Case study: University of Leeds

2 mins
Sellick  Partnership

By Sellick Partnership


The University of Leeds is one of the largest universities in the UK having originally been established in 1904. The University is also part of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities.  

The University approached us in January 2023 to assist with the recruitment of a 6 month interim Contracts Manager position to support the team during an exceptionally busy period.

The University had previously tried to advertise the roles themselves on their own website and had other agencies approach them with candidates, none of which were suitable. 

Account management

The recruitment campaign was managed by India Langman, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Sellick Partnership. India recruits legal professionals on a locum, interim and permanent basis for a wide-range of public sector organisations including universities, local government and charities. India is supported by a wider team of over 30 legal recruitment specialists covering the whole of the UK. 


The first step to this campaign was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the contract to effectively match candidates with the right experience and promote the opportunity to the market. 

India arranged a Teams meeting with the hiring manager to capture key information about the role, essential experience and skills required from the candidate, and available payrate and contractual terms. During the meeting it quickly became apparent why the role had not been filled so far. The University required someone with demonstrable previous experience of working in higher education as a Contracts Manager as well as experience of dealing with clinical trial agreements. This is a very niche area and not many other universities deal with these agreements, so it made the prospective candidate pool very narrow.  

Having supplied interim legal candidates to the public sector for over 20 years we have an extensive database of candidates registered, many of whom exclusively contract through Sellick Partnership and have consistently worked through our agency for over a decade. India immediately consulted our existing talent pool for contractors with suitable experience, drawing a shortlist of three candidates from our database who were available and experienced. India then undertook a comprehensive market mapping exercise to review universities with the relevant programmes of work, and cross referenced with LinkedIn Recruiter searches of contractors who had completed similar assignments within these universities. This search resulted in the successful headhunt of an additional candidate for the final shortlist. 


India shortlisted 4 suitable candidates who could demonstrate the relevant experience and skillsets and presented these to the client within 24 hours receipt of the vacancy. The University interviewed everybody on the shortlist and offered the successful candidate the position in the same week. 

Following this successful campaign, India was approach again by the University in June 2023 to recruit another interim Contracts Manager and successfully filled this position in less than a week.  


I’m a Senior Manager in the Research Contract Team in the University who has been working with India Langman to place a couple of locum contracts managers.

It is a good chance to give some feedback on India – people tend to only provide feedback when negative so I think it is important to provide positive feedback too. We don’t make these things easy at the University but India has been professional, patient and pragmatic throughout the many hurdles our processes seem to put in place. She has been a pleasure to work with throughout. She seems to be across every detail and has made the whole process so much easier.  

We’ll continue to use Sellick Partnership on these engagements and would recommend to other University contract teams – which I think reflects well on India’s support.

James Fearn, Senior Manager – Research Contract Team, University of Leeds

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