Meet the Consultant: Charlie Griffiths

  • December 03, 2019

It's time to put Charlie our Managing Director in the hotseat and ask the questions we all want to know! Tell us a bit about your role as Managing Director at Stonor? Being the MD of a small business means you wear many hats, from managing the finances to keeping the tea and coffee stocked. However, the best part of my job is helping my employees grow their divisions and constantly exploring new ways we can innovate to improve our service. What did you do prior to being MD at Stonor? I was a landscape gardener and a wannabe Indiana Jones. Has the recruitment industry changed within your career, if so, how? It has changed a lot, both in terms of candidate behaviour and client expectations. Candidates are now very passive and can afford to be selective about who they choose to work with, whether that’s recruiters or employers. That means it’s more important than ever to build trust and develop real expertise in your particular sector.  Clients rightly now expect much more from their recruiters and most of our clients see us as trusted advisors rather than suppliers. Do you feel that there has been a shift in what is important to candidates when searching for a new role/company over the past few years? Yes. There has been a definite shift in priorities for candidates. Where they would ask about salary, bonus and car in the past, now they are much more interested in the company’s culture and what it’s values are. Or put another way, they’re more interested in what they’ll be doing, with who than how much they’re going to be paid to do it. What do you think is important to clients when they are recruiting? Our clients know that the success of their business is entirely reliant on the quality of the people they hire. They therefore take the recruitment process incredibly seriously and invest much more time preparing job descriptions and company information packs than they did in the past. The job market is highly competitive and clients recognise that they often need to move quickly to avoid missing out. This means that video interviewing and screening calls are now very common, as are assessment days and personality profiling. What has been your best day at work so far? We ran our first charity event recently (coffee and cakes in aid of Sue Ryder) and I really enjoyed that day. It was great to see such a positive reaction from our staff and associated businesses. How are you different to other consultants in the industry? We like to think our consultants are excellent to deal with and can offer genuine insight. All of them have a minimum of 2 years experience in their sector so they know what they’re talking about. Feedback from clients suggest that we are less “pushy” than our competitors which fits with our values of being friendly and informative. What is your favourite thing about working at Stonor? The mix of characters and the fact that every day is different. As Forest Gump said, “You never know what you’re gonna get” What would be your advice to anyone searching for a new role at the moment? Call Stonor.  

Six tips to help combat stress in the workplace

  • November 06, 2019

When you’re feeling under immense amounts of pressure you will most likely be stressed. This could be due to an abundance of reasons such as tight deadlines, moving house or having financial difficulties. Whether you’re feeling anxious in your personal life or at work, you will most likely find that one impacts another. Stress can be unavoidable in all aspects of life, but how can you reduce stress at work?  We’ve put together a few pointers to help feel a little calmer. Get an idea of what is causing the problem  If you know what is causing the stress you can then start to work on solutions to either resolve it or prioritise tasks. For example, if you have a tight deadline, investigate ways to delegate or prioritise your workload. Although it may be the last thing you want to do, take 5 minutes out and away from your desk to list what needs to be done, who can possibly help and how you can achieve that deadline. Talk to your manager and colleagues If you feel that your stress is not a one off, speak to your manager, they may be able to help reduce your workload. If it’s not anything to do with work, speak to your colleagues about it. Although they may not be able to directly help, they may be able to offer some advice, or just having someone to listen works wonders. As the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved! Take some time out As mentioned earlier, this may be something you can’t find time for, but you must! Stress reduces productivity so isn’t it better to take 5 minutes out to calm down and rethink your method. You could grab a drink, go for a walk, read a book, there are multiple options, just anywhere away from your desk. Make sure you eat the right things We’re not teaching you to suck eggs, but when you’re in a state of stress, eating well will be the last thing on your mind. It is easy to reach for the wrong foods and ‘stress-eat’ or not eat at all. Being stressed releases adrenaline, which will keep you running all day until you stop, and you will most likely be extremely exhausted at this point. By trying to remain on a balanced diet not only will it help your brain function, but you will also have longer lasting energy. Drink water Studies have shown that it is harder for people to deal with every day issues when they are dehydrated, drinking more water leads to lower cortisol levels (The stress hormone), which in turn helps reduce stress. A trick to drinking more water is to have a refillable bottle on your desk, you’ll keep taking sips without even knowing about it! Try and maintain a healthy work life balance At times this can be tricky, however try to keep this balance as even as possible. Not only is it good for your mental health, it will result in reduced stress when at work. Make sure you take time out to partake in hobbies, by doing something you enjoy you will increase your endorphins which release good hormones into your body, a great way to combat stress. Whether it’s work or life in general causing stress you can apply most of these points to both. It’s about figuring out what works for you, but the most important thing is to look after yourself!

Why do employers need to offer flexible and remote working?

  • October 10, 2019

Mental health at work has never been more pertinent, employers need to look at their accountability as a business to ensure their staff are balancing their work and life responsibilities. With the ability to choose their start and finish times or which location they can work from, employees have better control over their commitments outside of work without having to compromise. In the last decade technological advances have seen flexible and remote working increase by 91%. What is the benefit for employers & their employees? A 2-year study by Stanford University found that by companies trusting staff to have ownership over where they chose to work from along with their hours, not only increased productivity but had a positive impact on employee retention, sick days and workforce diversity.   Employee Retention One of the most positive and important benefits of flexible working is employee retention. Past studies have shown that staff are more likely to stay longer at their company if they have the chance to choose their hours and work remotely. This leads to several positive impacts such as lowering recruitment costs and enhancing the company culture. Productivity By giving staff the chance to work from home or adjust their hours accordingly, it not only reduces stress, it also stops people feeling they need to come into work when they are ill, therefore spreading illness around the office. Resulting in reduced sickness levels and increased productivity. Reduced Costs Companies are always looking at ways to reduce their costs and in return for being flexible with their workforce, it helps businesses cut down on overhead costs such as rent and operating expenses. For the employee this leads to a cheaper commute, allowing their wage to go further and improving their overall work like balance. Workforce Diversity Working from home means employers can look further afield than they would for regular office work, resulting in a larger talent pool. By offering the opportunity for remote working, companies will not only widen experience levels but also encourage increased diversity within their business. Mental Health By allowing staff to cut out their commute before and after work, employees will benefit from less stress, a few extra hours at home to spend with their friends and families and the chance to pursue their outside interests. These aspects will all lead to a better morale and outlook on life. Whether employers like it or not, remote working is here to stay and as more companies adapt to this way of working, it’s important businesses don’t get left behind. For more information about the companies Stonor works with that offers flexible working, contact charlie@stonorsearch.com or visit our jobs page.

National Work Life Week: A week in the life of Stonor Recruitment

  • October 07, 2019

A common perception of the recruitment industry is long-hours, high-pressure and targets, with commission the preferred currency in exchange. Whilst this operating model may still apply in parts, the management team at Stonor Recruitment also recognise the importance of work-life balance and strive to promote the outside interests, hobbies and responsibilities of all those working within the business. Our team currently consists of several young dads, a part-time cabin crew member, an international rugby player, several aspiring Lionel Messi’s, a slightly younger Roger Federer, and a highly ranked e-sports gamer! Whether they are parents, international rugby players, extreme travel go-ers, the Stonor team all require flexibility within their day-to-day working life. By giving the flexibility, not only do they always have something exciting to talk about in the office, the team excels in what they do. To find out more about Stonor Recruitment contact charlie@stonorsearch.com.

Top team building ideas for your marketing agency

  • August 30, 2019

Team building. We know, we know – just the mention of those two words can make even the most enthusiastic of team members let out a sigh. But love it or loathe it, team building is actually really important for the productivity and morale of your team. It builds trust, encourages communication and increases collaboration – all of which means you’ll benefit from more engaged employees. In fact, according to Forbes, despite its bad reputation team building can be one of the most significant workplace investments you’ll make – and just 10 minutes of team building activities once a quarter will do wonders when it comes to boosting your company culture. Not convinced? Read on for our top five creative team building ideas that your employees won’t roll their eyes at (promise!)… Learn a new skill What better way to generate good vibes among your team than to try something new altogether? A team building activity that’s new and perhaps slightly outside of people’s comfort zones is one of the best ways to build trust and boost communication. For example, kayaking and canoeing are great activities that are fun and encourage your team to communicate with each other (weather permitting of course!) whilst an activity-filled day at Go Ape with everything from zip wires to off-road Segways is a firm favourite for groups. And if you want to encourage a little friendly competition, how about go-karting? There’s nothing like a bit of adrenaline-pumping competition to bond a group and encourage your staff to interact in a fun and new way. Just make sure everyone pays attention during the safety briefing! Room escape games This is a bit of a new one, but room escape games are becoming hugely popular around the world – and they’re a great team-building activity too! If you’re looking for a fun creative team building idea that promotes leadership skills, encourages teamwork, and needs logic and patience – well, this is it! It basically works by ‘locking’ a team of people in a room for an hour. During that time they have to answer clues, solve puzzles and find hidden objects to answer questions that will help them find the key to set them free. It’s great fun, but harder than it sounds – in fact, only 20% of players actually make it out before the hour is up. Got a big team? Why not split your employees up into different groups to encourage a bit of friendly agency competition!   Scavenger hunt This is a great option if you want to offer a fun team-building activity outside of the office but without breaking the bank. It’s a classic team building activity that encourages teamwork and creative thinking, and it’s so easy to do: just divide everyone into groups of two or more, and make a list of tasks for them to complete as a group – it’s that simple! Your scavenger hunt can include things such as taking a selfie with a stranger, snapping a picture of a particular building or collecting various different items, and the first team to complete all the tasks and collect all the items wins. For an extra bit of problem-solving, why not set the tasks in riddles or ask them to solve clues to determine what’s next on the hunt? Finally,  make sure everyone takes pictures on the way to look at together afterwards! The egg drop If you don’t have the time or budget for an off-site activity, don’t worry – there are still plenty of fun and effective creative team building ideas that you won’t even need to leave your office for. For example, the egg drop. It’s simple, it’s cheap, and it’s also one of our favourite quick tasks to boost morale, encourage problem-solving and bond your team. Split everyone into groups of two or more and give them each an uncooked egg and a pile of office supplies such as sellotape, pencils, rubber bands, newspapers and even straws. Each team then has 30 minutes to design and build a contraption around the egg that will prevent it from breaking when dropped. Once everyone is ready, drop each of the egg contraptions from the second or third floor of your office and see which one survives. Just make sure you have an extra supply of eggs in case of any breakages during the construction process! Five-minute pitch This is a quick and simple team building activity that’s great for marketing and creative agencies. Divide your staff into teams of three or more, and get each team to choose a random item from around the office; it could be a photo frame, a pen, or even a tube of hand cream that someone has on their desk. Each team is a company, each item is their product – and you guessed it, they’ve each got five minutes to pitch their product and convince everyone else they need it. Give each team a chance to brainstorm and brand their product by creating a name, logo and tagline, before delivering a short presentation on their product as if they were selling it. Not only does this activity stimulate the creativity that’s absolutely essential for a strong marketing team, but it also encourages teamwork and problem solving, teaches staff how to deal with deadlines and helps them hone their sales and presentation skills too. Not bad for five minutes! In conclusion, team-building activities are a great way to have a bit of fun and build a strong team – and it also helps your employees connect with clients too. Whether you go out for the day, take some time off during lunch or just have a quick 30 minutes at your desk, hopefully, these creative team building ideas have given you a bit of inspiration on how to engage your staff and improve productivity. However, it’s important to remember team building shouldn’t be just a one-off activity – in order to really get the most out of team building, you need to keep the momentum going and schedule regular chances for your team to bond outside of work throughout the year. Want to find out more about how to build a motivated and engaged team? Contact Stonor today.  

Stonor Recruitment comes of age!

  • June 10, 2019

We are delighted to announce that we’ve turned 18! Much has changed since David Carroll founded Stonor back 2001. Stonor now operates six boutique agencies under one roof. Marketing, Creative, Legal, Digital, Public Relations & Research / Insight. However, our founding principles of providing a fast, friendly service to our clients and candidates have remained consistent.   Located in the beautiful Bucks village of Aston Sandford. Our recruitment services cover the whole of the UK, and we increasingly work internationally filling vacancies for businesses in Switzerland, France, Germany and the USA in the past year. Stonor’s Managing Director Charlie Griffiths said, “Since I joined the business in 2005, the recruitment industry has changed almost beyond recognition. At a time when 9000 new agencies are incorporated each year, we’re proud to have remained so competitive without compromising. We’ve invested heavily in technology and new offices in the last twelve months. However, it is still the personal, specialist service we offer that sets us apart in what has often become a transactional experience for many. We plan to grow the business further in 2020 in line with our ambition to be recognised as the best regional recruiter in each of our sectors.” We’re proud to have partnered with some hugely successful businesses over the years and we’re grateful to all our loyal candidates without whom we’d never had reached this milestone. 

The hidden benefits of flexible working

  • January 15, 2019

Flexible working is officially on the rise. From flexitime to remote working, working from home to staggered hours and job sharing to part-time positions, there are many different types of flexible working, which means the way many of us work is changing dramatically. In fact, thanks to improved technology and connectivity, many of us can now work whenever and wherever we want - and it’s actually law that after 26 weeks of service, most employees have the right to ask for flexible working. For employees, the benefits are obvious: they have a better work/life balance, they have more control over their schedule, and they can factor work in round their own life and responsibilities. But there are actually a number of benefits for employers too, such as increased productivity, higher morale, greater staff retention, and a more agile workforce. And as the competition for talent continues to heat up and employee expectations continue to get higher, flexible working is set to become increasingly common in the next few years. In fact, research suggests that there will be a 40% increase in the number of large businesses who support types of flexible working in the next two years, with nearly half saying they will have some employees working full time from home within two years. But what does flexible working really mean for your agency? If you’re still not convinced by the benefits or are unsure whether flexible working is right for your agency, you might be surprised by some of the hidden benefits…   Flexible working increases morale Without a doubt, the biggest benefit of flexible working for employers is that your staff feel more valued - which significantly improves their morale. Flexible working reduces stress and fatigue, meaning that your employees will stay focused and perform well, and it helps with engagement too, with research from the CIPD showing that flexible working practices can improve staff engagement and motivation. That means your staff will work harder for you because they feel more committed to your company, bringing enhanced success to both your individual employees and your agency as a whole. Basically, the more valued your staff feel, the better it is for everyone! Flexible working attracts the best talent If your company has happy staff on the inside, it will show from the outside. By offering flexible working you can create a positive employer brand so your company is seen as attractive, fair and flexible - showing potential candidates that your agency is a good place to work. Not only will this help you attract talent and increase the pool of applicants you have for vacancies (especially amongst younger generations who put a much higher value on work/life balance), but it’s also a fantastic way to retain existing talent too - especially those whose circumstances might have changed and might not be able to continue working standard 9-5 hours. Flexible working can make your agency more diverse Flexible working is one of the key ways to build a more diverse workforce of employees with different lifestyles, family responsibilities, and ages. A mixture of young graduates, interns, staff working part-time because of family commitments and older, more experienced professionals looking to vary their working week means you can keep your agency buzzing with ideas. Not only that, but it also means your staff can look at things from different perspectives so you can deliver your best work. Basically, diverse workforces have a much broader mix of skills, knowledge, and experience, giving organisations more creativity and flexibility - and it’s been proven that increasing diversity leads to better staff retention too. Flexible working can save you money Another big benefit of flexible working is that it’s relatively inexpensive to implement and offers quick, measurable ROI. For starters, you can save on overheads by allowing your staff to work from home. If everyone is in the office at the same time, then everyone needs a desk or workstation - which means you need the space and equipment to accommodate them, increasing your overheads. Staggered home working and hot desking can improve office efficiency whilst at the same time bringing costs down - as well as helping to reduce the costs associated with absence, tardiness and sick leave. Finally, it can help to keep recruitment costs down too as a result of better staff retention - and because a number of people often value flexibility over financial remuneration, you can save some additional pennies too. Flexible working improves employees’ skills Having staff members who are regularly out of the office can have an additional positive effect on the team as a whole thanks to shared responsibilities and skill sets. That means that the likelihood of skills silos is decreased, and by giving employees a chance to take over tasks they might not normally handle you can help them grow their skills and give them a more varied work life - all of which boosts morale and at the same time ensures productivity doesn’t drop when people are on holiday or during periods of staff turnover. In conclusion, in the days of landlines and before laptops or the internet when workplaces relied heavily on manual admin and paper-based processes, where we worked and how we worked were as inextricably linked as they were inflexible. However, thanks to today’s improved technology and connectivity, many of us can work whenever or wherever we want. Flexible working delivers a number of benefits for both employers and employees, however whilst half of UK employers offer flexible working arrangements, a recent CBI report found that just one in 10 job listings mentions it - which means that offering types of flexible working could help your agency stand out from the crowd and improve your talent attraction and retention. If you'd like to find out more about flexible working, or are looking to find the right people to bring skills into your workforce, contact Stonor today.

Stonor Recruitment holds a coffee morning for Sue Ryder South Oxfordshire

  • May 21, 2019

On the 20th May 2019 we held a coffee morning at our offices in Aston Sandford to support Sue Ryder South Oxfordshire. Excellent weather meant that the attendees could enjoy their drinks and a BBQ outside. The team also hosted a raffle and with an array of cakes the event had a very good turnout. Stonor wanted to help raise awareness and funds for the Sue Ryder South Oxfordshire Palliative Care Hub due to their support of people aged 18 and over who are dying from life-limiting conditions such as cancer, heart failure and lung disease. We were delighted to have raised £320.21 for this excellent cause and look forward to holding a similar event in the future. To find out more about the hard work that Sue Ryder South Oxfordshire does please click here.

Is video interviewing the future of marketing recruitment?

  • January 08, 2019

Today’s technology has equipped us with a number of tools to help make modern life easier, especially when it comes to communication. Thanks to FaceTime and Skype, video interviewing is just one way businesses are using technology to save time and money. More and more companies using video interviews to connect with potential employees, especially at the first interview stage where a video interview can be used as a replacement for a phone screening. But just how practical is video interviewing? Can it ever really replace traditional face-to-face interviews? And is it right for your agency? Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of video interviewing in marketing recruitment… It appeals to the job seekers of today In today’s world, more and more people are using digital channels to communicate. From Facebook to FaceTime, the fact is that we live in a digital age - and the vast majority of people are now comfortable communicating digitally. Although this is the case for employees of all ages, it is especially true for young people who tend to be more tech-savvy. Not only will young people prefer to do interviews online, but because they are used to living their lives on the go, a video interview via a smartphone can easily fit into how they live their lives. In addition, they’ll also be more attracted to a company that is open to interviewing in such a way because it shows shared values and priorities, which is increasingly important to young people. Basically, if you want your agency to keep up with the times and remain competitive in the eyes of the workforce of the future, it’s time to get digital! It saves time With two-thirds of interviews being conducted outside of office hours, video interviews are simpler, easier and more flexible. That means you can get those interviews booked in and save valuable recruitment time  - and in a competitive market where candidates have the power, it pays to show that you can be flexible and interview at a time that suits them. Don’t forget that the sooner you interview your candidates, the less chance there is of them arranging interviews with competitors - and not only that but by cutting out things such as booking an interview room and emailing back and forth to agree on times, you’ll also simplify the entire interview process. In fact, conducting video interviews saves a whopping 40% of time spent on scheduling. It saves money It’s not just about saving time - video interviews can also save you money too. Because video fills open positions 20% faster, you can significantly cut down on recruitment costs, and there are other ways it saves money too. Think about it: when you have a round of interviews at your office, you invite candidates, make them comfortable, you might pay for their travel and you might even use additional overheads - and you lose time and money due to all these secondary activities. Now consider a video interview - you simply log in, sit back and conduct your interview. And not only that, but you can get right back to your regular activities as soon as the interview is done, which means your interviews won’t get in the way of productivity either. You can make faster - and better - decisions If you realise early on your candidate simply isn’t right for you, it’s easier to bring a video interview to a close rather than drag things out simply because they’ve made a 30-minute trip to see you. Not only that, but you’ll also find you’ll spend less time and effort on no-shows than you would for a face to face situation too. And when it comes to deciding on the person for the job, because you can record video interviews, you can watch the interview again and look out for anything you might have missed before, or go back over any answers you are unclear about - which means you can be completely sure that you have selected the best candidate for the job. The Negatives It can’t all be positive though, and there are some negatives to video interviews too. Obviously one of the biggest downsides to video interviews is that they are so dependent on internet connection. If there’s a dodgy connection with frequent disconnects or a poor video or audio quality, it may mean you move on without giving candidates a fair chance, which may mean you miss out on the perfect candidate just because of connectivity issues. And of course, some people argue that nothing is better than face-to-face when it comes to deciding on something as important as the next hire for your business. Is video interviewing the future of marketing recruitment? Although there are still issues surrounding connectivity, interviewing by Skype and FaceTime can make the interview process simpler, less time-consuming and more effective - and like ‘em or loathe ‘em, we think that video interviews are only going to get more popular as internet speeds get faster. If you’re looking for the perfect new addition to your team or would like some help and advice about how to conduct a video interview, contact Stonor today.

Five tips to improve your CV

  • April 09, 2019

You’ve got the right experience and you know you would be a great fit, however you just don’t seem to be getting those interviews. It seems crazy to think that the one thing holding you back from your dream job could be your CV. First impressions mean everything and, in most cases, the first point of contact you will have with a potential employer is your resume. There could be a few different reasons your CV is letting you down, here are five tips for improving it. Style Believe it or not, the incorrect spelling of just one word could be enough to make your potential employer disregard your application. Always proof your CV before sending, even if you have used it before because you could have missed something last time. Sending it to friends and family members is a great and free way to get it checked. Another option is to get your resume read over by a professional, Stonor Recruitment offers a free CV check if you apply for a role through us. The font needs to be clear and readable for your employer, this also counts for aesthetics, the aim is to get everything across in 10 seconds, use bullet points and don’t make it complicated! Layout Can you imagine being an employer and receiving hundreds of applications for a role? Would you spend the time reading through pages and pages of irrelevant experience? We recommend keeping your CV down to a maximum of two pages. On average, readers absorb 60% of the first page, 40% of the second and anymore is generally a waste. This space should consist of your most recent experience including the dates and months of each employment. You need a clear and concise layout to help the employer skim through your CV and pick out your key skills. Stick to the Truth In no way is it ever okay to lie about your experience, it will be obvious in your new role that you don’t really know how to do what you’ve promised. If your application is honest and you are employed despite not having the relevant experience, you can save the embarrassment and get trained in that field properly – The payoff will be much more rewarding! Stand Out We’re not saying you need to add glitter but always remember that your application will most likely be one of many. Think of ways you can get your personality across on your CV. It could be that you include an interesting skill or fact about yourself. Hobbies are a great way to include your personality, however always try and link this back to an achievement e.g. ran a marathon and raised £1,000 for charity. It’s a great talking point for your interview and it may be something you’re remembered by. The Perfect Fit Want that dream job? It is essential that you tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for. Think like a salesperson and what your potential new employer wants. Thoroughly read the job description and highlight any skills that match. Even go as far as reflecting this in your personal profile at the top of your CV. It will be your key to success if you can demonstrate your relevant experience. In conclusion, always triple check your CV to ensure that there are no errors, make sure it is easily readable and relevant to the role you’re applying for and don’t be afraid to add some of your personality. You never know your potential employer could have the same interests as you!

How to identify skills gaps in your marketing agency

  • December 10, 2018

Want to make sure that your workforce remains competitive? One of the first steps to ensuring your marketing agency stays ahead of the competition is to identify any skills gaps and address them as quickly as you can. A skills gap, as the name suggests, is when there’s a significant gap between the skills an organisation needs and the current capabilities of its workforce. Basically, it’s the moment when you realise that you don’t have the skills you need to achieve your goals or keep up with the competition. For example, it might be that your design team are incredibly creative, but lack the video skills needed to grab the attention of younger buyers, or maybe your marketing team are amazing analysts but don’t have the greatest digital marketing skills. These are all considered skills gaps, and are something you need to address as quickly as possible. Don’t worry, though - whatever the skills gap, there’s always a solution. Read on to find out how to identify any gaps in your agency and what you can do to close them… 1. Identify your agency’s goals First things first, you need to identify what your company goals are. Do you want to make the move into digital marketing methods such as inbound marketing in the future, for example? Are you keen to explore augmented reality in your creative campaigns? Or perhaps you have a specific sector you would like to specialise in? By identifying your future goals, you then begin to assess whether or not your employees have the skills you need to realise these goals. This first step is an important one, so make sure you take the time to clearly define your objectives so you can start to put a plan in place. 2. Determine what you need to do to reach them Now that you have a good idea of your goals and aspirations, it’s time to begin making those dreams a reality and start reaching those goals. What skills will your workforce need to have to achieve these aims? Do they need any additional training to improve their existing skill set? Or will you need to hire new employees as well to help strengthen your creative team? These are all crucial questions that will need answering in your skills gap analysis. A good place to start is by identifying the skills needed for each job type within your agency so you have a clear list to start working from. 3. Rate the importance of each skill Once you’ve decided on the skills your team ideally needs to have, you’ll need to prioritise each of your identified skills by using a simple rating system, for example, 1 = low priority and 5 = high priority. For example, if great digital marketing skills are of utmost importance for your marketing agency to grow, you should give digital marketing skills a score of 5, whereas if knowledge of AR in design is a nice-to-have rather than a must-have, you could assign it a score of 2 or 3. What you should start to see is a range of different skills needed for various positions so you can begin to get a clear idea of what skills are most important. 4. Measure your current employees’ skills So, you have a list of the desired skills your employees need to have in order to reach your marketing agency’s goals - next up, it’s time to compare these with the actual skills your current employees have. This will enable you to see whether or not your workforce can adapt their roles as your agency grows, and if they’ll need additional training in order to do so. A good way to identify their current skills is by having one-to-ones, group discussions or simply observing how your employees work so you can see first-hand what they do. You’ll now have two separate results: desired skills and actual skills - and you might already be able to see some gaps are occurring… 5. Compare your results The final step is to gather your results together so you can compare the two different sets of information. If you do identify some skills gaps, you’ll need to decide upon a plan of action to close them, where it training your current employees, hiring new ones, or shifting the structure of your agency around and allocating positions to people with more suitable skill sets. It can feel overwhelming, so it’s best to start with your list of critical gaps and must-have skills before moving onto the nice-to-haves. You should also be careful to set yourself realistic deadlines. After all, it can take quite a lot of time to train up existing or new employees, so by organising a schedule and making sure your staff complete any training by a specific date, you can make sure you close up those gaps as quickly as possible. Identifying skills gaps in your marketing agency is one of the most important ways you can ensure your business remains competitive and that you continue to deliver the results your clients need. If you ultimately decide that the best way to close the skills gaps in your agency is by hiring new staff, you might want to consider outsourcing your recruitment to save time and make sure you find the right candidates. If you’re ready to start reaching your business goals, contact us today to brief your vacancy and let our expert team find the perfect candidates with the right digital marketing skills to help you close those gaps and start reaching your business objectives.  

How to build your first employee training programme

  • February 18, 2019

When they’re done right, employee training programmes are an integral part of a company’s success. Why build a training programme, you might ask? Well, not only can marketing training hone your employees’ skills and improve the quality of their work, but by showing them you are invested in their development, they will feel more appreciated too. Employees tend to thrive in environments where they can learn and develop – and one of the most common reasons people leave a job is actually because they don’t see any prospects of learning or improvements. In fact, a recent survey found that 40% of employees leave a job within their first year if they receive poor training, whilst another study found that having a culture of learning in an organisation was the number one driver of engagement and loyalty. This is something that is becoming increasingly important with the younger workforce too, with 65% of young people saying that personal development is the most influential factor in their job. Are you ready to build your first employee training programme? Read on for our five steps to success. Step one: identify your training needs Before beginning to build your employee training programme, you first need to take a step back and establish your training needs by doing a skills gap analysis. A skills gap analysis basically does exactly what it says on the tin – it identifies any gaps between the skills an organisation has and the current capabilities of its workforce. By identifying your company’s goals, rating the importance of each necessary skill and measuring your employees’ existing skills, you can start to pinpoint any gaps that might be holding you back. For example, perhaps in line with current trends, your marketing department needs to hone their inbound marketing skills? Maybe you’d like to start specialising in a specific sector, turn your managers into better leaders, or perhaps your team need additional support with a new type of software? By identifying what skills need improvement, you’ll be in the right position to start designing your training programme. Make a list of the most important skills that you wantto address first, and let that list lead you. Step two: set your objectives Don’t build a training programme just because you think you should. You will need to put aside time and money to properly train your employees, so it makes sense that you should know exactly what to expect from your marketing training – and in order to set a programme that truly adds value to your organisation, you’ll need a concrete plan. Any good programme starts with clear and definable goals, so start by defining the objectives of your programme before you commit to it. How do you expect employee performance to improve after the programme? How will they better achieve business goals? How will it prepare them to take on new roles? And how do you expect your training to improve engagement and help with retention rates? By asking these questions, you can define your objectives and what you are trying to achieve – which means when it comes to reviewing your training further down the line you can make sure your objectives were met and make any necessary amends before the next session. Step three: ask your employees Successful training is about both the employee and the wider company goals – and if you really want to know what your staff want to be included in your training programme, you just need to ask! After all, they are the ones doing the job day in, day out – so asking them what they need a bit of extra help with is the best way to get first-hand insight. Start by having an informal chat and asking them what could help them feel more confident, what they think would improve their performance and what learning methods work best for them. Are there any particular trends they want to focus on? Or anything they feel would help them grow as employees and leaders? By knowing what skills they want to improve on and what method of learning works best, you can make sure your training programme ticks all the boxes. Not only that, but by showing your employees you really care about their personal development, you can help improve morale too. Of course, you will have the final say as to what goes into your training programme – but try to accommodate their ideas as much as possible as long as its relevant to their job and within your budget – trust us, it’ll be worth the investment. Step four: decide on the type of training programme Next up, you need to decide what type of training programme you want to offer. There are plenty of different types of programmes out there depending on your needs, budgets and desirable outcomes. For example, do you want to do your marketing training internally or outsource it to a professional company? There are benefits to both, and cost often has a huge impact on this decision. The simplest – and often cheapest – form of training is to have your employees train each other. It costs absolutely nothing, can result in skills sharing across your agency, and it also empowers and builds confidence in the people delivering the training. However, if you’re learning something new and want a fresh perspective, external training might be best. Another thing to think about is whether your training will be online or in person. Online is low-cost and flexible, but on the downside, people need to be self-motivated and might feel they learn better face-to-face. If you do decide on in-person training, consider the type of learning environment you want to provide – individual or group? Workshop or classroom? Seminars or conferences? If you’re struggling to decide, refer back to your employee feedback for what learning methods work best. Step five – assess your training programme Your training programme isn’t complete until you have measured its results. After all, designing a programme is one thing – but its how you implement and improve on it that will determine how successful it will be. Refer back to your objectives – did your training fulfil the goals you wanted it to achieve? Ask for employee feedback on what they learnt, how they will use this knowledge and their likes and dislikes about the programme, and go back and tweak as much as you need in order to deliver the best possible training next time. By making a clear note of your employees’ progress as a result of the programme, over time you will be able to track ROI and can see how effective your training programmes have really been. In order to get the most from your agency, it’s important to provide regular marketing training so they can hone and develop their skills. A successful training programme isn’t about one-off stints – rather, you should develop a long term plan to make sure you are staying on top of industry trends and that your team are constantly learning new skills to help them do their job to the best of their ability. Need help finding the best talent for your team? Contact Stonor today.

Four ways to get the salary you want in a job interview

  • December 03, 2018

Things are going pretty well in your job hunt so far: you’ve found the perfect position, nailed your interview and now your dream is becoming a reality - they’re offering you the job and you’re moving along your marketing career path nicely. But wait, something doesn’t quite add up. The salary they’ve offered isn’t what you were expecting and whilst you absolutely want the job, you aren’t so keen on the salary that it comes with. So what should you do? First of all, don’t panic. The key to a successful negotiation is making sure you’ve done your research, you’re thoroughly prepared and that you have a good idea of what you’re worth and why. Ready to start negotiations? Read on for our top five tips to help you get your perfect job, at the perfect salary! Do your research When it comes to negotiating your salary, it’s really important that you don’t just go in blind and ask for a random figure. You need to do some thorough research beforehand, from finding out what the company policy on salaries is, what other companies are offering for similar roles, and what other people are being paid in your area (salary comparison sites such as PayScale and Glassdoor are great for this). You should also make sure you’re aware of the market conditions, which your marketing recruitment agency will be able to help with. Is the area you’re applying to short of quality candidates at the moment? Are there a lot of similar roles available elsewhere in the sector? Are salaries generally rising or falling in your industry? All of this information can help you make an informed decision on what figure you can realistically ask for. Don’t suggest a specific number Whilst you should never head into negotiations without a figure in mind, once you’ve decided on that number you’ll need to be flexible. Rather than having just one exact figure which closes down the possibility of discussion, instead have two: the salary you’d like in an ideal world and the one you’d be prepared to accept. Basically, you want to aim for somewhere within that range so you have a bit of a cushion in case your asking salary is too high. Most companies will be happy to meet you in the middle or offer something within that range, even if it’s in the bottom third. However, with that in mind, don’t be afraid to kick things off with the higher figure. After all, you don’t ask, you don’t get - and you never know, they might just agree to your dream amount! Do prove your value Whether you’re interviewing for a new job or even negotiating a pay rise in your existing role, one of the most important things you can do to make a strong case for your salary requirements is prove your worth. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet: yes, you don’t want to be too arrogant, but a list of facts and figures showing exactly what you have brought to the table in your current role or previous position will be hard to argue with. What makes you unique? What can you offer the company in addition to the basic job description? Outline your key skills and why they’re useful, and make sure you highlight your achievements too - after all, if you’re expecting your potential employer to re-think the salary for you, you’ll need to show them you're worth it! Don’t be afraid to counter-offer Once you’re given a salary offer, it’s pretty standard practice that you’ll be expected to counter offer. No employer wants a pushover and showing that you're not afraid to stand your ground will highlight your determination and ambition. However, bear in mind that you shouldn't go back to the negotiating table more than once as it will just drag the entire process out and become annoying and time consuming for everyone involved. And if you do get the job or decide to accept their final offer, you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot! Generally speaking, one round of negotiations is acceptable and will probably be expected. If you're feeling nervous about the negotiation process, don’t worry - your marketing recruitment agency will be able to guide you through it. Do make sure you take time to think Once your potential employer makes their final offer, it’s important to make sure you give yourself some time to think about it - even if it is the offer you desperately want and the right marketing career path for you. There are two reasons behind this: firstly, you want to make sure it is truly the right amount for you. No one will appreciate it if you accept straight away then come back a few days later asking for more money once you’ve done your sums and realise that in actual fact you do need more. And secondly, separation creates anticipation and will also give you a bit of added time to chat things through with your family or any other employers you are interviewing with too. Bonus tip - don’t be disheartened! If after your best negotiation efforts the company isn’t able to come up with a number that works, don’t be too disheartened and don’t take things personally. Instead take a deep breath and a step back and look at the bigger picture: are there other benefits in the package that could make up for the lower salary? From pension schemes to company cars, additional holiday or flexible working, salary isn’t everything and it might be foolish to walk away from your dream job. You can always ask for a performance review in six months so you can bring up the topic of salary again. Finally, if you do decide that ultimately it’s just not right for you, make sure you ask to keep in touch - you never know, a more suitable position might open up in the future that suits you better. In conclusion, asking for the salary you want really isn’t as scary as it may seem, as long as you are properly prepared and stay as flexible as you can. If you're ready to progress your marketing career path, or if you’d like any advice on how to negotiate and get the salary you want, contact Stonor today.

9-point checklist for finding your next marketing role

  • February 13, 2019

You probably already know that marketing is one of the most popular career choices for young professionals today. And with more and more candidates setting their sights on a role within the industry, it’s more important than ever to make sure you stand out from the crowd if you want to make your dream marketing job a reality. Our ultimate marketing recruitment checklist can help you do exactly that. From crafting the perfect CV and creating a cover letter that really packs a punch through to top interview tips, we’ve got it all covered. Read on to find out the key steps you need to take to make sure your dream job is in the bag.  1. Write a CV with the wow factor Hiring managers are busy people who don’t have time to wade through pages and pages of information to find out why you’re the right person for the job. By making sure your CV is up to date and that your employment history is presented in a clear and concise way, you’ll get hiring managers on side from the beginning. As a general rule your CV shouldn’t be more than two pages long, so make sure you only include relevant and recent experience along with your highest qualifications so your future employer can get right to the good stuff. And most importantly, make sure you thoroughly proofread before you hit send - there’s nothing worse than a typo to destroy an otherwise good first impression! Use a tool like Grammarly to help. 2. Kick things off with a personal statement Starting your CV off with a short introductory paragraph highlighting your experience and what you’re looking for in your next role is a great way to promote yourself as a suitable candidate. As we said above, hiring managers are busy people, so having a short and punchy paragraph outlining your skills and experience makes their lives easier as well as giving you an extra chance to sell yourself. And don’t forget to personalise your personal statement for every position you apply for, matching your experience and key skills to the job description and even incorporating wording from the original job advert to make your application even more attractive to potential employers. 3. Always include a cover letter Even if the job advert you are applying for doesn’t ask for one, you should always send a cover letter along with your CV. Because your CV is short, snappy and to the point, you should think of your cover letter as a chance to expand on the experience you’ve outlined in your CV, giving examples of any projects you have worked on and how they relate to the role you are applying for. It’s also an opportunity for the company to get to know you a little bit better too - so make sure you tell them exactly why you want to work for them and don’t be afraid to really sell yourself! 4. Brag about your qualifications It’s true that no one likes a showoff - except when it comes to your CV! You should use your CV to shout out about your qualifications and make your future employer sit up and take notice, so don’t be shy. Make sure you list any relevant courses or qualifications you have completed, and mention any internal training you have done in previous roles that is relevant as well. Courses such as Excel Training are often transferable, so it’s always good to mention them when you get the chance! And accredited professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing can put you head and shoulders above the other applicants by showing that you are committed to your professional development. Alternatively, free courses from the likes of HubSpot and SEMRush are another ways to give your CV a bit of a boost as well. 5. Tailor your application to the job description If you want to make sure your entire application really stands out, it’s important to tailor it to suit the description of the role you are applying for. From your personal statement to your cover letter and even making sure your employment history is as relevant as possible, the devil is in the detail so make sure your application is personalised to each job. If there are specific skills mentioned in the advert, make sure you incorporate them into your CV and cover letter, or if the position asks for a certain qualification, make sure you brag about having it. It’s a simple thing to do - but trust us when we say it can make a lot of difference to hiring managers or marketing recruitment agencies. 6. Showcase your skills With so many candidates applying for marketing roles, it’s really important that you demonstrate to your potential employers why you have the X factor - and what you’ve got that other applicants haven’t. By showcasing your skills in a unique way, you can prove that you have something different to offer. You could create a blog to show you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, or even create an interactive online portfolio to show off your creativity - anything you can do in addition to your CV that’s a little bit different will have a big impact. 7. Perfect your interview technique So you’ve made it through the initial stages of the application process and up next is the moment the majority of candidates are most nervous about - yep, it’s interview time! The best thing you can do in the lead up to your interview is do as much research as possible to make sure you’re completely prepared for anything that is thrown at you. Running through some practice questions is a great way to make sure you’re calm on the day - and you can even time your practice answers to make sure you are being as clear and concise as possible. Why not get family or friends to help by asking you practice questions? Not only will the extra practice calm your nerves but they can give you honest feedback on your answers too. 8. Use the STAR structure to answer your questions This is a great tip when it comes to the interview stage, especially if nerves can make you freeze up or ramble on! The STAR technique is designed to make sure you answer each question comprehensively and cover as much information as possible into a short succinct answer. It’s simple; whenever you are asked a question, remember to outline the: Situation - describe the event or situation you were in Task - explain the task you had to complete Action - describe the actions you took or how you overcame a challenge Result - explain the results of your actions 9. Prepare your own questions for the interviewer Last but not least, don’t leave all the questions to the interviewer; make sure you come armed with questions to ask them when you are given the chance. Asking questions shows that you’re really interested in the job and that you want to work for the company in question - and it also gives you a chance to prove you’ve done your research too! If you’re stuck for ideas, some great questions to ask include enquiring about career progression or development opportunities to show you are interested in your future at the company, and also asking about a typical day or week at the company and what it entails. Not only will this show your interest in the role you are applying for, but it can also give you a bit of insight into things to come too! So there you have it, our top nine steps to career success! If you’re ready to take the next step in your career and would like to find out more about the marketing recruitment opportunities currently available at Stonor Recruitment, get in touch with one of our marketing recruitment experts today.

Freelance or perm? We take a look at what’s best for your agency

  • November 16, 2018

Insource or outsource? Freelancer or permanent employee? It’s one of the most common questions we get asked by our clients. When it comes to marketing, there’s no denying that the use of freelance marketing consultants is growing in popularity. In fact, according to a recent Guardian poll, 79% of UK small businesses use freelancers and say they are a big part of their business strategy. And with the growth of freelancer websites such as Freelancer, you don’t even need to search for good local freelancers anymore; instead you can just outsource pretty much every part of your business to absolutely anywhere in the world, instantly. There’s no denying that having a pool of good go-to freelancers is absolutely essential for creative agencies, but could a freelance marketing consultant ever be an alternative to permanent staff? We take a look at the pros and cons of using freelancers and what’s best for your agency… They deliver high-quality work, fast Freelancers run their own businesses, so they have to work hard to deliver exceptionally high-quality work as quickly as possible. Basically, they want you to keep coming back for more, so it’s in their best interest to work as hard as they can for you and deliver their very best every time. Freelancers don’t have off days because they simply can’t afford to - which means you can get the job done quickly and efficiently. But they are probably multi-tasking Yes, freelancers will turn around work quickly, and there’s no doubt that it’s in their best interests to produce their best work for you when they can. However, you aren’t their only client and they will probably be working to other deadlines too. Basically, a freelancer will never have the loyalty or commitment to to your business that full-time staff do, because their primary focus will always be their own business. They have special skill sets Content writers write compelling content, web developers build wonderful websites and designers create jaw-dropping designs - it’s just what they do. And because they specialise in just one thing, it’s pretty safe to assume that they’ll be pretty good at it too. So if you’ve got copy that needs turning around fast or a design project that needs to get out the door, a freelance marketing consultant could be perfect for high-quality work time at short notice. But there’s an initial risk However good they are at what they do, the fact is that when you first hire a freelance marketing consultant, you’re taking a risk. It’s not like hiring for a permanent position where your recruitment process allows you to really get to know your potential employees, their skills, achievements and whether they will fit in with your team. With freelancers, you have to take their experience at face value and a quick flick through their portfolio - which means you aren't able to make such well-informed, measured decisions as you do with permanent hires. And they can disappear We’ve all been there: your working relationship with your freelancer is going great and they are frequently delivering high-quality work on-time and within budget. And then… nothing. You don't know what’s happened but deadlines are getting missed and the quality is getting sloppy - and before you know it you’ve got quite a big mess to clear up. Unfortunately, freelancers are much harder to keep track of than permanent employees who show up to work every day from 9-5, which can make it harder to ensure deadlines are met and that work is always of the quality you need. So is it worth it? In conclusion, hiring a freelance marketing consultant can be a fantastic stop-gap for busy marketing agencies - but it’s important to weigh up the positives and negatives. Whilst hiring freelancers can be a great way to get you through busy times and allow you to scale up and down whilst still hitting those deadlines, the reality is that when it comes to loyalty, business growth and dedication, permanent staff will win time and time again. Permanent staff contribute much more to your business than just their work, and if you’ve taken the time to recruit the right candidate then their value in terms of what they add to your workplace, culture and team morale is priceless. If you’d like to find out more about how to put together an exceptional team to achieve growth in your agency and drive your business forward, contact one of our expert marketing recruitment experts today.  

Are you paid your worth? Marketing agency averages revealed!

  • November 08, 2018

“Am I paid enough?” is undoubtedly one of the most-asked questions by employees across the globe. And it’s a fair question - after all, the average person spends a whopping 13 years of their lives at work, so it’s pretty important to feel that our employers rate us and that we are being rewarded for the time, dedication and value we bring to the business. But what exactly defines enough? People can be funny when it comes to talking about money, so it can be tricky to determine a benchmark figure. That’s why we’ve put together this blog highlighting the average salary for marketing agency roles in the UK as well as how to go about asking for a pay rise. Read on to find out more… The marketing medians Let’s kick things off by looking at the UK as a whole. According to the most recent Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, the median annual income for full-time employees in the UK is £28,677, whilst Graduate Jobs states that the median starting salary for UK grads is between £19,000 and £22,000. How your earning potential fares as you become more experienced will depend on a lot of other things, including education, experience, the industry you work for and the type of company you work in. For example, the average UK salary in small companies of under 50 staff is £26,301 whereas those working in big corporations of 50,000+ can expect an average salary of more than £40,000. Likewise, location also has a big impact on your earning potential, with Londoners commanding the highest monthly wages of £2,925 a month whereas Huddersfield workers take home the lowest monthly wage of £1,729. And despite it being 2018, gender still has a big impact on earnings too, with women’s salaries averaging at £25,369 and peaking at £27,972 in their thirties, whereas men have an average salary of £32,970 which keeps increasing well into their forties. In fact, about 78% of British companies pay men more than women, with men earning 18.4% more than women on average. So how do the salaries for marketing agency roles stack up in comparison? Well, according to PayScale, the average marketing Account Manager earns between £26,000 and £32,000 per year, whereas Marketing Executives can expect to take home around £20,000-£25,000. As marketers progress and learn new skills over the course of their careers they are of course rewarded financially, with Senior Account Managers commanding an average salary of just over £35,000, whilst Account Directors usually earn upwards of £40,000. How to negotiate a pay rise There’s no doubt about it - feeling as if you're underpaid is really disheartening; in fact, it’s actually one of the top reasons why people leave their jobs. After all, how much you are paid is a true sign of your value to an organisation, and it’s only natural that feeling under-appreciated can negatively impact both your morale and your motivation. So if you don’t seem to be getting pay rises, haven’t had a performance review or raise in over a year, or just feel like your salary doesn’t fairly reflect what you bring to your agency, it might just be worth negotiating a pay rise. Before you do anything, you need to do your research and see what other people are earning. Look at Salary Checker and have a look at relevant job boards to see what people are earning for similar marketing agency roles in your area, and if you feel comfortable doing so you could even ask your peers what they earn. Alternatively, talk to an experienced recruiter such as Stonor about your worth. They make judgement calls on salary every day and will easily be able to tell you the amount that you should be earning in relation to your roles and responsibilities. If you do decide to go ahead and ask for a pay rise, here’s some important things to do: Remind yourself of your achievements - recapping your achievements and how you have excelled over the past year is a great way to boost your confidence ready for your meeting Approach your manager - whether you want to email them to arrange a meeting or casually ask them if they have time for a chat, practice how you will start the conversation so you feel relaxed and ready Do it in person - always make sure you meet with your manager face to face so you can make the most of your rapport, gauge their reaction to your suggestions and also negotiate with them in person Give your reasons - make sure you come to the meeting armed with proof as to why you deserve a pay rise. How much have you brought to the business? What about any notable achievements that are worthy of a pay rise? Make sure you're completely prepared so you can put your case forward Don’t feel deflated - if your request gets denied, don’t worry. Having the initial conversation has opened a dialogue and gives you the chance to work on any feedback you’re given so you can review the situation again in six to 12 months If you would like to find out more about your current salary and whether you are being paid your worth, or if you’re interested in exploring new opportunities with other agencies, contact Stonor today - our expert team will be happy to help!

Five recruitment mistakes to avoid in the creative and marketing sector

  • October 17, 2018

The talent market is changing by the day. It can be hard to keep up, and as a result, recruitment can be stressful and time-consuming - especially in the creative and marketing industries where you’ve got challenging clients and looming deadlines to deal with too. Candidates are becoming more demanding and employee expectations are rising as well: basically, when it comes to marketing recruitment, the stakes are high. Despite your best intentions its easy to make mistakes. Read on to discover the top five mistakes employers make with their recruitment and how to avoid them. 1. Thinking candidates are lucky to work for you There's much to improve in the business and professional world - the gender pay gap, flexible working, encouraging innovation - to name just a few issues. The main one that’s relevant to the recruiting process is the antiquated view that job-seekers are begging for work.  This is reflected in the very way that job adverts are often structured, listing a series of criteria and demands candidates must meet in order to be considered. Craft your job ads as if you were talking to an equal; a human being. Excite and inspire them. In other words, market yourself to potential applicants in order to attract the very best creative talent. 2. Improvising the hiring process Many busy marketing agencies have everything in their head when looking for a new team member. Writing down your requirements in a job description is an important first step to finding the right candidate. It is easy to make bad hires simply because you weren’t thorough enough at the beginning. Skipping crucial steps in the recruitment process, such as doing background checks, following up references and offering second interviews can result in bad hires slipping through the cracks, which ultimately means you’ll have to start again from scratch in just a few weeks or months. 3. Not reacting quickly enough It is often necessary to scale your recruitment up or down as and when you need. That means being able to identify a skills gap and have the time to fit the recruitment process into your schedule at short notice. As is often the case in busy marketing agencies, if you win a new contract you’ll need to expand and find the best creative minds quickly. Not reacting quickly enough can comprise the start of your new contract, which creates a bad impression with your new client. If your recruitment process isn’t well managed, time-to-hire will only increase as the interview process drags on and all the good candidates get snapped up by the competition. The result? A lot of wasted time (and money!) and still no good candidates to show for it. You do not want to hire out of desperation. 4. Not networking Its true that it's often not what you know but who. Networking in the industry is crucial to giving you unbeatable knowledge and understanding of the market, so you can be completely confident when interviewing. If you know exactly what you want from candidates then the recruitment process will run smoothly from start to finish. Not only that but with unbeatable contacts in the industry, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your agency at speed. 5. Trying to save money Doing recruitment yourself can, on paper, appear cheaper. Yet this is often a false economy, in the long run. Believe it or not, it’s actually cheaper to outsource your recruitment rather than do it inhouse - and because dedicated recruitment consultancies can fill vacancies with the right talent faster, it will also drastically reduce the amount of HR resources spent on finding candidates. The cost of a bad hire could total more than £130,000 when you take into account the cost of wasted salary, wasted training, recruitment costs and staff turnover - so it will save you a great deal of money to get it right the first time by outsourcing your recruitment, streamlining your process and reducing your costs. Outsourcing your marketing recruitment can have a number of benefits for your business and by taking your time to choose a provider who is the right fit for you, you can be completely confident they will understand your culture, values and hiring goals - so you can get the best talent for your growing team. A specialist marketing recruitment agency will take care of the whole process for you, scale up or down for you and network for you to have a pool of amazing talent at their fingertips. If you’re looking to outsource your marketing recruitment, contact Stonor today - our expert team will be more than happy to help.

Five ways to banish interview nerves for good!

  • October 10, 2018

Job interviews are both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Once the initial warm glow of making it through to interview stage wears off and the countdown to the interview is on, it can feel as if the pressure is mounting - and fast! It’s only natural to feel a bit anxious when interviewing for marketing jobs, but the problem is that when you get nervous it can be more difficult to articulate your thoughts and feelings and you may end up either rambling excessively or completely closing up. Don’t let those pesky nerves get in the way of landing your dream job - here’s how to get your nerves under control and put your best foot forward… 1. Visualise success It’s a pretty normal defence mechanism to prepare for the worst - but instead of letting your mind go into overdrive thinking of all the ways you could mess up your interview, try and focus on the positives instead. Visualise your dream interview scenario: charming the interviewer, nailing all the questions and even being offered the job before you leave the room! Visualising success doesn’t make you arrogant - scientifically speaking, your brain actually likes proving itself right and is wired up to do so. That means by psyching yourself up and getting in the mood for success you can start to make that vision a reality!  2. Accept your nerves People often think that nerves are a bad thing - but that’s actually not the case. After all, if you’re nervous it shows you really care and that you truly want something. Not only that, but if you spend too much time thinking about why you shouldn’t be nervous, you’ll feel like you’re doing something wrong simply by feeling a bit anxious - and before you know it your focus will shift to your nerves rather than the interview itself. Instead, try and accept that you’re going to be nervous, recognise it and own it - so when you feel your nerves creeping up on you, just take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand. Which leads us on to our next point… 3. Use your nerves to your benefit Believe it or not, a small amount of nerves can actually improve your performance. It’s true - anxiety gives you a boost of adrenaline which can help motivate you to do your best. Always remember that nerves are natural and completely normal - so if your nerves do start to show, acknowledge it, make a bit of a joke about it and use it as a chance to build a rapport with the interviewer. Not only will this help you feel more relaxed, but it also means your interviewer can start to get an idea of your personality and how you’d fit in with the team. Additionally, your interviewer will also be looking out to see how you handle yourself in a difficult situation, so by overcoming your nerves to come out on top you can show them you’re capable of dealing with stressful situations on the job as well. 4. Make sure you’re fully prepared Without a doubt, the number one antidote to anxiety is preparation. By making sure you've done all your research and that you’re completely prepared, you can put those interview nerves to one side. Start with the basics and make sure you know who you’re meeting, where you're meeting them and when. Do a bit of research on your interviewer and their career, and you could even do a practice journey so you know the way to the interview and can allow for traffic or train delays. You should also practice interview questions too and get your family and friends to stand in and play the role of the interviewer! Basically, the more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll feel on the day. 5. Try and get some rest If you’ve got a case of interview jitters, you might be tempted to stay up late the night before over-preparing - and possibly tossing and turning and being unable to sleep. If you can though, try and relax and get a good night’s sleep. You could even do some yoga or meditate in the morning to get you in the right mindset, and eat a good meal beforehand so you feel energised and focused. Before the  interview itself, take some deep breaths to get you in the zone. Whatever you do though, don’t rely on caffeine to get you through the next day. Your adrenaline will already be racing, so caffeine is the last thing you need and will actually make your nerves worse! Bonus tip - just STOP! If it’s all getting too much for you and you feel as if your nerves are getting out of control, try the STOP method: Stop what you’re doing and take some time to focus on your thoughts Take a few deep breaths to help you calm down and take control Observe what’s going on in your body, emotions, mind and why Proceed with intention and with a clear mind Basically, it’s all about slowing down, regrouping, recentering and taking control of the situation before your nerves get the better of you. When it comes to job interviews, it’s only natural to be nervous with so much at stake. But by following the tips above, you can banish self-doubt, take control and focus all of your energy on landing that your dream marketing job! If you’re in the process of looking for your dream job and would like to find out more about the marketing jobs currently available, contact one of our expert marketing recruitment consultants today.    

How to build a high performing creative team

  • September 11, 2018

When it comes to building a strong creative team, it’s not just about finding people with the right skill set. In order to get the most out of your team, you need to find people who work well together and have a shared responsibility, common goals and a mutual trust in each other. It’s all very well and good having expert designers or web development wizards, but if they don’t work well together, your team just ain’t gonna cut it. So how do you build a high performing team? Well that’s down to you. To ensure your team is performing to its optimum level, you need to fully understand the structure of your team and each member within it as part of your creative recruitment strategy. And by getting to know the unique talents and working styles of each individual team member, you can develop a plan to make sure they work well together. As creative recruitment experts, we’ve picked up some tips over the years that can help you get the most out of your team. Read on to discover our top five… 1. Assess the personality types of each team member In order to understand what makes each member of your creative team tick, you need to assess their personality types. There are several indicators available that allow you to look at how people perceive the world around them and make decisions so you can plan how to best manage your employees as individuals and as a team. One of the most well known assessments is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a self-report questionnaire that allows you to understand individual differences between team members and provides a dynamic model of the structure of your team. Other popular assessment options also includes the DISC Test which allows people to identify and maximise their talents and the Big Five assessment that enables you to look at personality traits and how team members might work together. 2. Recognise the strengths of individual team members Recognising and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each of your team members is an essential part of building a high performing team. By understanding the capabilities of each person, you can allocate tasks accordingly and make informed decisions that will play to the strengths of each individual. Not only does this make for happy and motivated staff who feel appreciated and want to do their best for you, but by assigning certain tasks to particular people you can also improve the efficiency of your team too. That means they will work strongly together, meet deadlines on time and ensure every aspect of every project is completed to the highest possible standard. After all, a happy team means happy clients! 3. Encourage feedback and perform self-audits Encouraging your team members to perform self audits such as a SWOT analysis (which looks at their strengths, weaknesses, external opportunities and threats) can be a really useful exercise. By asking your employees to look at their own abilities, you can encourage them to maximise their strengths and improve efficiency across the whole team. However, the real benefit of self audits is to identify your team members’ weak areas so you can help them find ways to improve, either by internal training or additional mentoring. It’s all about giving them the tools they need to work to the very best of their ability so they can make any necessary changes and benefit the entire team as a whole.  4. Develop realistic shared targets If you want your team to work to the best of their ability, you need to develop shared targets that are both realistic and agreed upon by everyone. A good way to do this is by conducting a group brainstorming exercise to identify targets and goals that each team member feels is realistic and effective in meeting your overall business goals. By involving your team in this process, they feel as if their input is important - and not only that, but when they feel that their targets are realistic and achievable, it improves morale and can drastically reduce work-related stress. And a happy team with high morale and a positive outlook means that each member will perform better and work to the best of their ability to meet your agreed targets - making it a win win situation for everyone!  5. Make sure your team feels valued and respected Lastly and most importantly, you need to make sure that each member of your team feels appreciated for what they do. If you have a large team of people working together, it’s only natural that some might feel underappreciated or that their opinions aren’t being heard. However, small changes such as adopting an open-door policy and organising regular catch-ups with individual team members as well as wider team meetings are a great way to encourage everyone to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas as well as any issues they might have. After all, when your team feels valued and respected, they are more likely to want to do their best for you and feel confident in suggesting new and innovative ways to do their job - improving the overall processes and boosting productivity to boot. Overall, it’s really important to remember that for your creative team to work well, you need to understand the unique skill sets of each individual member and get to know what makes them tick. If you want to get the most out of your team and ensure that their performance is consistently high, contact one of our creative recruitment specialists today for more help and advice.

Five traits to look for when hiring your next marketing genius

  • August 09, 2018

Marketing recruitment can be pretty time consuming, not to mention stressful. But however tempting it is to rush through the recruitment process and get people on board as quickly as possible, it’s more important that the employees you are hiring are the right ones who can bring real value to your business. With the REC predicting that a mid manager bad hire with a salary of £42,000 could cost companies an eye-watering total of £132,500 when you factor in the cost of wasted salary, training, recruiting, loss of productivity and staff turnover costs, making the right marketing recruitment decision is more important than ever before. Read on to find out how to make sure your next hire is the right one… 1. They have the right skill set Although skills can be developed on the job, it’s still really important to ensure that every potential employee has the basic must-have skills in order to have a positive impact on your company and help your business grow. Out of all the skills out there, we’ve looked at every hire we’ve helped our clients make and without a doubt the top three must-have skills are: Strong communication skills - From communicating with the team to conversing with clients, strong written and verbal skills that can drive meaningful conversations are an absolute must in the marketing industry. Marketing knowledge - Marketing is changing all the time, with the rise of inbound transforming the industry as we know it. As a result, a strong knowledge of social media marketing, SEO, email marketing and content curation is no long a nice-to-have - it’s a necessity. Strong numerical skills - From PPC campaigns and HubSpot to Google Analytics, the ability to analyse and understand data is essential for the modern-day marketer.   2. They are passionate about marketing An employee that is truly passionate about their job will be eager to delight customers, willing to go above and beyond their job description and add real value to your organisation. Do they have prior experience? How did they show passion and drive in their previous role? Even if you are looking for an entry level hire, there is still a clear difference between candidates with a true passion for marketing and those that don’t. Do they read blogs or subscribe to any particular podcasts? What companies and brands do the follow on social media? Candidates with passion will most likely keep up to date with the latest trends and industry news, so this is always a great question to ask. Also look out for any industry-specific certifications, from accredited qualifications with the CIM to free inbound courses with HubSpot or SEM Rush. 3. They are determined Another important thing to look out for are candidates that are determined and driven. Employees who know exactly what they want and how they will get there are invaluable to businesses and will help your business grow, as well as encourage your team to work to the best of their ability. This is especially important in the marketing industry where the very best talent needs to be bold, assertive and not afraid of trying new things to deliver results. Applicants who are focused on development, passionate about educating and improving themselves and who aren’t scared of taking risks are exactly the sort of candidates you need to drive your creative agency forward. 4. They possess a creative flare It makes sense that employees at marketing agencies have a creative flare - but in today’s constantly advancing world, this is more important than ever before. Your employees should be tech savvy, up to date with the latest technologies and trends and therefore be able to come up with fresh ideas and new approaches that push the boundaries and get your business noticed. Marketing is all about looking for creative ways to solve a problem, so your employees need to be curious, creative and able to create valuable content that drives leads for your clients. Have a look at their portfolio or any personal blogs to get a feel for what they can deliver. 5. They are a cultural fit So they’ve got a dazzling CV with all the right experience. They’ve said all the right things, they’ve wowed you in the interview process and they pretty much tick all the boxes in terms of the type of candidate you are looking for. Job done, right? Wrong. You also need to make sure they fit into your company culture too. As the work-life balance becomes ever-more more important, company culture is more paramount than ever before - so you need to make sure that your new hires work well with your existing team and share your company morals and values. It’s actually more important than you think; the wrong cultural hire can actually impact the motivation and morale of your entire team, so it’s vital that your next hire isn’t just excellent on paper but that they fit in with your culture too. If you’re on the lookout for your next great employee to help drive your creative agency forward, contact one of our marketing recruitment experts to brief your vacancy today. Five traits to look for when hiring your next marketing genius.

Five tips to smash your marketing interview

  • August 06, 2018

Job interviews are a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, interviewing for your dream marketing job is an incredibly nerve wracking thing - but on the other hand, if you want to really nail the interview and land your dream marketing job, you need to come across as confident, calm and collected. So how do you make sure your interview goes off without a hitch and you land the job? There's an awful lot to think about, but the secret to a successful interview is actually all in the preparation. Read on for our top interview tips and make that marketing job a reality… 1. Do your research First up a really important one that many candidates often overlook: research. Research absolutely everything you can think of about the company you are interviewing with, from the company background to current client wins. Good places to start include looking at revenues, annual data, reports, competitors, new product releases and any recent news coverage so you can be prepared to answer questions on their recent activity and how to improve their existing strategy. It’s also worth checking out the company’s social media channels and website as well so you can have a peek at their blog, and have a look at the people interviewing you too. Check out their LinkedIn profiles to get a bit of background on their career history and previous posts - this will be really useful when asked if you have any questions as you can ask them about their own career experiences or successes and chat around recent industry events too. 2. Show your creative side If you’re going to be working for a creative agency, it makes sense to show your creative side! Marketing jobs are in demand, so potential employers will be looking for someone with the X Factor that stands out from the crowd and is one step ahead of the competition. Perhaps you could bring some examples of previous campaigns you’ve been involved with, or previous blogs or articles you have written? Anything that shows off your creativity will be a sure-fire hit. In fact, when interviewing at a creative agency we’d thoroughly recommend creating a portfolio to show off your accomplishments. You can even tailor it to the role you’re interviewing for to make sure it includes relevant examples and recent experience. Be proud of your accomplishments and shout out about them - this is your chance to really impress your interviewer so don’t hold back! 3. Measure your success quantitatively It’s not just about pretty print and wow-inducing websites, though. Whilst your interviewer will want to see examples of the projects and campaigns you’ve worked on in your portfolio, they’ll also want to see the figures behind it too. A successful marketing campaign should be quantifiable, so make sure you can show your interviewer proof of your success with numbers. From conversion rates to ROI, numbers don’t lie and could be the difference between you landing your dream marketing job or not. And not only will facts and figures prove your previous success, but they’ll also show you are results-orientated and hungry for success - a trait that’s always attractive to potential employers! 4. Brand yourself online As well as wowing during the interview itself, you should also consider your online activity before you even get to interview stage. Your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile can help you to build a strong presence online and enable your interviewers to get to know you before the interview. Written a blog post you’re particularly proud of? Share it on LinkedIn. Designed a standout logo or directed a photoshoot with stunning results? Post it on Instagram! Employers will always do background research before the interview, so it’s really important to promote your skills and experience as well as gaining valuable social and business contacts to expand your network too. Not only that, but it also shows that you are aware of the latest technology trends. Just be careful about what you share on social - if you’re going for your dream job you might want to be wary about what you post and how it might come across. 5. Be yourself As much as a job interview is your time to shine and show your potential employers your worth, the most important piece of advice we can give you is to just be yourself! If you go in with confidence and a clear head having done your research then you can’t go far wrong. And if you’re still feeling nervous about how to answer interview questions, we’d recommend the STAR technique: Situation - set the context for your answer. For example, “We were briefed to pitch for a content marketing strategy for a big brand company and had just two days to perfect our pitch”. Task - what was required of you in this situation. For example, “It was my responsibility to brief and manage a team of six to make sure we nailed the presentation in the little time we had”. Activity - what you actually did. For example, “I put a team together and worked closely with them to make sure we thoroughly executed our pitch down to the final last detail”. Result - how the situation played out. For example, “Despite the tight timeframe, we nailed the pitch, presented to an audience of 20 and got the client on board”. By using this method, you can make sure you get all the important points across in a concise way, conveying maximum achievement in minimum time. Not only that, but by giving specific figures including how many people you managed and how many people you pitched to it makes the story more quantifiable and convincing. Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts - and go and blow them away! So there you have it, our top tips to make sure you smash that interview and land your dream job! Ready to take the next step in your career?

Five reasons why you didn’t get that marketing job

  • July 16, 2018

This time you really think you nailed it. The interview went off without a hitch, you got on well with the interviewer and you’re sure you asked all the right questions. Yep, you’ve got your interview etiquette down and you’re feeling pretty good about this one. But then you get the email or phone call of dread. What went wrong? Why do you keep receiving the same generic “too many applicants”, “the position went to someone with more experience” or “we were just looking for something a bit different” email of doom? What’s going on? In this blog we take a look at some of the reasons why you didn’t get that marketing job - and how you can learn from your mistakes and make sure you’re the number one choice next time. 1. You aren’t memorable enough In the cut-throat world of job-hunting, it’s really important that you stand out from the crowd. From a strong CV and cleverly-worded cover letter through to making a good impression in the interview, it’s important that you’re unforgettable throughout the entire process. Jobs in marketing are incredibly competitive, and with hundreds of people applying for every position going and the average interviewer talking to tons of candidates before filling a role, it’s really important that you’re memorable if you want to bag that job offer. You may be unforgettable and engaging in real life, but it’s important to make sure that comes across in the interview process too - otherwise that dream marketing job will go to someone else who is. 2. You’re not willing to learn It’s an exciting time to be in the marketing industry. Thanks to the rise of digital and inbound techniques, the marketing landscape is ever-changing. Last year’s hot topic is nothing but old news this year as marketers move swiftly on to the next big thing. Exciting? You bet. But this constant change can have a negative effect on job seekers as hiring managers disregard candidates without experience in the latest technologies or those who are more used to the old ways of doing things. So what’s the answer? Make sure you’re open to learning and continue to be hungry for more. Read blogs, engage with influencers, and keep up to date with trends and emerging technologies - trust us, hiring managers will appreciate it. Ever heard the phrase “it’s not what you know but who you know”? Well it’s actually kind of true when it comes to jobs in marketing. Of course, industry knowledge and work experience are the most important things when selling yourself to an interview panel, but it’s important to network too. Networking is a great way of reaching out to people in the industry and building connections as well as gathering info from your peers on what it takes to be a successful marketer. Not only that, but the more you get out there, the more likely it is that potential employers will have you in mind when positions open up at their organisations. From conferences and exhibitions to local training events, get out there and get your name known. Check out CMA Live for a list of marketing conferences in the UK this year.3. You aren’t networking 4. You’re not showing enough interest and passion It sounds obvious enough, but you’d be surprised at how many candidates just don’t show enthusiasm for the company they are applying to or even the industry itself. Yes, sometimes this can be down to nerves, but we really can’t stress how important it is to show some genuine excitement. After all, if there are two similar candidates vying for the same role, employers might just base their decision on how eager you are. Marketing agencies want staff who are dedicated to their career and their own self development - so it’s worth shouting about your skills and dedication. Start writing your own marketing blog or create a portfolio to show in future interviews - whatever you decide, finding a way to demonstrate your creativeness and dedication will put you streets ahead of other applicants. 5. Someone with more experience came along You might have the strongest cover letter going and performed impeccably in your interview - but sometimes it really is true that the competition is just too strong. This can come down to specific sector experience, especially in uncertain economic times when employers want to play safe. Don’t let it get you down, though - as frustrating as it is, all you can do is carry on trying and keep on learning. Look out for other ways you can set yourself apart from the competition, whether it be keeping up to date with industry news, studying for for additional qualifications or even undertaking work experience or a relevant internship to gain first-hand experience and grow your professional network. Basically, whatever you can do to get a competitive edge over other candidates fighting for the same position - do it! If you’re currently looking for your dream job in marketing and want some more advice on how to nail your next interview, download our guide to taking the next step in your marketing career. It’s packed full of useful hints and tips to help you take the next step in your marketing career.

Your guide to appraisals with creative employees

  • July 11, 2018

Appraisals are something of a sticky subject in the marketing recruitment process and for creative agencies. On the one hand, people tend to see them as a process-driven pain that take away creativity and add yet more admin pressure, whilst on the other hand HR Managers sing their praises and say they are fundamental to a business’ success. But however you feel about them, there’s no denying that appraisals are necessary part of your marketing recruitment strategy if you want your business to grow, your workforce to progress and everyone in your agency to be happy. What are appraisals? An appraisal or performance review focuses on the performance and development of each employee. Basically, they’re a kind of individual plan for each member of staff to make sure they have the tools and support they need to do their very best in their role. A good appraisal should include a number of factors, such as the employee’s job, responsibilities, participation within the team and their overall contribution to the business - and by identifying specific areas for each employee to focus on it means they can go above and beyond in their role. Appraisals have a bit of a bad rep, with most people picturing them involving lots of paperwork in an impersonal meeting room whilst dealing with onslaught of complaints. But it doesn’t have to be that way... Appraisals and the creative employee To get the most out of your employees, they need to be challenged and given every opportunity to explore different ideas - and in order to do so you need to identify their strengths and weakness so you can help them grow. When it comes to appraisals, you need to think outside the box. You're not going to have the same appraisal process as you would for an accountant; creatives are complex people and you can’t just put a score on creativity or ask them to showcase their inspiration in a meeting room. It’s less about tracking, and more about keeping them inspired - so you need to steer clear of scores and think of another way to review their performance. How? That’s where we come in. Read on for our top tips on how you can take the pain out a creative appraisals and get the most out of your employees. The art of a good appraisal Everybody wants to know how they’re doing - and very few people actually want to do a bad job. That's why feedback on performance is vital if you want to ensure your team are motivated and raring to go. But how do you deliver an appraisal with a difference to ensure everyone is getting the most out of it and it’s not just another thing you’re ticking off the list? 1. Have regular one-to-ones Instead of letting any problems or issues fester for six or 12 months before an appraisal meeting, try having regular one-to-ones throughout the year as well. Not only does that mean you can nip any problems in the bud as and when they happen, but because there will be no big surprises in the appraisal itself, it will make the whole experience more positive. 2. Encourage a two-way discussion Creative appraisals should ideally be tailored to each employee rather than a standard one-size-fits all criteria. By encouraging a two-way discussion, creatives and directors can both get their opinions heard and make sure they understand each other and how their skills work together to ensure they continue to work as a team. 3. Understand their goals  As a Creative Director or Manager, it’s important that you clearly understand the goals and career paths of your employees so you can help them develop and grow - which will in turn benefit your business. By understanding their goals, you can challenge their ideas and encourage creativity to help them improve. 4. Location, location, location When you think of an appraisal, you think of a soulless meeting room. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Go outside, take a walk, grab a coffee, even go for lunch - by taking the appraisal out of the office environment, both parties will be more relaxed and willing to open up and collaborate ideas moving forward. 5. Communicate and challenge You can’t expect to get the most out of your creative team if you bark orders at them. You need to both listen to each others’ points of view and communicate effectively if you want to ensure optimum creativity and motivation. Saying that though, don’t be afraid to challenge when needed to make sure they keep improving. 6. Consider self-assessment Prior to the meeting, ask your employees to reflect on their own performance and identify their own weaknesses. Most will include their negative points and need help to see the positives - which is a much more pleasant conversation to be having than reeling off a list of what they’ve been doing wrong. And it also makes your staff feel as if their opinion is valued, too. Win win! 7. 360 degree feedback 360 degree feedback is still quite an unknown concept to a lot of business, but it has a number of great benefits. It works by asking peers, colleagues, management and even clients their opinion you can can get a fuller and more honest picture of your employee’s strengths - and put any weaknesses into context too. 8. Make it fun Believe it or not, gamification is becoming more and more popular in appraisals. Bear with us here: the process of adding game-like features to performance reviews via challenges, unlocking levels of achievement, introducing a leaderboard or rewarding badges is a creative way to assess performance and improve engagement - and a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone! 9. Don’t have them Alternatively, if you still don’t think that annual appraisals are working well for you and your team? Well, you could just stop doing them. That doesn’t mean you need to stop evaluating and monitoring how people are doing at work - you just need to find a way to do it that works for everyone. Regular one-to-ones could be a good alternative to try - and with Deloitte,Accenture and Adobe being fans of this method, there might just be something in it! If you want to get the most out of your team, it’s important to monitor their achievements and development as part of your ongoing recruitment strategy. For further advice on recruitment for creative teams, speak to our team today.

How to spot a poor hire within three months

  • June 18, 2018

Business owners and managers regularly bemoan poor hires that cost them time, money and hassle. If you can recognise them early, it can save a lot of spilt milk! Of course, the trick is to avoid this by implementing a thorough interview process in the first place. However, not even the most stringent hiring procedure is full proof and you can still be lumbered with a bad apple occasionally. In that event it’s all about damage limitation, identifying the problem and acting, quickly. If you can recognise that someone isn’t going to work out in their first few months or weeks, you can avoid a lot of the associated costs and disruption. Only recently we had a candidate who had been brilliant throughout their interviews turn up drunk on their first day. It’s not always that easy to spot though… So how do you notice a poor hire before it’s too late? 1. Be prepared to admit that you may have got it wrong! We all like to think that we are experts at recruiting but when a Methodist minister with a penchant for crystal meth and orgies with rent boys becomes Chairman of The Co-operative Bank then you really do have to wonder! It is easy to keep making excuses for a new hire rather than admit you have made a mistake to attempt to save face. Try to garner the opinion of others and trust your gut feel. 2. Produce a proper job description stating the key things you expect them to do and make sure they have the skills and training to be able to do them. 3. Ensure that you have communicated this to the new recruit so that they have a clear understanding of what you require from them. Aligning expectations on both sides is absolutely critical for any employee but especially so at the outset. 4. Now measure their performance against this criteria on a weekly basis, just leaving them to get on with it is not enough, iron out any problems or misunderstandings as you go and assess any training needs that are required. 5. Be robust in your assessment and don't be afraid to admit that they might be a bad hire, being a nice person doesn't score any points, we need evidence of results both in performance and attitude. If it is not showing now when they should be at their most alert, you are not going to find it later. 6. Look out for warning signs. The first few days and weeks are the most stressful of any new job and it’s very important you check in with new hires to see how their managing. Try to remember your first few days, what would have helped you? Speak to colleagues and ask for their opinion of how the new hire is settling in, often people will be too proud or scared to admit they’re struggling. A great way to avoid any problems being masked is to go for a drink at the end of the week, somewhere off site. So, in summary, if you have aligned expectations, agreed a job description, ensured the right level of support and training is in place and asked for regular feedback and your team still say you have a problem, the chances are it’s probably not the right fit. You need to take swift action for the employee’s sake as much as your business. Need some help in recruiting for a marketing role? Contact a member of our team today.

Six tips for busy job hunters

  • June 18, 2018

Stop moaning about how much you hate your job, start doing something about it! Do you ever find yourself moaning to your friends or partner about work? You don’t need to be that person… There are plenty of things you can do to escape the rut you may have found yourself in, here are six tips… 1. “OK is good enough”. Facebook found that their creatives who are perfectionists by nature were taking ages to load content. Eventually they were forced to introduce this slogan to speed things up. So, when it comes to producing that CV, OK is good enough. Don't procrastinate, get it done and out there. An OK CV is better than no CV. 2. Get your CV on every available job board and let the jobs come to you. The marketing recruitment agencies will find you and so will companies who are recruiting. This is not ideal but if you are too busy to go and register with lots of agencies it will at least it get the ball rolling. 3. Don't waste time going to interviews that are not right. Find out as much as you can about the company, the people, the culture before you decide if it is really of interest. Ask for a detailed job description and be sure they are prepared to pay the salary you are looking for. Find out why the job might not be right for you before you get too excited to have been invited in to see them. 4. Arrange interviews around times that suit you, early morning, lunch times or early evening. Companies will understand if you tell them that it is impossible to leave the office during the day. Let the other candidates take time off work. If possible try and arrange initial interviews with a telephone call or Skype, this is increasingly common and makes a lot of sense. 5. Speak to your previous bosses and see if they will give you a reference. This will save time as you won't need to keep contacting them whenever a company asks for it, especially as "Sod's law" they will probably be on holiday when you do need to contact them. 6. Research recruiters and register with one you trust, always best if someone can refer you to one they have had a good experience with, if not look for testimonials from your potential consultant. If they don’t have any, chances are they’re probably not the one you want! Of course, there are lots of other ways you can speed up the job search, download the job board apps and set up alerts for your desired role, draw up a list of preferred companies to work for and contact them in one fell swoop, update your LinkedIn profile etc. Most of these things you can do on your commute into work or after dinner sat on the sofa. Ready to take the next step in your marketing career? View our latest marketing vacancies now.

Three consequences of hiring too fast for your creative agency

  • May 16, 2018

It’s no big secret that marketing recruitment can be stressful and time consuming - where it often feels like you’re drowning in deadlines and your clients need everything done yesterday. But despite all the advice out there to hire fast and fire slow, being too quick to hire could actually create more problems in the long run. No matter how tempting it might be to get staff on board fast, we recommend you take your time where possible when it comes to your marketing recruitment. By rushing through the recruitment process you’ll actually end up wasting more time in the long run as you deal with the resulting issues and you’ll end up right back where you started - but with mounting deadlines and even more stress, whilst also having to deal with candidates who just don’t cut it. Read on to discover the three most common consequences we see when people hire too fast… It’ll cost you more money Think that cutting corners by speeding through the recruitment process will save you money? Well, you thought wrong. 85% of HR decision makers admit their business has made a bad hire*, but most don’t actually know the cost this has on the business. It’s estimated that recruiting for any one position costs a company approximately 25% of the employee’s basic annual salary** - and that’s if you find the right candidate straight away! When it comes to a bad hire, the REC predicts that at a mid manager level with a salary of £42,000 the cost could total £132,500*** when you consider the cost of wasted salary and training, recruiting, loss of productivity and staff turnover costs. Now imagine you make the mistake of rushing your recruitment process and hiring the wrong person more than once. Yes, interviews might seem like a waste of time, but it’s much better to take a bit of extra time initially in order to save hundreds of thousands of pounds in the long run. It’s a waste of time and opportunities In today's busy world, no one has the time to repeat lengthy recruitment processes again and again like you’re stuck in a hiring Groundhog Day. If you rush things and end up recruiting the wrong person though, that’s exactly what you’ll end up doing. Not only is this a huge drain on time and resources, but for every day your position is unfilled you’ll be missing out on all the opportunities your new recruit could bring to the team. And if you have filled your position but with the wrong candidate, you’ll end up wasting months of someone who doesn’t have a strong output rather than benefiting from weeks of a successful candidate excelling in the role. When you put it like that, it definitely makes sense to slow down, take your time and ensure you make the right decisions. It’ll impact your company culture One of the biggest problems with hiring candidates too quickly without getting to know them properly is that they might not fit in with your company culture. If you rush through the marketing recruitment process without getting to know your candidate, you can’t be sure that they share your company ethos and values. This means that they might not embed well with the company culture or work well with their colleagues - which could potentially disrupt the entire team. All of this can have a huge knock-on effect when it comes to productivity and staff morale - and in a creative environment where your staff need to bounce ideas off each other and work together, it could cause real problems across your team. In conclusion, conducting a more extensive recruitment process is a surefire way to find better talent - and if you don’t have the time? Well, you’ll just have to make it! We’re not saying there’s any need for a long, drawn-out 12 stage interview process, though - and don’t worry, you can still move your candidates through the recruitment process efficiently. You just need to make sure your process is thorough so you can be confident you are finding the right candidates first time around. If you’d like to find out more about how to recruit the best possible creatives for your agency, contact our dedicated marketing recruitment team today.   Sources: * https://www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy/press-releases/hiring-mistakes-are-costing-uk-businesses-billions-each-year-rec ** https://www.hrreview.co.uk/analysis/analysis-recruitment/the-true-cost-of-businesses-recruiting-the-wrong-person-for-the-job/11081  *** https://www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy/research/perfect-match 

Six tips for recruiting young people to your marketing agency

  • May 09, 2018

By 2025, people under the age of 30 will make up 75% of the workforce - so if you want to ensure the success of your business tomorrow with marketing recruitment, it’s really important that you know how to attract and retain the next generation. Young people today aren’t driven by the same motivations as previous generations: they are less concerned about making their millions and more focused on making a change for the better - which means they tend to prioritise purpose over profit and are drawn to organisations who have the same values as them and are prepared to invest in their development. Let’s take a look at the facts In a recent survey, young people prioritised meaningful work over high pay And one in three said social media freedom is a higher priority than salary 65% would opt for a job with a lower salary if the work was interesting and aligned with their career goals And 65% said personal development was the most influential factor in their job 78% of young people are attracted to offers where although the salary is lower, the path for growth is clear So what does this mean when it comes to your marketing recruitment and retaining young talent? Read on to discover six important things you need to consider when recruiting young people for your creative agency... They want to make a difference to the world One thing young people want to see in a prospective employer is the impact they will personally have on the business once they join. Young people today are guided by a strong moral compass when it comes to work and want to make a real difference to the world - so if you want to appeal to them, you need to show them how you can help them make a change. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you need to be running an organisation saving orphaned baby animals in Africa to appeal to them - you just need to look at how what you are doing that is changing your industry, highlight the good things you do and let them know that they can make a real difference to your company. They know where they are going and how they will get there Believe it or not, pay isn’t as important to young people as opportunities for personal development. Instead of focusing on their next paycheck, they are more concerned with driving their careers forward and expanding their knowledge - which means they need to be sure that the company they are working for will provide them with the tools and training they need. So if you want to appeal to young people, you need to make sure you let them know you value them and that their development, growth and career progression is important to you by highlighting any available training opportunities and ensuring you map out their route up the career ladder. They want to be flexible A good work/life balance is becoming more and more important to today’s employees. In fact, a recent study by PWC found that 66% would like a flexible schedule whilst 64% wanted the ability to occasionally work from home. To put it simply, young people see work as output and results rather than hours punched into a clock. Don’t be worried about what that means for productivity, though - flexible working environments actually result in increased commitment and decreased staff turnover, so it’s a win win for everyone! Trust is a must when it comes to hiring young people - and because they view their jobs as an extension of themselves, if you give them the flexibility they crave they will go the extra mile for you. They’re social Young people are the most active users of social media - so if you want to appeal to them, you need to make sure they can find, follow and get to know your business online. Social hiring is a great way to reach young people as you can meet your future employees where they always are: online. From directly engaging with passive candidates via LinkedIn to targeting your ideal applicants with Facebook ads, social media provides tons of ways to reach candidates. Not only that, but it also lets you know what kind of person you are recruiting. Your candidate's online footprint often showcases their skills and experience, and a sneak peek at their social media profiles will tell you a lot about them: Instagram is like a designer’s unofficial portfolio, whereas an account executive's blog is a great way to check out their content creation skills - and make sure you have a look for LinkedIn endorsements too. They care about culture Company culture is a big deal for the next generation. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, young people want to work for a company that shares their values - in fact, as many as 56% have ruled out working for an organisation because of its values or standards of conduct, whilst 50% would take a pay cut to find work which matches their values. When it comes to your recruitment, this means that you need to show them exactly what makes your company unique and sets you apart from the rest, as well as showcasing the spirit of your company online and shouting out about any perks, from dress down days to free breakfasts and charitable initiatives. A sense of team and belonging as well as mentorship is really important to young people - so they need to look at your company and think “I want to be part of that”. They’re always online Young people today are the first generation of digital natives - so if you want your recruitment strategies to appeal to them, you need to make sure your website is user friendly and mobile optimised. Smartphones are the devices of choice among young job seekers, with 90% of young people searching for jobs on a phone - yet only half of job applications are mobile-friendly. If your job postings and application aren’t easy to find and apply to from a mobile device, there’s a good chance that your jobs just aren’t being seen - and if young people can’t easily access the information they need, they’ll quickly move on to the next company. In fact, this generation has a notoriously low generation span of just 12 seconds - so it’s really important to make sure they can find out everything they need quickly and easily if you want to attract the best young talent. To sum up, it’s really important that you know how to attract and retain young people if you want to future-proof your marketing recruitment - by taking the above points on board, you can ensure you are appealing to the next generation. If you’d like to find out more about how to recruit for your creative agency, contact one of our dedicated marketing recruitment consultants today.