Queens Court, 24 Queen Street, Manchester, M2 5HX
- Specialism: Legal
- Sector: Public Sector
- Roles: Locum, fixed-term and permanent
- Location: Norfolk, Sussex and Essex
Type a day in the life of sellick from Leah Edgar
We spoke with Group Director Laura Hayward, who has recently been appointed to Sellick Partnership’s Board of Directors, about her new role within the company and how she’s got to where she is today. New beginnings Laura has spent most of her working life and the past 10 years with Sellick Partnership. “Before joining Sellick Partnership, I never really had a ‘proper job’ so to speak. I finished university and did some sales work in a call centre before spending some time out of work and education to go travelling and eventually moving to Manchester where I began a catering job.” Laura explains how she wasn’t originally looking for a job in recruitment, but after posting her CV on a job board, she was contacted by Sellick Partnership and decided to see what they had to offer. “I was looking for something different to the roles I’d had before, and a few of the friends I had moved with worked in recruitment, so I thought I’d take a look at what was out there. My career with Sellick Partnership came out of the blue, but I’m so glad that it did.” First impressions Laura’s first impression of Sellick Partnership was how busy and bustling the company was. “The office was buzzing. It was definitely a change of pace and environment from what I was used to, but I settled into my new role quickly and felt very excited to take on this new challenge…even if it was a bit overwhelming at first! I found that I could get stressed really easily at the beginning. I’d be anxious about whether I was doing my job right and would always give myself a hard time.” Laura explained that, after settling into the team, she learned ‘not to sweat the small stuff’ too much. The team provided exceptional support and training on a day-to-day basis, which helped Laura grow in confidence. “Over the years, I have learned to trust my instincts and be confident in my abilities. Since the early days at Sellick Partnership, I have always looked forward to the future and have been excited to see where the experience and knowledge I gain would take me. With over 10 years’ experience in legal recruitment behind me, I can proudly look back on how I have helped grow our reputation as a leading provider of expert recruitment services whilst also confidently looking forward to what the future brings.” Next steps As part of her promotion to the Board of Directors, Laura will now work closely with fellow Board members to make strategic decisions about the company’s future. “I’m excited to get involved with the business at a far more strategic level. I really enjoy managing and my role as a recruitment consultant, but I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the commercial decisions that make Sellick Partnership so successful. I’m really hoping that I can bring a different dynamic and perspective at Board level, and really push the boundaries of what I am capable of. I love that my new role will allow me to continue to support the legal teams, but also allow me to work with the wider company as a whole. I think the skills I have gained during my 10 years with Sellick Partnership will be very valuable to others.” In terms of future prospects, Laura likes to take her career one day at a time. “I’ve never been a long-term planner, really. It goes without saying that my number one priority is to maintain our reputation as a market leader of expert legal recruitment services within the public sector. However, I am particularly keen to look at how we can continue to expand our offering into other areas. For example, we have gone from strength to strength over the last few years, building strong relationships with universities and higher education establishments. There’s a lot of competition between universities, so it’s important to ensure that we provide them with the right resources to promote growth." Helpful advice Laura believes that it’s important for those with big ambitions in the workplace to have regular and open conversations with their employer. “Ultimately, you don't have to always rely on your employer to tell you how to progress. If you feel ready for the next challenge, or that you might be soon, start mapping out your ideal progression plan and discussing your options with them. With your progression plan behind you, think about ways that you can make yourself the very best candidate for your dream position, identifying what you can do to set yourself apart from your peers. Think commercially and strategically every step of the way, documenting your tangible impacts on the business as you go. Finally, trust the process – these things don’t happen overnight. You will go through the motions, and you may even find yourself at a crossroads at times. But understanding the difference between your current role and the next step will be crucial in tackling the challenge head-on and seeing yourself to success.” If you want to hear more about the internal vacancies that we have available within Sellick Partnership, get in touch today.
Hannah Nicholas is a specialist in the law relating to mental capacity and deprivation of liberty. She has a plethora of experience – from supporting vulnerable people and their families who challenge decisions made by public bodies, to advising the public bodies implementing the legislation. Hannah considers it her life mission is to ensure that those who are vulnerable are protected and their rights are promoted through the relevant legal frameworks. Hannah started her trainee legal career at a large city council and found her passion for the law relating to Adult Social Care and Health during this time. Subsequently, she worked for a niche specialist legal aid practice advising patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 and represented individuals in Court of Protection proceedings. Following this, Hannah practiced at a large international law firm advising NHS bodies on the law relating to Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty amongst other things. Hannah is now a consultant solicitor, as well as founder of Mental Capacity Cat (@thecapacitycat on Twitter). Natalie Atherall, Senior Consultant at Sellick Partnership, recently sat down with Hannah to discuss the importance of her role. What does a typical day look like for you? No two days are the same as a locum adult social care solicitor. As a locum, you are often the person who will be given urgent, pressing cases or complex cases given your expertise. I find that I could be dealing with a Court of Protection case one minute, and then receive a general query regarding safeguarding or mental health matter from someone else. You may have an idea of what your week will look like, but then an urgent referral for Court is required and the to-do list is ultimately scrapped and amended to cater for urgent queries. It’s definitely exciting and rewarding, but I put that down to the area of law rather than what sector I work in, e.g. private/public sector. You have worked in permanent and locum roles, in both the public sector and private sector. What do you find are the key differences? Whether you work as a locum or a permanent employee for either private practice or local government, Mental Capacity work involves a lot of flexibility and the ability to adapt to change. What I enjoy most about being a locum is the flexibility it provides; I am generally able to choose the hours I wish to work, whilst taking into account the client’s needs. Working as a locum is definitely more flexible than private practice. Working within a local authority is very interesting, but also challenging. One of the positives is being creative and resourceful as there is more scope for this approach. In private practice, there is always a focus on billable hours. I find both working in private and public sector rewarding, there is just a different mindset and usual set up with regards to processes and procedures. What trends have you seen in the last 12-18 months, particularly in relation to the impact from COVID-19? During the pandemic, there was certainly an increase in general queries around deprivation of liberty, hospital discharges and treatment issue. The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) were put on the back burner whilst the focus was to support those with care and support needs through the pandemic. Now, there is a real focus on LPS again given the Codes of Practice is due for public consultation any day now. I am seeing a lot of queries around DOLS/LPS now that the restrictions have lifted and Section 21A challenges to standard authorisations are becoming more prevalent again. You have been a locum for just over two years now. What do you like in particular about working as a locum? Ultimately, I decided to locum to explore other career opportunities and hobbies that I did not have the chance to explore fully as a full time employee, as well as travelling. I enjoy Muay Thai and wanted to spend a few months in Thailand. Being a locum provides this flexibility, although unfortunately the pandemic has impacted my ability to travel recently! In addition, I have set up my training consultancy, Mental Capacity Cat. I am quite a creative person and enjoy digital design and media. I wanted to combine both my passion for Mental Capacity Law, Community Care/Health and Human Rights with my creative outlets, so being a locum provides the flexibility to do this alongside practicing as a solicitor. Another aspect of being a locum which attracted me was the ability to move around various authorities and see how things work in different areas. Each local authority faces different challenges and you meet some of the most amazing people along the way! I would say I have made friends for life during my time as a locum – although you are not a permanent member of staff, you often find your colleagues and clients become friends by the time you leave! What do you find is the best part of your job? Anything Mental Capacity Law is my thing, but the best part of my job is knowing that every day I wake up and help some of the most incredible professionals on the front line every day, supporting people with social or healthcare needs. It’s an absolute honour and privilege to know that the work I do impacts the lives of real people, with real lives, and that I make a positive difference (I hope!) to those who I support and advise. What advice would you give other legal professionals that are considering working as a locum in the public sector? I wish I knew that this was an option in the first place! When I first qualified, I came across locums and wondered what it was all about. I wish that being a locum and working in the public sector/local authority was talked about more in university or generally, as it wasn’t until I qualified that I realised this was something I would be able to do. Working in adult social care is fast paced and hard work – but it is also some of the most rewarding work you will ever do! Fancy a fresh challenge or want to hear more about the opportunities that working as a locum in the public sector can offer? Get in touch with our experienced consultants today.
Moving into a new legal sector can be a great way to keep your career fresh, challenge yourself and renew your interest in work. We have helped countless legal professionals transition from private practice to public sector jobs with excellent feedback about increased job satisfaction. I recently caught up with a candidate I placed into local government to hear about her experience of moving from private practice into the public sector. My candidate is a Property Lawyer who left a permanent role in a law firm a few months ago to take on a locum role in a local authority. What made you decide to consider working in the public sector? I was tired of the monotony of my work in private practice, I was just doing the same type work over and over with no challenge or variety. I wanted to challenge myself more so I started looking online for public sector roles and came across the Sellick Partnership website and saw that this is something you specialise in, so I applied for a job and you contacted me that same morning. How have you found your transition from a law firm to a local authority? I have absolutely enjoyed it. I have learnt a lot and I am dealing with a huge variety of cases. I am very happy that I made the move. What are the key differences between working in private practice and local authority? There isn’t the pressure of billing targets and I like that you have a consistent client base, because you are working for the council. My personal experience is that the work is quite different. The matters I’m dealing with now are different to what I was doing before so it is interesting. What are you enjoying about working in the public sector? I like the new type of workload, the variety is great. I am provided with legal resources, material and subscriptions. If I don’t know anything I can use various resources to look it up or ask anyone in the team for support. The team work closely together and everyone is really friendly and helpful. What transferable skills do you think you need to make the move from the private to the public sector? The law is the same of course, so that base of legal knowledge is all you need really as you can just build on that. Would you recommend this as a career path to others? Yes, definitely! I am really enjoying it. How do you feel about working in a locum role compared to your previous permanent role? I would say I prefer the locum role, it is flexible and I get paid better! How did Sellick Partnership support your move to a public sector role? And would you recommend us? You kept me informed throughout the process and gave me great interview tips. You were very clear and helpful at every stage. This was the first public sector application I made and I got the job! You were very swift at responding and gave me all the information I needed to be successful. I would definitely recommend you and Sellick Partnership! This is a conversation with just one of many candidates who we have helped move into the local government locum market, across all areas of law. Given our experience as market leaders, we are best placed to help you make the transition and can support you every step of the way, from working on your CV to helping you prepare for interviews and navigating through offers. Fancy a fresh challenge? Get in touch with our experienced consultants today.