and how to tackle the uncertainty of the ‘b-word’, Brexit. Over the breaks and lunchtime, we kept delegates entertained with our ‘Wheel of Fortune’ game which involved copious quantities of pick 'n' mix sweets and stationery packs. In the evening we attended a black tie dinner, where we had the privilege of meeting 'The Right Honourable Usha Kumari Prashar, Baroness Prashar, CBE'. Baroness Prashar has a truly impressive career history, including serving on the Iraq inquiry, being the first Civil Service Commissioner in 2000 and a current member of the House of Lords. The after dinner speech was really engaging and was followed by an animated Q&A segment. The Baroness is an accomplished and humble public speaker, infusing genuine warmth and character into her anecdotes, littered with classic witty references. On Thursday 4 October, Sellick Partnership's Director Hannah Cottam presented a breakout session on the topic of ‘Personal Resilience in the Face of a Changing World’. Attendees said that they really appreciated the focus on personal well-being and mental health and found the session to be thought-provoking. It feels like everybody is under more pressure to work harder and produce more, with less time and resources than ever before. In these pressured environments, it’s crucial that people manage their stress levels and seek the support that they need to stay healthy and be able to work effectively. If you attended the conference, hopefully you had chance to come over to our stand and tried your hand at our ‘Wheel of Fortune’. We will be exhibiting at the Weekend School in April and look forward to seeing you all then. In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about the vacancies that we are currently recruiting for or would like to discuss any of our upcoming events, please get in touch for more information.