Breaking offers is an art that many companies get badly wrong…
Start off on the right foot.
Interviewing is often a long, tiring process that requires a lot of time and effort on both sides. The last thing you want to do is wreck it by clumsily breaking the offer and putting your new superstar off joining.
The funny thing is, it all starts at the beginning, if you set expectations and understand motivations, it should have a happy ending. What we mean by that is, if you have asked the right questions and understood why the candidate is considering a move, you’ll know what matters most them and be able to pitch your offer accordingly.
As a very simple example, if you are hiring for a new account manager and you discover during the initial stages that she is a mother of two children, you can be sure that flexibility is going to be a big deal to her.
So when it comes to the offer, make sure you do everything possible to demonstrate that you can offer that flexibility – it will mean more than money in most cases. Likewise, if someone is relocating to take a role with you, for the love of God, make them feel welcome, supported, intro them to as many of the team as possible and even offer to help with the cost of relocation. The little things go a long, long way when people are weighing up whether to accept a role – and they often cost very little.
Don’t rush it!
Another common mistake employers make is to rush the offer. Either through excitement, or desperation, hiring managers often push the hiring button after one interview. That can work well if the candidate shares the same level of excitement/desperation, but if they don’t get ready to be disappointed. We advise our clients to undertake at least two rounds of interviews and also recommend they meet in person if possible. A twenty minute teams call is hardly likely to be enough for someone to decide whether they are prepared to invest in a career with you.
It’s not just that though, the more effort and time a candidate has put into a process, the more likely is they will accept your offer – so make sure you are thorough and show you’re taking it as seriously as them.
Sell the offer.
Whatever you do, do not email the candidate saying – “We would like to offer you the job of ___________ with a salary of ___________, congratulations.
Again, put some effort in, show them how excited you are about them joining, tell them what a difference they are going to make. Include all of the benefits, however small or insignificant you may think they are.
Make the offer look as attractive as possible to them, sell the offer! You could be up against lots of others…
Include an employee handbook where possible, or any additional info that may be helpful. Don’t apply too much pressure and make yourself and/or team members available if they have any questions – even offer for them to come back in or meet outside work for a drink if needs be – just make them feel a million dollars.
Make your best offer first off, don’t try and be clever, it backfires most of the time.
Pay a candidate what you think they are worth, don’t scrimp over a couple of thousand. As soon as you start going back and forth to negotiate, the goodwill evaporates along with your chances of hiring. Don’t ask them what they’re on – what does that matter? Offer them what you think is fair in line of what you have advertised the role at. If people don’t think you value them, they won’t join.
If you still can’t seem to get it right, give us a call.
A guide to the selection criteria for making redundancies
Making redundancies is a challenging and often stressful process for both employers and employees. It involves reducing the workforce due to various reasons, such as changes in business needs, financial constraints, or technological advancements. However, the process of selecting which employees to make redundant must be conducted fairly and legally.
In this guide, we’ll explore the essential selection criteria for making redundancies to ensure a transparent and fair process.
Fair and objective criteria
One of the key principles in making redundancies is fairness. Employers must establish clear, objective, and non-discriminatory criteria for selecting employees for redundancy. Common criteria include performance, skills, qualifications, disciplinary records, and attendance. These criteria should be applied consistently across the affected workforce to avoid discrimination claims.
Seniority and length of service
Many companies consider length of service or seniority as a selection criterion for redundancies. This means that newer employees or those with less seniority may be more likely to face redundancy. While this can be a straightforward and objective criterion, it may not always align with retaining the most skilled or suitable employees for the company's future needs.
Skills and qualifications
Assessing employees based on their skills and qualifications can help ensure that the retained workforce still has the necessary expertise and skills to meet the company's requirements. It’s crucial to identify which skills and qualifications are most critical for the future success of the business and use these criteria in the selection process.
Evaluating an employee's performance can be a valid selection criterion for redundancies. It's essential to have a strong performance appraisal system in place to make this assessment fair and accurate. Make sure to use documentation of performance reviews and feedback as evidence to support the decision-making process.
An employee's disciplinary record can also be something to consider when making redundancies. This criteria is often used when a company is restructuring due to behavioural issues or misconduct. It’s crucial to ensure that any disciplinary actions taken were fair and well-documented.
Attendance and absences
High levels of absence can disrupt business operations and may be a legitimate reason for redundancy selection. However, it's essential to consider whether the absences were due to legitimate reasons, such as illness or family emergencies, before using this criterion.
Consultation and communication
Before making any redundancies, it’s crucial to engage in meaningful consultation with affected employees. Discussing the selection criteria and the reasons for redundancy can help alleviate concerns and ensure that the process is transparent and well-understood.
Finally, it’s essential to ensure that the redundancy process complies with all relevant employment laws and regulations. Seek legal advice if necessary to avoid costly legal challenges and penalties.
Making redundancies is a difficult decision that should be made with careful consideration and adherence to fair and transparent selection criteria. Employers must prioritise fairness, objectivity, and legality throughout the process to protect the rights and well-being of their employees. Effective communication, consultation, and exploring alternative options can help minimise the negative impact of redundancies on both the workforce and the organisation as a whole.
For more advice, check out our article on how to approach making employees redundant.
Searching for a new job? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
5 disadvantages of internal recruitment
Internal recruitment can have its advantages. It can encourage employee loyalty, save time and money, and leverage the skills and knowledge already present within the organisation. However, internal recruitment also has its drawbacks. In this article, we will explore five disadvantages of internal recruitment that employers and HR professionals should consider when making hiring decisions.
Lack of fresh perspectives
One of the most significant disadvantages of internal recruitment is the potential lack of fresh perspectives and new ideas. When you consistently promote or transfer employees from within, you may miss out on the innovative thinking and diverse viewpoints that external candidates can bring. Over time, this could lead to stagnation within the organisation, hindering its ability to adapt to changing industry trends or client needs.
Limited skill diversity
While promoting from within can utilise employees' existing skills and knowledge, it may limit the diversity of skills within the company. Hiring externally can bring individuals with different skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences that may be needed to address new challenges and opportunities. Internal recruitment may lead to an overemphasis on specific skills or qualifications, potentially ignoring broader talents required for the company's success.
Employee resentment and frustration
Internal recruitment decisions can sometimes lead to feelings of resentment and frustration among employees who were not selected for promotions or transfers. These negative emotions can affect morale and teamwork, potentially leading to decreased productivity and employee turnover. HR professionals and managers must handle internal recruitment processes transparently and ensure that employees not selected are given feedback and developmental opportunities.
Lack of fresh talent
External candidates often bring lots of fresh new skills and perspectives that can revive a team. Internal recruitment may overlook these talents, depriving the company of potential game-changers. It can also discourage external candidates from applying to the organisation, as they may perceive a lack of growth opportunities, which can limit the company's pool of talent.
While internal recruitment has its positives, including cost savings and employee development, it's essential to recognise and address its disadvantages. Companies should strive to achieve a balance between internal and external recruitment to reap the benefits of both approaches.
Combining the strengths of internal talent development with the fresh perspectives from external candidates can help your company stay competitive and adaptable in an ever-changing business landscape. Ultimately, understanding the disadvantages of internal recruitment can lead to a more robust and dynamic workforce that helps achieve long-term success.
Need more hiring advice? Check out this article and discover the benefits of using a recruitment agency.
For support with external recruitment, contact with our experts today.
When is the best time to look for a job?
Searching for a job can be a challenging and daunting task, but the timing of your job search can significantly impact your chances of success. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to when the best time to look for a job is, understanding the job market and considering your personal circumstances can help you make the right decisions. In this article, we'll explore the different factors that influence the best timing for job hunting and provide tips on how to maximise your chances of landing your dream job.
Ahead of graduating
If you’re a student and your graduation is approaching, the best time to start looking for a job is a few months ahead of your graduation date. Many companies hire entry-level employees in the spring or early summer when new graduates are entering the job market. To take advantage of this, start your job search several months before your graduation. This will give you a head start and allow you to secure interviews and potential job offers before you’ve officially graduated.
Networking events and job fairs
Networking events and job fairs can provide excellent opportunities to connect with potential employers. These events often take place throughout the year but may be more concentrated during certain seasons. Keep an eye on local event calendars and industry-specific conferences to ensure you can attend these events when they occur. Networking can be a powerful tool in your job search, so be prepared to make a positive impression and exchange contact information with professionals in your field.
Your personal circumstances, such as family obligations, relocation plans, or financial stability, should also influence the timing of your job search. It's crucial to find a balance between seeking the right job and meeting your immediate needs. If you have the flexibility to wait for the perfect opportunity, you can afford to be selective. However, if you have pressing financial concerns or other obligations, you may need to begin your job search sooner.
Continuous job search
In today's job market, the concept of a continuous job search has gained prominence. Regardless of your current employment status, it's a good practice to regularly update your CV, maintain an online presence on professional networking sites like LinkedIn, and keep an eye on job postings in your industry. This proactive approach ensures that you are always ready to seize new opportunities as they arise.
Timing is a critical factor in the job search process, and understanding when the best time to look for a job is can give you a significant advantage. Whether you're a recent graduate or someone considering a career change, make sure to think about the factors mentioned above and create a job search strategy that aligns with your goals and circumstances.
Remember that persistence, adaptability, and continuous self-improvement are key to success in today's ever-changing job market. By staying informed and proactive, you can increase your chances of finding your dream job at the right time.
Already in a job and not sure whether to move on? Check out our top tips on how to identify the signs that it’s time to move on from your job.
Ready to start your job search? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
5 Fair Reasons For Dismissing An Employee
Employees play a pivotal role in the success of your company. Hiring and retaining top talent is always a top priority, but there may come a time when the difficult decision to terminate an employee has to be made. When this moment arrives, it's vital to understand what constitutes fair reasons for dismissal to ensure both ethical practices and legal compliance.
Fairness in dismissal is not just an ethical principle, it's a legal requirement. Wrongful termination can lead to costly legal disputes, damage to your company's reputation, and a negative impact on company culture. By ensuring that your reasons for dismissal are fair and justified, you remove these risks while promoting a culture of respect and fairness within your business.
In this guide, we'll talk you through five fair reasons for dismissing an employee.
Reason 1: Poor performance
One of the most common reasons for employee dismissal is poor performance. When an employee consistently fails to meet job expectations it can negatively impact your company's productivity and success.
However, to ensure proper fairness in dismissing for poor performance, here are several steps to adhere to:
Clear expectations: Employees should have a clear understanding of their job roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations from the outset. This includes clear job descriptions and performance metrics.
Feedback and training: Timely and constructive feedback should be provided to the employee regarding their performance issues. Make sure you’ve offered opportunities for improvement and additional training to help them succeed.
Documentation: Ensure you’ve kept thorough records of performance evaluations, feedback sessions, and instances where expectations were not met. This documentation will be essential in justifying your decision if a dismissal becomes necessary.
Reason 2: Misconduct
Employee misconduct, such as insubordination, harassment, theft, or violation of company policies, is a valid reason for dismissal. In order to ensure fairness in dismissal due to misconduct, you need to consider the following factors:
Consistency: Ensure that the consequences for misconduct are consistent across all employees. Treating different employees differently for the same infractions can lead to legal issues.
Investigation: Conduct a thorough investigation into any alleged misconduct before making a decision. This investigation should be unbiased and follow established procedures.
Due Process: Provide the accused employee with an opportunity to respond to the allegations, present their side of the story, and offer evidence or witnesses in their defence.
Reason 3. Violation of policies
Employees are expected to adhere to company policies and safety regulations. When an employee repeatedly breaches these rules or fails to comply with essential workplace regulations, it may justify dismissal.
Here are some factors to consider to ensure fairness is met in the case of policy violation:
Consistent Enforcement: Ensure that policies are consistently enforced across all employees.
Communication: Clearly communicate company policies to employees and provide regular reminders or training sessions to reinforce compliance.
Documentation: Maintain records of policy violations, including warnings or disciplinary actions taken.
Reason 4. Attendance issues
Excessive lateness and attendance issues can disrupt workplace productivity and team morale, making it a valid reason for dismissal. However, fairness in this context requires:
Consistent application: Apply attendance policies consistently across all employees.
Communication: Clearly communicate attendance policies, expectations, and consequences for non-compliance.
Documentation: Keep records of attendance issues and any discussions or warnings given to the employee regarding their attendance.
Reason 5. Redundancy or restructuring
Organisational changes, such as downsizing, restructuring, or the closure of a department, may lead to employee redundancies. In these cases, dismissal is a result of the employee's position rather than their performance.
To ensure fairness when making dismissals caused by redundancies, consider the following:
Advance notice: Provide employees with advance notice of layoffs when possible, as required by law.
Severance packages: Offer appropriate severance packages, which may include financial compensation and continuation of company benefits.
Legal compliance: Ensure that redundancies are conducted following legal protocols and are not discriminatory.
Navigating the complexities of employee dismissal is a responsibility that should be approached with utmost care, fairness, and compliance with legal requirements. Employers should always strive to maintain open communication with employees, provide opportunities for improvement, and document performance issues consistently.
Need support from our expert recruiters? Get in contact with us today.
A Guide to the Employee Life Cycle Model
The employee life cycle, often referred to as the "employment life cycle" or "employee journey", is a model that describes the various stages an employee goes through during their time at a company. It’s based on the different phases of an employee's experience, from the initial recruitment and onboarding to their eventual departure or retirement.
This model is widely used by HR professionals and organisations to understand and manage the different touchpoints and needs of employees at each stage of their employment. In this article, we’ll break down each stage of the employee life cycle and explain how the model can help businesses to achieve employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
Stage 1: Recruitment and onboarding: first impressions matter
The employee life cycle begins with the recruitment and onboarding phase. At this stage, organisations aim to attract top talent that aligns with their culture and values. Effective recruitment strategies involve clear job descriptions, engaging job postings, and a thorough selection process.
Once a candidate is selected, onboarding comes into play. This crucial step sets the tone for the employee's journey with the company. Effective onboarding includes introducing the company culture, job expectations, providing necessary training, and facilitating a smooth transition into the new role.
Stage 2: Development and training: nurturing growth
Employee development and training are pivotal aspects of the life cycle. In today's fast-paced world, continuous learning and upskilling are essential to remain competitive. Companies that invest in employee development foster a culture of growth and innovation. Offering opportunities for training, workshops, and mentorship not only improves the skills and knowledge of employees but also enhances their job satisfaction and engagement.
Stage 3: Performance management: setting goals and expectations
Performance management is where employees' progress and contributions are evaluated. Setting clear expectations, establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), and conducting regular performance reviews are vital components of this phase. Effective performance management ensures that employees understand their roles, feel valued for their contributions, and receive constructive feedback for improvement. It also helps in identifying high performers who can be groomed for leadership roles.
Stage 4: Compensation and benefits: recognising value
A competitive compensation package that aligns with industry standards is crucial for attracting and retaining talent. Beyond a competitive salary, organisations should offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare, retirement plans, and other perks. Recognising and rewarding outstanding performance through bonuses, promotions, or merit-based increases motivates employees to excel and stay committed to their roles.
Stage 5: Employee engagement: fostering a positive work environment
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that employees have toward their company. It’s a vital factor in business success as engaged employees tend to be more productive, innovative, and loyal. Various initiatives like team-building activities, open communication channels, and recognizing and celebrating achievements can help to boost employee engagement.
Stage 6: Career Progression and advancement: navigating the career ladder
Employees appreciate opportunities for career growth and advancement. Investing in career progression programs, mentorship, and leadership development creates a clear path for employees to climb the career ladder within the company. Clear advancement opportunities not only motivate employees but also contribute to employee retention.
Stage 7: Employee relations and well-being: supporting health and happiness
A focus on employee relations and well-being is essential to maintaining a healthy work environment. Employers should foster a culture of open communication, address workplace issues promptly, and provide resources to support employees' physical and mental well-being. Prioritising employee well-being leads to a more satisfied and productive workforce.
Stage 8. Transition and separation: parting on good terms
At some point, employees may choose to leave due to various reasons, such as retirement, career changes, or personal decisions. Handling this phase with professionalism and care is crucial to your company’s reputation. Conducting exit interviews to gather feedback and insights can be valuable in improving processes and retaining future talent.
The employee life cycle is a continuous cycle of growth and development. Companies that recognise the significance of each phase and invest in creating a positive experience for their employees will reap the benefits of a highly engaged, motivated, and loyal workforce.
In today's competitive business landscape, the employee life cycle is important for success. By nurturing talent, you can ensure that you’re not only attracting the best but also keeping the best, contributing to the long-term success and growth of your business.
Need support with recruiting top talent? Get in contact with us today.
How to Answer Strengths & Weaknesses Questions in an Interview
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but they’re also opportunities to showcase your qualifications and personality to potential employers.
One of the most common and challenging interview questions you'll likely be asked is about your strengths and weaknesses. While it may seem straightforward, answering this question requires careful consideration and preparation. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of effectively addressing questions about your strengths and weaknesses.
Why do employers ask about strengths and weaknesses?
Before diving into the specifics of how to answer this question, let's understand why it's asked in the first place. When employers ask about strengths and weaknesses, they’re looking for a well-rounded understanding of your self-awareness and your willingness to learn and grow. By discussing your strengths and weaknesses, you showcase your character and potential for future development.
How to identify your strengths
As part of your interview prep, it’s important to think about what key strengths you have that’ll help you succeed in the role. Here are some tips to help you pinpoint your key strengths:
Self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your past experiences, both professionally and personally. What tasks or activities have you consistently excelled at? What skills do you possess that set you apart from others?
Feedback: Seek feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or mentors. They can offer valuable insights into your strengths, often highlighting qualities you might not recognise in yourself.
Refer to the job description: Identify key strengths that you know are relevant to the role and the company’s culture.
How to answer strength questions
Once you've identified your strengths, it's crucial to think about how you’ll address them during the interview. Here's how to do it effectively:
Be specific: Instead of vague statements like "I'm a hard worker," provide concrete examples of how your strengths have benefited your previous employers. For instance, you could say, "I consistently meet and exceed project deadlines, which has resulted in increased client satisfaction.”
Show impact: Explain how your strengths can add value to the potential employer. Highlight how your abilities can contribute to the company's success or help solve specific challenges they face.
Avoid overconfidence: While it's important to showcase your strengths, avoid coming across as arrogant. Try to stay modest and acknowledge that there's always room for improvement.
How to identify your weaknesses
Discussing weaknesses can be more challenging, but it's an opportunity to demonstrate your self-awareness and willingness to develop and grow. Here's how to best approach it:
Choose a relevant weakness: Select a weakness that is not a critical requirement for the job you're applying for. For example, if you're interviewing for a technical role, you could mention a weakness in public speaking.
Show improvement: Discuss the steps you've taken or are taking to address your weakness. This could include enrolling in relevant courses, seeking guidance from mentors, or proactively practising to improve.
Emphasise positives: Highlight how this weakness has taught you valuable lessons or led to personal growth. For example, you might say, "My previous struggles with time management taught me the importance of prioritisation and organisation, skills that I've since honed.
Avoid common pitfalls: Try not to use clichés like "I'm a perfectionist" or "I work too hard" as weaknesses. These can come across as insincere. Interviewers are familiar with these responses and may see them as evasive.
Don't overemphasise it: While you should address your weakness, don't dwell on it. Keep your response balanced by also discussing your strengths and how they outweigh the weakness.
Use the "challenge-solution" approach: Frame your response as a challenge and solution. Describe the challenge (the weakness), the actions you took to overcome it, and the positive outcomes.
Addressing strengths and weaknesses during a job interview is not just about providing the right answers; it's an opportunity to demonstrate your self-awareness, growth mindset, and suitability for the position.
By identifying your strengths, crafting positive responses, and addressing weaknesses proactively, you can navigate this common interview question with confidence and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. Remember, interviews are a two-way street – they're a chance for you to assess whether the company is the right fit for you as well.
Check out our face-to-face interview tips for more advice. Good luck!
Looking for a new job? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
How to explain employment gaps when applying for new jobs
Wondering how to explain your employment gap to potential employers? In this guide, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know and provide some tips on how you can approach an employment gap in your CV and during interviews.
What are employment gaps?
Employment gap is the term used to explain a period of time during your professional career in which you did not have formal employment. Anything from several months to a few years is considered an employment gap.
Reasons for having an employment gap
Here are a few examples of possible reasons behind taking an employment break:
Caring for a sick family member
Health or medical issues
Further education or professional training
Travelling or moving to a new location
Having an employment gap isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s important to know how to address it when it comes to applying for new jobs.
How to explain employment gaps on your CV
CVs are the first thing potential employers will see. If there is a period of time unaccounted for in your job experience, they’ll very likely notice. Employment gaps are very common, so you don’t need to worry that it’ll stop you getting your next role. However, employers will want to know the reason for your employment break. So, here are some tips on how to address gaps on your CV.
Use a resume style or format that makes the gap less obvious
Consider using a functional CV format rather than a chronological one. This format emphasises skills and accomplishments over a strict timeline and allows you to showcase relevant experiences and achievements at the forefront, minimising the focus on the gaps.
Address gaps in the cover letter
If the employment gap is extensive, it's a good idea to address it in your cover letter. Briefly explain the reason and highlight any productive activities you did during the gap, such as freelance work, volunteering, or skill enhancement courses.
List the reason for longer employment gaps as its own job
It’s important to showcase your commitment to the industry, even during a break from employment. Therefore, it may be a good idea to list all of the relevant things you did during that time to stay on top of industry trends and changes. For example, pursuing additional education, training programs, workshops, attending industry events, or frequently checking industry resources.
How to explain employment gaps in an interview
Gaps in employment can cause concerns with employers, but only if you’re unable to explain the reasoning for the gap. So, when interviewing for jobs it’s important to prepare a valuable answer, as they’ll likely ask you questions around any gaps.
To help you prepare for any difficult questions, here are a few tips.
Don’t shy away from it
Having an employment gap on your CV doesn’t necessarily mean that employers won’t move you through to the next stage of the interview process. However, if you do make it through to the next stage, your interviewer will expect you to provide an explanation for your gap in employment. So, there’s no room to shy away from it!
Preparation will be key. Prior to the interview, ensure you spend some time thinking about how you’ll address the topic. It’s important to convey positivity and confidence around your gap. Whatever the reason for your time out of employment, own it and be proud.
Be honest and open
Being honest and transparent with your potential employer will earn you their respect and will highlight your trustworthiness as a new hire. However, you’ll want to avoid going into too much detail on what caused your employment gap, especially if it was due to a negative reason, such as being fired for example. Instead, try to focus on talking through how you spent the time.
You’ll want to also relate it back to the job you’re applying for. We suggest mentioning how you’ve been keeping up with the industry and what you’ve been doing to prepare for your return. If you attended any relevant events or training classes it would be a good idea to talk through these. Interviewers will also want to hear about any relevant freelance or volunteer/community work. Anything that highlights how you’ve been working to improve your professional skills during your employment gap will showcase your commitment and make you stand out.
Finish with a link back to the role
There are many different reasons why people take time out of formal employment. It’s very common for these gaps to be for more personal reasons, which some people may prefer to keep private. In this case, we’d suggest briefly addressing the gap, before moving on to talk about why you want the job and why you’re the perfect fit for the role.
Whatever the reason for your employment gap, always relate your answer back to the job role you're interviewing for. Ultimately, potential employers want to find the right person for the job and the company. Making these connections helps to showcase why they should hire you.
Let us support you in your job search, get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
How your business can be competitive in a candidate short market
As an employer, you may be facing recruitment difficulties due to candidate shortages. With the market challenges we currently face, you need to be proactive, competitive, and adaptable in your approach to talent acquisition and retention.
In this article, we'll talk you through some ways to be competitive.
What does a "candidate short" market mean for employers?
In a candidate short market, the demand for skilled employees exceeds the availability of talent. This shortage of talent has several implications and consequences for employers including increased competition, difficulty in recruitment, employee retention issues, and skill gaps.
In a candidate short market, multiple employers are competing for the same pool of candidates. Increased competition has made it harder for employers to attract the best talent. Recruitment has also become more of a challenge and can be more time consuming, which can lead to increased costs and disruptions to business workflows.
Industry talent shortages are also causing skill gaps for many businesses. So, it’s more important than ever to think about how to invest in training and development programs in order to bridge these gaps.
Tips to help your business remain competitive
In a candidate-short market, it’s important to have an effective strategy that’ll help you attract the best candidates. So, here are some tactics to help you:
Build an appealing brand that people want to work for
In order to highlight why people should join your business, you need to have a compelling narrative about your company’s culture and values. One way to do this is to showcase success stories and testimonials from existing employees. Make sure to also highlight unique perks that help your company stand out from the rest.
Leverage employee referrals and networking
Employee referrals are a great way to hire new talent. Not only are you more likely to find quality candidates that align with your business values, your current employees can also vouch for your company as a great workplace. Networking and industry events are another great way to expand your talent pool. Try to attend as many as possible and make sure you highlight why your company is an exciting place to work. If you haven’t already, also consider partnering with educational institutions to help you directly access emerging talent.
Create a positive workplace culture
In order to stay competitive in a candidate-short market, as well as to help with overall employee retention, it’s important to create a workplace that nurtures the growth and well-being of employees.
Here are a few ways to improve your work culture:
Encourage a good work-life balance
Promote overall well-being of employees
Recognise your employees work
Set incentives and reward employees for great work
Review salaries regularly and ensure they are competitive
Consider enhancing your benefits package
Embrace remote and flexible working
In order to appeal to top talent in a candidate-short market, it’s essential to embrace flexible working. Offering remote work options will help you to compete with other companies. If you’re not able to accommodate fully remote roles, you could also consider offering a relocation package to recruit candidates from further afield and capture a larger and more diverse talent pool. Just make sure you’re able to invest in the right technology to support remote working.
The other thing to consider is flexible work schedules. Amongst your workforce, employees will have diverse lifestyles and commitments. So, it’s important that your work options reflect this to encourage employees to effectively balance their professional and personal lives.
Have a streamlined recruitment process in place
In today’s competitive job market, streamlined and efficient recruitment processes are essential. In order to streamline your process, make sure your job descriptions are concise, and clearly highlight the requirements to ensure both candidates and hiring teams have an accurate understanding of expectations. Also ensure your application and interview process is as efficient as possible, by removing any unnecessary steps that may act as barriers are take up too much time.
The benefits of collaborating with Stonor as your recruitment agency:
Collaborating with our experts at Stonor recruitment offers several benefits for employers seeking top-tier talent, including:
We have access to a vast network of potential candidates, saving valuable time in the hiring process.
We’re experts in identifying the right fit for your company, ensuring candidates meet your specific requirements.
We can streamline the screening and interview processes, improving the quality of hires.
Our knowledge of industry trends and salary benchmarks helps in offering competitive compensation packages.
We can also support administrative tasks, reducing the burden on internal HR teams.
Ultimately, partnering with Stonor will improve your ability to attract and retain skilled professionals, contributing to your company's long-term success.
Take the hassle and stress out of recruitment. Contact our team today and we’ll help you find the best talent for your industry.
The impact of AI on recruitment and the hiring process
It’s impossible to avoid AI at the moment, it seems everywhere you turn someone is touting a new use for it and there’s no doubt it’s already making a big impact in sectors like healthcare, financial services, climatology and pretty much anything else you can build an algorithm for.
But is it nuanced enough to actually help companies with their hiring? Can it really help you source and hire better candidates? Can it speed up the process? Is it making life any easier or fairer for candidates or hiring managers?
Well, the answer is yes, and no…
It’s certainly proved itself as a useful tool for recruiters so far. It helps with writing adverts and also enables much faster, usually more accurate searching. Natural language Processing (NLP) techniques mean candidates can be matched to job opportunities with varying degrees of accuracy quite quickly.
AI can help hiring managers or recruiters build their shortlists, but what then?
What about the all-important candidate experience? Can it really be personalised to keep ever more distracted applicants engaged?
Again, yes and no.
Chatbots are being used increasingly for the initial comms with applicants. This can be well received if done properly as it allows for rapid fire, 24 hour responses that help guide potential applicants through the process of uploading their details to your portal or ensuring they end up in the right department.
However, if it’s done badly it can be a real turn off and leave a bad impression, the exact opposite outcome you were going for. We have all experienced the feeling of disappointment when responding to questions from the (seemingly) very human sounding avatar only to feel like an idiot when it dawns on you, “Oh, it’s just another machine, ‘Katie’ doesn’t really exist, or indeed want to help me” – that feeling could cost you a very important hire.
One area it does better is in helping avoid unconscious bias. With D&I at the forefront of most company’s hiring strategy, AI has proven very useful by providing objective, data-driven assessments. By focusing on relevant skills and qualifications, AI algorithms eradicate the influence of factors such as a candidate's name, gender, or appearance.
It should be noted however that the system is only as good as the data it is using. So it’s important to ensure the info you’re putting in is objective in the first place. Otherwise, you could end up with a heavily biased system that you don’t even realise is discriminating!
How does AI help the interview process?
Well, here we are a way off. AI can do no more than act as a glorified chatbot, so in terms of conducting an interview in such a way as to replicate a real life interaction, we have a way to go. However, for basic roles that require easily measurable skills, it can be used effectively. For example, if you were wanting to hire a developers in different countries, you could automate the process including assessments meaning people could be interviewed and tested at a time convenient to them regardless of where they are in the world.
What's next with AI in recruitment moving forward?
AI has proven to be a useful tool for recruiters and hiring managers. If properly adopting it and ensuring the right data and messaging are available, companies can reduce their time to hire and improve the fairness of the process from a D&I perspective. However, as with any transformative technology, there remain mainly challenges and pitfalls. Finding the right balance between automation and a personal, real life interaction is essential to create an engaging and ultimately successful hiring process.
If you’re looking to hire or have any questions about how AI is being used within recruitment, get in contact with our specialist recruiters today.
How to leave your job on good terms: our tips & advice
So, you’ve found a new job opportunity and you’re ready to hand in your notice. Whatever your reasons for resigning, it’s always important to leave a job on good terms. When it’s time to hand in your notice, follow these steps for a smooth transition.
Tell your manager first to give them a heads up
If you have a good relationship with your manager, it might be a good idea to give them a little bit of warning that you’ll be handing in your notice. Ask if they’re around for a quick call a few hours before you plan to officially resign. Your manager will likely respect you more for having this conversation beforehand. On the other hand, if you don’t have a great relationship with them and don’t feel comfortable having this chat, then it’s fine to just go ahead with giving them your official notice.
Write an official resignation letter/email
When you’re ready to officially hand in your notice, write a formal letter or email of resignation and make sure to include the following:
A clear statement that you're resigning
State the date of your last day of employment
Briefly explain why you're leaving the company
Express your gratitude and thank your employer
Add your signature to the end of your letter or email
You are not required to share your reasons for wanting to leave the company, but it can be helpful for the management team to know. Whenever giving a reason, always try to keep things positive. You can be honest, but it’s always best to avoid saying anything that they may perceive as rude or an attack on their management style.
Give your full notice period
Before you hand in your official resignation, make sure you review your employment contract to check how much notice you need to give. Notice periods will vary by company and by seniority, so it’s always best to check and make sure you are prepared to work your full notice period. Sometimes an employer may offer for you to take garden leave, meaning you get paid for the full notice period but don’t have to work the rest of it. Although most employers will need you to work until the end so that they have time to find your replacement.
Be honest but respectful
In order to leave on good terms, you need to make sure you’re respectful to your manager and the team. If you’re leaving your current job for a better salary, then it’s okay to provide this as your reason but make sure you avoid boasting. If you’re leaving due to not getting along with the team or boss, then it’s best to keep that to yourself. Instead, be sure to focus on positive things you gained from the job and explain other reasons why leaving is right for you.
Be prepared to receive a counter-offer
You should never resign with the intention of receiving a counter offer, as it’s not guaranteed and could make your team think negatively about you. However, if your boss thinks highly of you, they could try and convince you to stay by proposing a counter offer. Before handing in your notice, be aware that this is a possibility and have a think about whether you would accept or not. Remind yourself of the reasons you’re leaving. If it’s more than just the salary, then leaving might be the best option.
Read through our additional tips to help you decide whether to accept the counter offer or not.
Avoid bad-mouthing members of your team
Don’t burn any bridges by talking negatively about your managers or colleagues. No good will come of bad-mouthing them. Leaving on good terms will allow you the opportunity to reach out for references, and is also important for networking. You never know who you may come across in your career further down the line.
Work your notice period, don’t just coast!
Once you’ve given in your notice, it might be tempting to coast through the rest of your time at the company, but this will not help you leave on good terms. Make sure you continue to work to the best of your ability in order to leave behind a good reputation.
Prepare a smooth handover
Before you leave, make sure to tie up any loose ends. Try to finish any outstanding projects and if there is anything you don’t get to finish, make sure to create handover notes with lots of detail for your team or replacement.
Offer help with training your replacement
If you have a replacement that is lined up before you leave, it might be worth offering to train them (if you have the time). This will help ensure a smooth transition and should impress your manager, allowing you to leave the company on good terms.
Want some more advice or looking for a new opportunity? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
The first few moments of a job interview set the tone for how the rest will go. Here are our top tips for face to face interviews:
1. Dress appropriately for the job and company
Many offices nowadays have casual dress codes. However, it’s best not to assume what the dress code is if you’re not sure. While most companies won’t expect you to wear a full suit for an interview, it ultimately comes down to the company’s culture and potentially the seniority level of the job you’re interviewing for.
If possible, find out what the company’s dress code is before the interview. If your interview is with one of our clients, the team will be able to tell you whether it’s best to go formal or slightly more casual. It’s also important to note that even if the dress code is casual, make sure you still look presentable.
2. Treat everyone you meet as your interviewer
This tip can often get overlooked but don’t underestimate its importance! Whether it’s the person managing the reception desk, or the security personnel on the front door, don’t assume that your interactions with people prior to the interview will go unnoticed. Our advice is to treat everyone you come across with as much respect as you would your interviewer. Even if they aren’t the person that’ll be interviewing you, your potential employer may ask for their feedback.
3. Listen, pay attention, and engage
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to trail off and get lost in your own thoughts sometimes. Your interviewer will be providing you with lots of information, either directly or indirectly. If you’re not fully listening, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to learn more about the company, the role, and the overall expectations.
As well as that, it’s good to show your potential employer that you’re fully engaged in the conversation. Show off your good communication skills with eye contact, engaged facial expressions, non-verbal and verbal responses.
4. Avoid talking too much
Talking too much could be a fatal mistake and could just cost you the job. A lack of preparation may cause you to ramble when answering questions, which can mean that your point becomes unclear or you end up saying the wrong thing. Make sure to prepare for the interview by reading through the job spec and mapping out potential answers against the key skills they’re looking for.
5. Prepare for some initial small talk
Small talk is a great way to fill the awkward silence before an interview officially begins. It’s also a great way to break the ice and calm your interview nerves. If you’re confident with making small chit chat, then you probably don’t really need to prepare. But, if awkward silences make you anxious, then it might be a good idea to do some small talk prep. Here are some tips to help you spark some conversations:
Avoid cliche questions about the weather
Try to find any common interests
Stick to safe, uncontroversial topics
Prepare a question or thought about something company-related
Do some digging on the company’s social media channels - you can often find out what they have been up to outside of work which may help break the ice.
6. Don’t be rude or cocky
Your attitude and how your personality comes across in an interview will play a pivotal role in your interview success. Confidence is a positive quality to showcase but coming across rude or cocky will have a negative impact on how your potential employer views you. It can be difficult to strike the right balance. You don’t want to be overconfident but you also don’t want to be too reserved. Our advice is to be professional and modesty, and show your interviewer that you’ll be a great person to work with.
7. Remember good manners and body language
Non-verbal communication is just as important as what you say in an interview. Here are a few body language tips to show that you’re approachable and engaged in the conversation.
Make eye contact
Sit and stand tall with upright posture
8. Be authentic, concise and enthusiastic
Make sure you answer questions truthfully, concisely, and try to tie them back to your skills and accomplishments. It’s also great if you can show authenticity and let your personality shine through. This can really set you apart from all the other candidates, and could just be the thing to land you the job!
Employers also want to see your enthusiasm about the company and the job you're interviewing for. So, make sure to highlight why you want to work there and ask lots of questions about the team and the company.
9. Prepare questions
At the end of the interview, most hiring managers tend to ask “do you have any questions” and it’s never a good sign for an employer if an interviewee answers “no”. So, it’s important to make sure you have questions to ask. You might find that your questions get answered by the interviewer throughout the interview, so you should prepare quite a few, so that you definitely have something to ask!
However, if you do find that all your questions have been answered and you’re struggling to think of anything else on the spot, a good response could be “I think all my questions have been answered, as you’ve provided lots of detail. However, if I think of anything else, would it be okay to contact you at a later date?” Or something similar to that.
Follow these interview tips and you’ll be sure to smash your next job interview. Want some more advice or looking for a new opportunity? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
How to negotiate a pay rise with your boss: our expert tips & advice
In general, people hate talking about money. So, asking your boss for a pay rise can feel awkward but it's important for you to feel valued and rewarded for your commitment to the company, plus to be paid inline with the market average salary. Our expert tips will help you feel more confident in approaching the topic during your next appraisal.
Research the average salary for your role and industry
It’s good to get an idea of what other professionals are being paid in your industry and will help to set a salary benchmark. There are salary calculators available on Glassdoor and total jobs that you can use to find out the average salary of any job in the UK. Do you research ahead of your appraisal to make sure your expectations are realistic and to make sure you’re not going in too low.
It might be tempting to ask for a pay rise over a video call or email as opposed to in-person. However, there are several benefits to having the meeting face-to-face. With a virtual meeting it’s hard to determine if you have the other person’s full attention. In-person meetings allow you to make sure no one is distracted and their focus is solely on you. Your boss is also more likely to respect you for asking face-to-face and some suggest that it’s hard for people to decline pay rise requests in-person.
Give your boss some warning
Catching your manager off guard with a surprise pay rise request may cause them to respond with an immediate no. When scheduling the meeting, inform them that you’d like to review your salary, summarise your rationale and explain that you’d like to discuss further in person.
Think about timing
Like most things in life, timing is everything. Ideally, you want to wait until things are going really well for the business. You’re much more likely to get that pay rise if you “strike while the iron is hot”. So, if your company is doing well, get that appraisal meeting booking in asap. Another thing to consider is when are budgets being reviewed? If you can time your meeting just before budgets are reviewed, this allows them time to work your increased salary into the new budgets.
Schedule your meeting tactically
When scheduling your meeting, try to arrange a time when your boss isn’t under additional stress. Check what deadlines they’re working towards and what meetings they have scheduled. Ideally, you want to find a time when they have a fairly clear diary either side to avoid them feeling rushed in your meeting. It’s great if you can catch your manager when they’re in a good mood!
Try to put yourself in your boss’s shoes, you are much more likely to be successful if you pick a time when they’re more likely to be receptive, or when budgets are being discussed, which is often at the end of the financial year.
Jot down what you want to say
Ahead of your meeting, prepare a short script of what you want to say. Highlight the value that you bring to the business, how you love your job and the company, but explain how you feel you are worth more. It’s good if you can prepare for every possible scenario your manager might use to decline your request and have a counter argument ready to respond with.
Think about your recent successes that have helped the business
Highlighting your past successes will help to support your case for a pay rise. Think about what you’ve done over the last 6-12 months. Have you been able to upsell a client, smash your performance goals, or bring new business into the company? All of these things are great reasons for your manager to justify giving you a pay rise. So, don’t be afraid to sing your own praises!
Talk about your future plans for your team/the company
While it’s great to highlight your past performance, it’s also good to talk about how you plan to achieve future success for the company. This will remind your manager how valuable you are and that giving you a pay rise is actually a great investment for the company.
Practice, practice, practice
Ahead of your meeting, make sure you rehearse what you’re going to say. Run through your points with a friend, or practice in front of a mirror. This will help you remember what you want to say and will also help you feel more confident.
What if they reject your pay rise request?
It is possible that your boss could decline your request for a pay rise. If this happens, make sure you find out their reasoning for not giving you a salary increase and ask what you need to do in order to achieve a pay rise in the future. If you think their reasoning isn’t fair and you’re not being valued in the way you deserve, then it may be time to leave and move onto a new job opportunity.
Alternatively, it might also be worth asking for a rise in your pension contribution. This could be more appealing to your company as it’s a more tax efficient way for them to pay you and also saves the company money on national insurance. It’s not exactly the same as a pay rise but it’s often easier to negotiate and still a benefit for the long term.
We’ve given you our top tips, now hopefully you feel ready to schedule that meeting and ask for your pay rise. Want some more advice or looking for a new opportunity? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.
How to attract the best talent in the industry
If you want to develop and grow your business, you need to recruit the best talent. However, with more competition and an increasing talent shortage, recruiting can be a significant challenge.
That’s why we’ve gathered these top tips to help you.
Step one: widen your recruitment drive
In order to attract the best talent, you need to make sure you’re reaching the right people. Using multiple channels and diversifying your sourcing networks will help you reach a bigger pool of candidates.
Here are a few other ways to widen your recruitment drive:
Organise recruitment events
Be active on social media
Roll out a paid ad strategy
Collaborate with a recruitment agency
Step two: make the application process short and seamless
According to a recent study from LinkedIn, nearly 60% of job seekers quit online job application mid-way due to their length and complexity. Not only is a complicated job application off-putting for candidates, a long and tedious process may also be damaging to your brand image. Social media and online platforms mean that potential hires can more easily share their experiences with other prospective candidates. Previous employees might have lots of great things to say about your company, but conflicting information online could be unappealing to top talent. So, it’s important to ensure that candidates have a good experience throughout the whole recruitment process.
Step three: showcase your employee benefits and office perks
With so many companies offering flexible working and attractive benefit packages, the competition for employers is fierce. If you’re really seeking the best talent, you need to be realistic about what candidates are being offered elsewhere. How can you compete? Another competitor might be offering more money, but if you can provide more flexibility, and a better work culture, then that might be more desirable to candidates. So, make sure you’re highlighting the benefits during the recruitment stage.
Step four: show candidates what career progression in the company looks like
Candidates want to clearly understand how their career will develop if they join your company. It might be worth reviewing your internal development processes. Are you doing enough to help existing employees excel in their careers? Make sure you have an established scheme in place and communicate the development opportunities to candidates during the recruitment process.
Step five: make the candidates feel valued
How you treat candidates during the recruitment stage will say a lot about how you treat your existing employees. Yes, the hiring process is about finding the best talent for your company, but candidates will also use this time to work out if you’re the right employer for them. So, make sure you show a genuine interest in their skills and experience. You’ll be far more likely to secure the best talent for the role.
Step six: implement a recruitment referral initiative for employees
Existing employees know your company and if you treat them well, they’ll be the best ambassadors for your business. Introducing financial incentives or other rewards for successful employee referrals is a great way to find candidates that’ll be a good fit for your brand. Plus, it can help make the recruitment process faster and more personal.
Bonus tip! Make sure your referral policy has some rules. For example, you might want to hold off paying the referral bonus until after the new employee has completed their probation period, and setting a limit for the number of candidates an employee can refer within a set time period.
Recruiting the best talent is only half the battle. If you want to understand ways to help you retain your staff, check out these top tips for employee retention.
If you need more advice, get in contact with our expert recruiters today. We can help you find the best talent for your industry.
Stonor Recruitment WhatsApp Scam
You never believe it’s going to happen to you, until it does…
We have been made aware that scammers are contacting people via WhatsApp purporting to be from Stonor.
We would never ask candidates to pay money, so please do not engage with anyone claiming to be from Stonor on Whatsapp.
This has been reported to the police and we are doing everything in our power to warn people, however we are powerless to stop the scammers as things stand.
If you think you may have been a victim of the scam, please contact us directly on 01844 350131 and we will do all we can to help you.
Here are some examples of the messages they are sending:
8 simple steps to improving your recruitment process
An efficient and streamlined recruitment process is more enjoyable for both candidates and the hiring teams. Improving your recruitment process will also make your company more appealing to candidates.
So, follow these eight steps to make your hiring process more successful.
Step one: make your job ads clear, accurate & exciting
In order to attract the right people, you need to ensure your job ad clearly summarises what the role entails. Adding unnecessary and irrelevant information will only confuse your desired candidates, and will likely prevent them from applying.
So, here are a few things to consider for your job ads:
Provide specific details about the role
Choose simple and concise job titles
Use clear and inclusive language
Include a salary bracket, even if you have to make it broad
Step two: diversify your candidate sourcing
Expanding your talent sourcing is important if you want to capture the best candidates. Just because they’re not actively looking, or aren’t “open” to recruiters on LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in the job opportunities you’re recruiting for.
Here are some ways to boost your sourcing:
Make the most of social media by exploring conversations across social platforms and looking for people with expertise in the areas you’re recruiting for.
Attend industry events and conferences relevant to your job roles.
Implement a referral program with incentives to find high-quality hires.
Invest in sourcing tools to help you find qualified candidates
Step three: build talent pipelines
A talent pipeline is a group or “pool” of potential candidates who are ready to fill a position. Building these pipelines is a great way to ensure you always have candidates ready when a new job opportunity comes up, saving you valuable time and resources. In order to build a successful talent pipeline, you’ll need to create a framework that develops and nurtures long-term relationships with potential hires. Your framework should be unique to your business and align with your long term goals.
Step four: shorten your application process
If your application process is long and tedious, candidates are likely to abandon it, or they could receive another offer in the time it takes you to decide whether you want them or not. That’s why making the hiring process more efficient is vital if you want to secure the best talent. It’s obviously important to make sure you're correctly assessing each candidate as hiring too fast has its consequences. But, ensuring each part of the process is efficient and effective will help you remove any unnecessary steps.
Step five: use candidate assessments
One effective way to find out if your candidates are the right match for your team is to run assessments. There are many forms of assessments you can use to find out more about your candidates, such as a general skills test, an online assessment, or an in-person activity. You could even create something unique to the job role you’re hiring for. NB - Do not ask candidates to do any kind of assessment before meeting them, why should they? They might not even be interested in the job/company. Get the buy-in first.
Step six: involve current employees in interviews
Involving other members of your team in the interview stage is a great way to better assess the candidate. Having multiple people in an interview will ensure all questions are covered and allows for different perspectives to feedback on whether the candidate will be right for the role. In addition to this, involving current employees provides an opportunity for them to showcase why your company is a great business to work for.
Step seven: showcase your company culture
Your company culture, if done properly, could be your competitive advantage for attracting the best talent in the industry. So, during the recruitment process, it’s important to showcase your values and highlight your people-first approach.
It’s not enough to simply claim you have a great company culture. You need to think about how you’re communicating your intentions and beliefs to potential candidates. Across your social platforms, job ads, and website, make sure you’re highlighting your brand values consistently.
Step eight: consider using a recruitment agency, of course!
From sourcing and screening candidates to organising interviews and negotiating salaries, recruitment takes time and resources, making it a long, stressful, and expensive process. Partnering with a recruitment agency to support your hiring process is a great way to reduce the pressure on internal teams and often save you time & money.
At Stonor, we’re experts in recruitment. With specialist consultants across Marketing & PR, Creative, Digital & Tech, Data & Insight, Sales, and Legal, we can help support your recruitment drive.
Get in contact today to find out more about our services.
Recruiting Gen Z: 6 Tips for Attracting Gen Z Talent
Generation Z have joined the workforce and will inevitably surpass millennials. But with a new generation of employees comes a shift in challenges, experiences, preferences, and attitudes. So, in order to be successful at recruiting gen Z, you need to understand them. In this article, we’ll equip you with all the knowledge you need to appeal to generation Z.
So, who is Gen Z?
Anyone born between 1997 and 2012 is considered Gen Z. They were raised in very different circumstances compared to millennials. As a generation raised in a digital era, they’re technically savvy and used to instant communication.
What does Gen Z look for in a job?
With an emerging workforce, comes a shift in demands. Gen Z employees want flexibility, transparency, and career development. They want to work for businesses that value employees and offer a true work-life balance.
With so many company review sites available, it’s more important than ever to put your money where your mouth is. It’s no longer enough to just claim that your company is a great place to work, you need to prove it. It’s inevitable that candidates will check out your Glassdoor reviews before accepting a job offer, or even applying for that matter. So, building a strong company culture that truly values employers is the foundation to becoming an appealing workplace for generation Z.
6 tips to attract and retain Gen Z employees
Generation Z will soon make up 30% of the worldwide workforce, so it’s vital that you adapt your recruitment processes to appeal to this emerging new talent. Here are some tips to help you improve your processes.
1. Review the experience requirements
As recruiters and employers, we want the best of the best when it comes to hiring new talent. So, adding a long list of experience requirements in job ads might seem like a great way to weed out the less desirable candidates. However, experience inflation could be detrimental to your talent pipelines when trying to recruit Gen Zers.
They’re a generation that values their worth in the workplace, but that doesn’t always mean they’re confident. Adding too many experience requirements could be off-putting for applicants, especially for entry-level roles. Make sure you double check the job spec. Is everything you’re listing really necessary to that role? Think about what is realistic to your desired talent. You could be restricting your own talent pool if your job ads are too daunting for Gen Zers.
2. Use digital channels to distribute compelling and meaningful content
Gen Z candidates want transparency when it comes to the company they’re applying for. They want to understand the brand before deciding on whether taking the job will be the right move for them. To make your company appealing, keep your social channels up-to-date and ensure your content is showcasing your values and culture.
3. Use low-pressure methods of interacting with candidates
As a generation who have grown up with instant messaging, they prefer low-pressure modes of communication. When communicating with Gen Z candidates in the first instance, they would much rather interact over email or messaging platforms. Avoid unnecessary calls and try to keep email comms clear and concise. Gen Zers are likely to respond better to more casual communication methods in the first stages of the process.
4. Showcase your values and diversity
Gen Zers are more aware and passionate about social issues and they want a workplace with strong values. In order to be more appealing in the recruitment process, make sure you showcase your company values. Make sure your job ad highlights the steps your company is taking in order to achieve DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusivity), and anything else you’re doing to help social causes.
5. Consider using digital channels for easy job applications
Generation Z have been bought up online. They’re digitally savvy and are the first generation to be active on social channels for almost 24 hours a day. So, one of the best ways to get your job ads seen by this pool of young talent is by sharing them on social media.
Due to the quick nature of the technology they’ve grown up with, they’re less patient than the generations before them. So, you should also consider making your application process quick, easy, and hassle-free. One of the ways you can do this is to set up applications via social networking sites, such as LinkedIn. Removing unnecessary steps will streamline the process, making it more appealing to Gen Z applicants.
6. Provide career development guidance
Gen Z wants to clearly see what learning and development opportunities an employer has to offer. In a study conducted by LinkedIn, 40% of Gen Zers said they would be willing to accept a pay cut of up to 5% of their salary for a role that offers better career growth — compared with 26% of overall workers. So, if you want to attract Gen Z talent, you need to make sure you have clear development plans in place and that you clearly showcase them in the recruitment process.
If you need additional support on recruiting Gen Z employees, get in contact with the team today.
How to improve diversity in the workplace
Workplace diversity is an important asset for companies wanting to achieve a successful, fair, and thriving work culture. A diverse workplace is about accepting and valuing differences from employees of all backgrounds. But, what can you do to achieve it for your business? Here are some top tips to help improve diversity in the workplace.
Review your company's composition and culture
On your roadmap to achieving better workplace diversity, one of the first things you need to do is review your company’s racial, ethnic and gender makeup and compare that to the local community. The community can give you a target for the diverse demographics you should be aiming to achieve.
It’s important to also review your workplace culture and make sure your company is appealing for diverse candidates. In order to make your business a desirable place to work, you’ll want to make sure your culture has a sense of inclusion and can accommodate people with different cultures, lifestyles and traditions.
Evaluate the diversity of your senior teams
Another important step to achieving workplace diversity is to review your senior teams. It’s vital to demonstrate diversity at all levels in order to show that your company is serious about being more inclusive. A diverse senior team will help to attract diverse candidates.
Set diversity goals and objectives
Setting goals to help you diversify your workforce will ensure you are on track to achieve your diversity objectives. As previously mentioned, you can set benchmarks for your diversity goals based on your existing workforce in comparison to diversity levels within the local community. As an example, you might notice that 55% of your local community are people who identify as women but only 38% of your company's employees are people who identify as women. Based on this, your goal could then be to increase the percentage to 45% by the end of the year.
Update your workplace policies to be more inclusive
Have you reviewed your workplace policies recently? Do they encourage an inclusive work environment?
Here is a list of policies you might want to consider updating:
Dress code: If you currently have strict rules on office dress code around hairstyles, tattoos, or piercings for example, you may be excluding some candidates. Consider implementing a more relaxed policy to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable at work.
Holidays: An inclusive holiday policy allows employees to take time off for religious and cultural holidays.
Parental leave: You may want to consider reviewing your parental leave policies. Offering enhanced maternity and paternity leave is important if you want to appeal to all candidates.
Work schedule: Offering flexible working options, such as part-time hours, remote working, and tailored start/finish times, are a great way to appeal to diverse employees.
Educate your current employers with diversity training
Never assume that your employees and senior teams understand the importance of workplace diversity, or that managers know how to hire a diverse team. Offering training for your existing employees is a great way to ensure everyone is aligned on the company values, and ensure they know how to play a role in the business achieving its diversity goals.
Tailor your recruitment process to reach diverse candidates
When thinking about your recruitment process, you’ll want to make sure you have a fair system in place for interviewing candidates. Implementing a structured hiring practice will help ensure every candidate is being treated equally, allowing for a fairer recruitment process. As well as that, there are ways you can reach more diverse candidates such as using job boards for specific segments. Sharing your job ads across a wider range of channels, will help them be seen by a wider group of people.
Continually review and improve internal processes
It’s not enough to simply roll out your workplace diversity plans and be done with it. A company that truly values inclusivity and diversity will continually review internal policies and processes to ensure they’re still inline with diversity goals. Make sure to check in with your employees too. They may be able to provide you with feedback, so you can ensure overall job satisfaction and equality in the workplace.
If you need more guidance on fairer recruitment processes, get in contact with the team today.
How to retain staff: 6 tips for employee retention
The Great Resignation has been affecting employers since spring of 2021, when employees began quitting their jobs in record numbers. As a result, companies are having to “up the ante” when it comes to finding new ways to retain their staff.
We all know that a spate of resignations can have negative repercussions, such as a long and expensive recruitment process, and a loss of team morale, which can affect overall motivation and productivity.
In order to build a strong, successful business that is capable of growth, you should be looking at better ways to retain your employees. So, to make it easier for you, we’ve pulled together six expert tips for retaining staff.
1. Make sure you’re hiring the right people
It may be hard to hear this, but one of the reasons you might be regularly losing staff is because you’re hiring the wrong people. If you’re failing to onboard the right people, they probably won’t be happy and satisfied in their role. And ultimately, they aren’t likely to stick around for long.
One way to prevent this is to review your hiring process. What interview procedures and tactics are you using? Are they helping you find candidates with the same values as the company? Is the process doing enough to understand if their skills align with what you want from the role? And, are you correctly defining the jobs you advertise?
The recruitment process is tricky to get right. So, if you need support take a look at our recruitment tips or just get in contact with us today for additional support from our expert recruiters.
2. Create an effective onboarding process
What does your onboarding process currently look like? If you want new employees to stick around, you need to set them up for success from the get go! Creating a proper onboarding process is a great way to get them excited for their journey with the business to begin.
An effective onboarding process should include (at the very least) team introductions, an induction to company values and culture, a roadmap to their development within the business, and an overview of their core responsibilities.
If you don’t currently have an official onboarding process in place, we’d strongly recommend spending some time putting one together.
3. Offer incentivising perks and benefits
In a time when retaining staff is increasingly difficult, company perks are a great way to set your workplace apart from the rest. It doesn’t have to be about offering sky-high salaries in order to retain the best talent. Sometimes it’s the little things that go a long way.
Not only do benefits help boost employee morale and retain staff, they’re also a great way to attract new talent. Look at what your company offers versus your competitors. What can you do to ensure you’re competitive? And, is there anything you can offer that other companies currently aren’t?
Company benefits can include, but are not limited to, providing free office snacks, team socials, flexible working hours, private healthcare, or maybe a free gym membership?
4. Offer lots of training opportunities
When employees aren’t learning and developing, they tend to feel stuck and may end up looking for new job opportunities. So, make sure you’re taking the time to identify areas for professional growth. Upskilling your employees will not only boost their motivation, but can also be very beneficial for the business.
Consider the following things to support your employees growth:
Provide them with time to attend virtual conferences
Pay for training courses
Run internal training sessions
5. Ensure you’re providing a happy work-life balance
Since the pandemic, work-life balance has become increasingly important for employees. It’s now essential for employers to not only support work-life balance but to encourage it in order to ensure job satisfaction.
So, how can you support your team?
Encourage employees to set boundaries
Help them to manage their workload
Ensure they take all of the annual leave allowance
When late nights are necessary to wrap up a project, consider giving them extra time off to compensate.
6. Pay your employees fairly
In order to be a desirable employer in a competitive industry, you need to make sure you’re paying your staff fairly. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to offer ridiculously inflated wages but at the very least, you should be offering pay inline with the industry standards. Of course the business needs to remain profitable, but if your budget allows you to stretch this a little further, it might be worth paying slightly more to prevent employees from getting a better offer elsewhere.
As an additional tip, keep on top of appraisals and pay. If you notice that an employee is helping to grow the company, then offer them a pay rise and/or promotion. Or, if they ask for a payrise, make sure you take it seriously. No one wants to feel undervalued at work.
Ultimately, when an employee decides to move on then there’s not much you can do to change their mind. But you can put things in place to ensure you’re creating a positive work environment that encourages job satisfaction, then you’re more likely to attract and retain the best talent.
How can you tell a company will be good to work for?
It’s not always easy to determine if a new company will be right for you. However, there are some key things you can ask about during the interview process that will help you get a better understanding of what they’ll be like to work for. Before you accept that job offer, take a look through these key areas to help you make an informed decision.
A good company culture is fundamental to creating a satisfying place to work. Employees are more likely to enjoy their work if their values align with that of their colleagues and the wider company. A strong company culture should consist of team collaboration and trustworthy management that encourages team bonding.
Nowadays, most employers are continuously reviewing their benefits packages to make sure they stay competitive in order to retain current employees and attract new talent.
Some examples of employee benefits include (but are not limited to):
Flexibility to work from home
Free office snacks or meals
Enhanced maternity/paternity leave
Enhanced annual leave
Free gym memberships
It might seem like an awkward topic to bring up in an interview but you shouldn’t have to! Employees that offer great benefits will be shouting from the rooftops about them. Check the job spec and see what’s been listed in the company info.
A good company is transparent about their successes, challenges, and the direction in which they are heading. During the interview processes you’ll probably get a sense of how transparent they are as a business, but if you want to do a bit of extra digging, here are some things to think about when asking questions around transparency.
Do they have regular updates and company-wide meetings?
Are they open with sharing information about their current financial situation?
Are they approachable and open to feedback?
Most companies (especially the good ones) invest in the learning and development of their employees. External training sessions, industry events, memberships to training academies, and internal training schemes are just a few examples of what employers should be offering to help their teams develop.
When you have your interview, make sure to ask what opportunities are available to upskill and develop within your role. This will help you to understand whether career development is something they value, and it also shows your potential employer that you want to learn and grow.
Having good leadership is an essential part of any great business. Strong leadership should involve motivating and inspiring teams to achieve their objectives, so that the business can grow and employees can progress in their career. Overall, boosting team morale and creating a great work environment. Key things to look out for in your potential new leaders include knowledge, clarity, motivation and empathy.
High employee retention
If a company is good to work for, they should be able to retain a high percentage of their staff. It’s natural for people to leave from time to time, but a high staff turnover could indicate issues within the company. Take a look at their current employees on LinkedIn to find out how long most people have been in the company. If the average is over a year, then this could indicate that they’re a good employer to work for.
Don’t forget to check Glassdoor
Glassdoor is a great source for looking at previous employees' experience with a company. It could provide you with some valuable information, whether that’s good or bad, about leadership, team structures, and their overall experience in the company.
Overall, the interview process is a great opportunity to get to know the company. Use this time to find out more about your potential workplace to understand if it’ll be the right fit for you. Get in contact and we’ll help you find your next job opportunity.
Quiet quitting: what are the implications of this growing trend?
Since the pandemic, workplace culture has changed, causing a drastic shift in attitudes and mindset. No one wants to suffer from burnout. Instead, employees are focussing on how to achieve better work-life balance.
Quiet quitting is a growing trend that’s currently dominating social media. But, what does it actually mean?
What is “Quiet Quitting”?
Plot twist, it has nothing to do with actually quitting your job.
Quiet quitting is the phrase people are using in reference to doing only what the job demands and nothing more. It’s about quitting doing anything additional, outside of the main job requirements. Employees no longer want to go above and beyond for their employers if it means sacrificing their personal life and mental wellbeing, and rightly so!
However, if you’re considering jumping on this trend, there’s a few things to consider when it comes to the long term effects on your career.
What are the implications of Quiet Quitting?
We’re all in support of having a good work-life balance. No one wants to feel like they’re living to work, so we get the importance of creating boundaries to avoid work taking over your personal life.
But, we believe you can still achieve the right balance, whilst also being flexible and taking a proactive approach to your work. Here are some things you might want to consider, before quiet quitting.
If you want your employer to be flexible, then you need to be too
Flexible working is something that more and more employers are striving to achieve for their workforce. It can mean different things to different people, but essentially if you expect your company to offer flexibility when it comes to remote working, time off, alternative hours, and so on, then you should be prepared to be flexible back.
For example, if you need an extended lunch break one day, or you need to work from home the next, it’s worth being open to the idea that one day your employer might ask you to work outside of your usual hours. If there’s a tight deadline that needs to be met, or a pitch that needs some additional prep, it’s good to rise to the occasion.
We’re not saying you should continually be working additional hours, but if the odd thing comes up from time to time, then be flexible. Your employer is much more likely to offer the same flexibility in response.
Taking on additional tasks can help grow your skill set
Occasionally you may find that your boss has asked you to complete a task outside of your usual responsibilities. If your colleague is off sick or there’s an interim while you wait for a new team member to join, there will likely be a skills gap to fill. Although it may seem like it’s “not your job”, this is a great opportunity to learn something new and upskill, which is great for your future career.
Being proactive can act as leverage for a promotion
We’re not saying you have to work late everyday to be recognised but being proactive and helping your team with extra tasks could go a long way, and could even help you get that promotion or pay rise you’ve been seeking.
Overall, work-life balance is important and there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries to prevent workplace burnout. Although it has good intentions, the Quiet Quitting trend is slightly problematic. If you want to have a long and successful career, make sure you don’t completely give up on trying in your job. You will reap the rewards in the long run.
Ultimately, if you’re considering quiet quitting due to suffering from burnt out then it’s probably time to move on. Get in contact today and we’ll help you find a new job opportunity.
8 signs it’s time to move on from your job
It’s never easy deciding when is the right time to leave a job. The thought of starting again in a new role and new company can feel overwhelming, but that’s not a reason to stay stuck if you’re unhappy in your current company. Here are eight signs that you’re probably ready to move on to a new job opportunity.
1. There is no work-life balance
Most jobs sometimes require the odd late night to meet tight deadlines. However, if work has started to take over your personal life, it’s time to take action. More and more companies are offering flexible work options to help people have a better work-life balance. So, if you feel like you’re living to work, that’s not okay and it’s time to move on to somewhere that encourages employees to have a life outside of work.
2. You’re not learning and developing
Learning and developing new skills helps many of us feel fulfilled in our roles. When you stop developing, you can begin to feel stuck and unmotivated, which can hinder your career progression. If you’ve noticed that your company is not investing in your learning and development, it may be time to move on.
3. You no longer receive feedback
Feedback is essential to your career progression and personal development. If your line manager isn’t proactively giving you feedback on your performance, or the feedback you do get is generic and unhelpful, then it’s time to do something about it. In order for you to excel on your career path, you need an effective manager that prioritises your development and if you’re not receiving that at your current company, it’s probably best for you to move on.
4. You feel underpaid and undervalued
Does your employer recognise your commitment with regular pay reviews and appraisals? If the answer is no then you’re probably not getting the recognition you deserve. You work hard in your job and you deserve to feel valued. If you think you’re being underpaid, we can help you find a job that will pay you the salary you deserve.
5. Teams are continuously being restructured
Is your company constantly restructuring teams? This could be a sign of leadership issues and wider internal problems. It can also be very challenging to deal with constant structural changes and can affect career development. If you notice this happening frequently within your company, it’s probably time to seek a new opportunity.
6. There is a high staff turn-over
Have you started to notice that people seem to leave your company too frequently? If you find yourself constantly signing goodbye cards and attending leaving drinks, it might be time to think about leaving yourself. It’s natural for employees to leave from time to time, to seek new opportunities or to have a career change, but a high staff turn-over could indicate internal issues. A key sign to look out for is the duration that people have been with the company. If they’re leaving after less than a year, that should be a serious red flag!
7. You’re being headhunted and offered much better opportunity
Constant calls and emails from recruiters can seem somewhat annoying, but it’s usually a sign there’s demand within your industry. It’s always worth speaking to a recruiter to understand what opportunities are out there. Consider it market research to find out which companies are hiring, what skills and roles are in demand, what benefits are being offered and what the average salary is for similar jobs.
8. You have a gut feeling it’s time to go
Ultimately, you’ll probably have a gut feeling when you know it’s time to leave. You understand your situation better than anyone else, so go with what you feel is right for you. There’s never a perfect time, but when you know you’re ready, it’s time to go. Your next opportunity is waiting just around the corner.
Whatever your reason for leaving, our expert team of recruiters can help guide you through the process and discover a new job that is right for you. Get in contact today.
7 good reasons for leaving a job
Are you thinking about leaving your job but not sure if it’s the right decision? Take a look at these 7 reasons for leaving your current job to help you decide.
1. Decline in the company’s success.
If your business has seen a decline in performance, has lost clients or has started to make employees redundant, it may be time to begin your job search.
2. Team or company restructure
When companies decide to restructure it can affect the dynamics in your team or change your responsibilities entirely. A possible consequence of this could be that you no longer enjoy your job as your duties may be completely different to when you first took on the role. When you’re faced with a company restructure, it may be time to seek a new job.
3. Career development
Staying in one company for a long period of time can make you feel like your career isn’t progressing at the rate you want it to. Sometimes moving to a bigger company with higher budgets and more prospects for professional growth could help to develop your career much quicker.
4. Different work culture
A company’s work culture plays a big part in your overall happiness within a particular job and not every environment is the right fit for every employee. You might be amazing at your job, and the company could be offering incredible benefits. However, if the culture doesn’t align with your values then ultimately you won't be fully happy there and it could be time for a change.
5. Better salary
Money is not the only aspect of being happy in your job, however, it is important to feel valued and that you’re being paid in line with industry standards. If you’ve asked your current employer for a pay rise and your requirements aren’t being met, it may be time to find a new company that can pay you what you’re worth.
6. A change in leadership
In many cases, more often than not, employees just don’t gel well with their managers. If you don’t get on well with the person who is directly managing you it can lead to a lack of motivation and can affect your day-to-day workload. If you’re currently going through this in your job, it’s probably time to see what else there is out there.
7. Personal circumstances
Each individual will have completely different circumstances when it comes to personal life and circumstances. Many companies offer flexibility to meet different needs and if your current employer isn’t offering this, it could be time to move on to somewhere new that can offer the support you need.
Ready to move onto a new opportunity? Speak to our specialist recruiters today. We can help you find the best job to suit your requirements.
How to write a resignation letter for your current employer
So, you’ve accepted your new job offer, how exciting! All that's left to really think about is handing in your notice. It can be difficult to know how to write a resignation letter to make sure you leave on good terms but our expert recruiters have put together some useful advice to help you.
What should you include in your resignation letter?
Resignation letters act as a formal acknowledgement of your intentions to leave a company and, even if you’ve had an awful experience at your current employers, it’s still important to make sure your resignation is professional. It’s never a good idea to burn any bridges that could harm your career further down the line.
Overall, you don’t need to include too much detail in your resignation letters, but we recommend including the following:
Your full name
Your intentions to terminate employment
Date of when this is effective from (this should align with the notice period stated in your contract)
We also suggest you thank your current employer for your time at the company, in order to leave a good impression.
Resignation letter template
If you don’t know where to start, use our template below as a guide to help you.
Dear (Manager’s Name),
Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from my position as (job title) with (company name). My final day will be (date of last day), in accordance with my notice period as per my contract.
Thank you for the opportunity to have worked in the position for the past (time in employment). I have enjoyed my time with the company and have learned a great deal during my time here. I’m excited to move on to a new opportunity but will miss working with a great team.
During the next (notice period in weeks) I will aim to make the transition as smooth as possible and will support in whatever way I can to hand over my duties. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to support this transition period.
What to leave out of your resignation letter?
Although it can be a great relief to leave a company where you have had a negative experience, you should always avoid adding anything emotional within your resignation letter. You do not need to include any specifics about your decision to leave and we would strongly advise against it. If you do feel the need to give specific reasons as to why you have decided to leave, a face-to-face meeting would be the best option. This will show your professionalism and will help you leave on good terms.
If you would like more advice, get in contact today and we’ll help you through the process.
5 tips for creating a great portfolio to showcase your work
Wondering how you can create a great portfolio? We’ve gathered some top tips from our creative recruiters to help you showcase your talent.
1. Let your work tell a story
It’s important to showcase your process, in order for clients to understand the thinking behind your designs. Creative Directors want to see the journey you went through to achieve the end work. In order to show this, we recommend including the following within your portfolio:
Sketches (either hand-drawn or illustrated)
Write up about your thinking
2. Keep it simple and easy to navigate
Your digital portfolio should be clean and simple so that people can easily navigate through your work. Make sure it’s well organised and accessible. Hiring managers will be looking at multiple portfolios with limited time, so it’s important that they can quickly scan through and take in all your great work.
3. Prioritise quality
We all know the saying “it’s about quality, not quantity” and that should definitely be the case for your creative portfolio. Hiring managers only tend to look at one or two projects, so always select your best work to present first. It’s also important to make sure your work is fairly up-to-date. You know what they say - you’re only as good as your last project!
4. Show your versatility
Creative Directors will want to see what you’re capable of. If your creative skillset is diverse make sure to promote this. Showcasing your versatility will allow people to understand what you’re capable of and will also be more appealing to different audiences.
5. Don’t shy away from showcasing personal work
Adding personal work to your portfolio may seem a bit daunting but it’s definitely a great way to show authenticity. Having a personal touch to your portfolio will help your work stand out from the crowd and could be more memorable.
Looking for your next career move? Take a look at the creative jobs we’re currently recruiting for.
Working agency vs client-side: deciding which is best for you
If you’re currently on the job hunt and wondering what the difference is between working agency vs client-side, we’re here to help break it down for you. We’ve gathered a list of top things to consider when looking at the pros and cons of working at an agency in comparison to being on the client-side of the industry.
Firstly, what does agency and client-side actually mean?
If you’re new to the digital industry, it’s important to understand what agency and client-side means. So, we’ll break it down for you. Client-side basically means you are employed directly by the brand you’ll be working on. Agency-side involves working across various brands or businesses. Both are very different, so it’s important to decide which is right for you.
5 things to consider when working at an agency vs client-side
In order to help you assess which one is the best environment for your career to thrive, we’ve gathered a list of things to think about to help you decide.
1. Career prospects
Client-side: career growth if you’re working client-side will generally depend on the size of the company you’re working for. However, typically there are fewer opportunities for progression compared to working in an agency.
Agency-side: working in an agency tends to be more fast-paced, which can cause a higher turnover of staff. This presents more opportunities to develop quickly and move into new roles with greater responsibilities.
Client-side: in-house roles tend to have much higher starting salaries and sometimes employers offer better company benefits.
Agency-side: while salaries within agencies tend to start lower, the fast progression opportunities mean that you can work your way up the salary ladder a lot quicker than working client-side.
3. Office environment
Client-side: although this is not always the case, in-house offices had a reputation for being slightly more corporate than an agency. Usually working client-side also means being in a smaller team, which can mean that the office ambience is calm and quiet.
Agency-side: agencies are renowned for their lively and exciting work atmosphere. If you enjoy working in a big team with lots of energy, agency-side is the right choice for you.
Client-side: in contrast to agency-side, working in-house typically means that the pace of work is slightly calmer as you’re only working on one brand.
Agency-side: agency roles tend to have busier workloads, due to working across various different accounts. Deadlines tend to be tighter and the overall pace of the work is a lot quicker compared to client-side.
Client-side: as previously mentioned, client-side roles work on just one brand/service. This is great for people who like to have a close focus on one brand, and it can feel more rewarding to be a part of the overall growth of a company.
Agency-side: agency roles have way more diversity in terms of work, clients, and teams. Working across various different brands is a great way to expand your experience and gain exposure to many different industries.
So, which is best for you?
Overall there are pros and cons to both. However, if you’re looking for a fast-paced, exciting career with lots of opportunities for progression, then maybe agency-side is right for you. Alternatively, if you prefer a calmer workload, with the opportunity to get stuck into working on one brand, then you’re probably more suited to client-side roles.
If you’re still unsure which is right for you, talk to one of our recruiters today and we’ll help you figure out your next career move.
You can also check out our wide range of job roles available.
11 video interview tips to help you smash your virtual interview
With flexible and remote working options on the rise, video interviews are becoming an increasingly popular way for employers to assess how suitable candidates are for the role. While the fundamentals of virtual interviews are basically the same as in-person, there are some additional things you need to consider. Here are some useful tips to help you prepare for your video interview and impress your potential employer.
1. Prepare as you would for a normal interview
As with any kind of interview, preparation is key. Practice your answers ahead of time and do your research to make sure you’re ready for any question they throw your way.
2. Dress formally to impress your potential employer
When getting ready to have your video from the comfort of your home, it might be tempting to wear your comfy clothes. However, just as you would with an in-person interview, make sure you’re dressed in appropriate clothing that is also formal. Not only will wearing something smart impress your interviewer, but it will also make you feel more confident, helping to calm those pesky interview nerves.
3. Choose a quiet location to avoid interruptions
Unexpected interruptions sometimes happen. If they do, your interviewer will most likely be very understanding. However, it's important to try to minimalism the risk of possible distractions so that you can focus your attention on the interview and it will also help to convey your professionalism. Make sure to find an appropriate place that is quiet and closed off from other parts of your home.
4. Charge and test your tech
Make sure that well-ahead of time you fully charge your device that you plan to have your interview from. We’d even recommend that you keep your device on charge during your interview to avoid the possibility of your battery running out. Also make sure to test your device, to check everything is working beforehand.
5. Prepare some notes to act as prompts
One of the perks of video interviews is that you can have notes to hand throughout. We’d recommend keeping your notes as brief as possible so that you have useful prompts and avoid reading your notes word-for-word during the interview, as this will sound unnatural.
6. Turn up to the interview a few minutes early
Being late is never a good way to make a first impression, especially for video interviews where the excuse of traffic is eliminated. In order to prevent showing up to the call late, log on early and wait for the interviewer to join.
7. When the call starts, introduce yourself
Video calls can be somewhat awkward when virtually meeting people for the first time. Your potential employer will likely lead the call and introduce themselves first, but it’s good to make sure you have your intro prepared. Start with pleasantries such as “my name is…” and “it’s nice to meet you” as this is a great way to break the ice.
8. Try to maintain eye contact & good posture
Just like with any type of interview, eye contact is always a must, but it’s even more vital for a video interview. Maintaining good eye contact conveys your sincerity and confidence. If making eye contact doesn’t come very easy to you, try not to overthink it! Make sure to take natural breaks, to avoid staring. Give yourself some time to practice with a friend or in a mirror to prepare you for the real event.
9. Make sure you seem engaged with positive body language
Body language is another non-verbal form of communication we use to convey our internal feelings. It’s important to be aware of your body language in a video interview to ensure you seem engaged, confident, and approachable. Be conscious of how you’re sitting. Make sure you’re not slouched. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders back. But avoid looking stiff and robotic.
10. Take your time to answer questions
Interviews can be really nerve-wracking. When your mind is overwhelmed with nerves it can be incredibly difficult to think straight, which can cause you to stutter or rush through your answers. Take your time. If the interviewer asks you a question that throws you off guard, stop and take a moment. You can always say something like, “I just need to think about that”, or you can ask them to repeat/rephrase the question to give you more time to respond. It’s better to take your time in order to give your best answer.
11. End the video interview on a polite and positive note
The last few moments of the video interview are your final chance to make a lasting impression. So, once the interviewer has acknowledged that the call is wrapping up, make sure to thank them for their time and let them know that you looking forward to hearing from them soon.
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to smash your interview. Need more advice? Speak to our recruitment team today and we’ll help you prepare.
This year we have seen the employment market completely flip on its head.
We are in the middle of a boom, the most buoyant hiring market in our 20-year history. That’s great news if you’re considering a move, the likelihood is that you can now ask for 15% - 20% more than you would have been able to last year. So, in short, it’s pay rise time!
Companies are now hiring like mad and they are scrambling to find the best talent ahead of their competitors. Incredibly, we are now in a position where there’s a massive talent shortage and supply and demand dictates salaries must rise.
Why is this happening?
After all, you’d think that there would be lots of people still searching for roles having lost their jobs during the height of the pandemic. Well, there were, but most have now been rehired.
A lot of people found jobs at the beginning of the year
Those employees on furlough are waiting to see if they are retained by their employer.
Candidates have switched career paths during covid, meaning less skills in certain areas.
Lots of companies put their marketing on hold and cut spend, only to turn the tap on again at the beginning of the year.
It’s not just salaries that are changing up…
Companies are having to incentivise candidates in other ways too. In particular you can now expect
Flexible working – most companies are offering a couple of days from home
Better perks in the form of unlimited holiday, higher pension contributions, bonuses and dedicated funds for CPD.
If you’ve been considering whether now is a good time to move jobs, you can rest assured, it is! IN fact, this could be the best time for many years.
If you’d like to find out how well you could be doing now, please get in touch with Stonor!
We are delighted to announce that on 11th June, Stonor turned 20!
Founded by industry stalwart David Carroll after selling Read-Carroll Ltd to Hays in 1998 the consultancy has branched out into multiple sectors including Marketing, Creative, Legal, Digital, Research / Insight and most recently, Sales. The culture is based on core values of trust, honesty and fairness which translate to a fast, friendly, transparent service for clients and job seekers.
Despite everything that’s happened in the last year due to the pandemic, Stonor has remained resilient and worked hard to help job seekers navigate what has been a very challenging market.
Stonor report a massive uplift in hiring across all their sectors since the beginning of the year and do not envisage this changing as businesses rehire and people’s confidence grows.
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 last few years.
Stonor’s Managing Director Charlie Griffiths said,
“In an industry known for its short-term outlook, we’re proud to have built a company that places so much value on sustainable long term partnerships, not just with clients but employees too. So much has changed since 2001 but we have continually evolved to meet the requirements of our customers. We have an incredibly talented team and there’s every reason to feel optimistic about the future.”
We’re incredibly grateful for the support of all our clients and candidates over the years without whom we’d never had reached this milestone.
If you’re busy firing off job applications and you’re not receiving many (any?) responses, it could be down to a number of reasons. We’ve put together some tips on how you can improve your success rate below…
Lengthy cover letters
A common mistake that a lot of candidates make is attaching a long cover letter. The cover letter should be like a synopsis of a book, it gives a bite sized overview of who you are, what you’re applying for and why you want to change jobs. It only need be one paragraph and make sure you adapt it according to the role.
Failing to personalise your CV to the job you’re applying for can harm your application too. When recruiters look through your CV, they want to find relevant experience for the role and if they receive high volumes of applications and your resume is messy or off topic, you’re unlikely to be successful. To create a CV that stands out try Canva, they have a lot of templates to choose from, for free!
Recruiters will often find a CV on a job board and then also cross reference it with a LinkedIn profile, if your profile isn’t updated or has a fuzzy photo, or even no photo at all it won’t help your cause. Ensure you have a clear headshot of yourself, updated experience and reasons why you may have gaps between jobs, plus if you’re looking for a new role it helps to add ‘open to opportunities’ to your profile. Whatever you do, ensure you have a profile as many roles these days require some form of technical capability and not having one sends alarm signals to employers.
If you’re going to use the quick apply buttons on job boards or LinkedIn, remember to update your CV and TRY NOT TO APPLY TO EVERY JOB YOU SEE, try to be a bit more selective as you can appear desperate otherwise, or even careless. Recruiters may often have multiple roles so if you’re not suited to the one you’ve applied for they may be able to put you forward for another one.
Take your time, find roles that you really think suit your experience and read the adverts to ensure you meet at least the basic requirements. Potential employers will take you more seriously and you will avoid the disappointment that comes from hearing nothing back from your applications!
It feels like a lifetime ago that we embarked on the first lockdown, now it’s hard to imagine a world without masks, jabs and covid tests. When we think about where we were a year ago, it’s encouraging to see how well people have adapted. This is particularly true with the hiring process which has taken a quantum leap since March 2020!
One big obstacle was learning how to onboard new employees remotely, this can make such a difference to the first impression the new starter receives from your business and ultimately decide the success of the hire. Employers who have become adept at sending out laptops and immediately engaging new employees via zoom, teams etc.
We have proved that working from home is effective if properly monitored and candidates now demand flexible working arrangements accordingly. In fact, we have found employers that don’t offer flexible working reduce the candidate pool by as much as 70%.
LinkedIn & Job Boards
Covid caused and initial surge in redundancies and saturated the market. LinkedIn’s “open to work” graphic helped recruiters and hiring managers identify the candidates needing work the most and job boards helped connect applicants to employers quickly.
Traditionally at least one interview stage has been face-to-face. However, Covid put a swift end to this, and recruitment consultancies have had to adapt. Most hiring managers have been using video interview technology to fill this void. It also solves the problem where companies are hiring for remote based roles and the application is not necessarily in the same area as the job.
Interestingly, video interview technology like Hinterview has been around for a while and a lot of recruiters have made use of this to help recruit when they cannot necessarily meet the candidate in person. This has certainly helped during the pandemic and will only be more common in the hiring process in future.
Although it’s been a strange year, it’s been a great chance to learn how we can develop and adapt to something out of our control. If you would like to find out how we can help with your virtual recruitment process, please get in touch.
7 Tips For Starting Your Next Marketing Job
Starting a new marketing role is usually an exciting experience, but it can be daunting too. Essentially, you’re still on trial and your first 3 – 6 months could be seen as an extension of the interview process. We have tried to put together a few tips to ensure you secure your long-term success and settle in as quickly as possible.
1. Be prepared, and don’t be afraid to ask!
There are lots of studies that show employees perform better and progress more quickly if they ask lots of (sensible) questions. Think carefully before you start about what you will need to know and try to send your questions in advance. For example, what’s the dress code? Where is information stored? What logins will you need? How does your new company like to operate? Is there anything you can research prior to joining that will help with your onboarding? Or even better, help take some of the pressure off your manager.
2. Make friends!
Smile and the world smiles back.
You’ve already made a great first impression with the people who interviewed you, now it’s time to meet the rest of the team. Hopefully the company you have joined will make a big effort to introduce you to the people you don’t know yet. Try to be enthusiastic and take the opportunity to speak to as many of the team as you can, even if it’s over video. Show an interest in what they do and how they fit into the team. If you’re working in an office, offer to make someone a tea or coffee, always a winner!
Think back to your interview, what were they struggling with? Is there anything you can do immediately to help ease whatever the pressure might be. If so, make a suggestion. Even if they don’t decide to take you up on it they’ll be impressed with your initiative and enthusiasm.
3. Check your journey and make sure you’re ready to go!
There are few things more stressful than arriving late for your first day. If you think there’s a chance you could get held up then leave early! If you’re not sure what method of transport is best, try them out first, do a trial run in rush hour. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable on your first day then.
If you’re working remotely, prepare your workspace and check your internet connection and equipment are all working properly.
4. Set expectations and make sure you’re 100% comfortable with what you’re doing.
This should possibly be number one on the list. For any new role to be successful, you and your new manager need absolute clarity on what you’re there for and what’s expected of you on a daily basis. How is success measured? What does your new company/boss think you are going to achieve in your first three months? Once you know these things you can focus your time on the priorities that really count. Most companies have either a 3 or 6 month probation, you may find it is helpful to have slightly more regular monthly, or even weekly check ins. This should allow for any teething problems to be ironed out before you get to your official review.
5. Get your finances in order
Make sure you ask your old employer for your P45 and supply all the info that your new company need to set you up on their payroll. Otherwise you can end up on emergency tax which is a hassle for everyone!
You have obviously “checked out” the company before interviewing, but now they represent a new career and if you are serious you should now do some in depth research. Not to be a smart arse on day one but over the weeks and months ahead it will prove invaluable.
First go to Companies House and find out who really calls the shots. One day you may be chatting to someone in reception not knowing they actually own half the business!
Use LinkedIn and study the backgrounds of all the people you are likely to come into contact with. Look for shared contacts and experiences.
Check out the company’s clients and research the industry’s they operate in filling in the gaps in your knowledge bank.
7. Try not to upset the apple-cart
There is a danger when starting a new role to do too much, too soon. Although you may be well meaning in your intentions try not to interfere in other people’s business. We have seen examples of new employees coming in and upsetting the existing teams by trying to tell them there job. Even if you can see they’re not doing it efficiently, keep your own counsel and bring it up gently once you’ve settled in!
Likewise, make sure you earn the trust of your colleagues before making demands. Be careful not to ask for too much too soon. Most employers/bosses are willing to be flexible once you’ve proved yourself but making demands (whatever they may be) too early can go down very badly.
If you're looking for your next creative, marketing or digital role check out our jobs page here!
Counter-offers: Should you stay or should you go?
After successfully completing the interview process and securing a role with a new business, you’ve been presented with a counter-offer from your current employer. This is very flattering but can leave you with an extremely difficult decision to make. Recruiters will usually tell you it’s a bad move to accept a counter offer, but that’s not always the case…
We’ve put together some pro’s and con’s below.
What does the offer mean to you?
If you’re seeking new employment there is usually an underlying reason, salary, lack of progression, company culture to name a few. Some of these aspects can easily be fixed, such as a higher salary, more flexibility or extra holiday. Equally, others can be harder to mend, such as company culture and progression. When you received the offer did you feel relieved? Or worried? Your gut feel is usually correct but it’s worth taking your time on deciding and discussing with friends and family who will often know the answer better than you do!
Why wasn’t this offered before? Looking for a new role could be a sign that you felt undervalued and unappreciated, but will that change if you stay for a bit more money? If the new role is going to offer you more than just money and the prospects are better long term, you have your answer.
Money definitely talks, however not to the extent where you should put up with toxic culture, a rubbish work life balance or a lack of opportunity. Even if the new employer isn’t able to pay as much as your counter-offer, if they can offer you better progression, training or a healthier culture it could work out better for you in the long term. You should always think about where you want to be in 3 or 5 years’ time. You may be able to earn more now, but that might not improve over time, especially if you’ve had to get another job offer in order to force your company’s hand this time around.
It feels great to receive a counter-offer but usually companies do this at least partly because they know it’s hard and expensive to recruit a replacement, easier to up your salary by a small amount and say all the right things! Accepting could damage your relationship within the business and mean that you’re viewed as disloyal. Only you will know the implications with your employer.
What will you be leaving?
This could be just the gesture you needed from your company to show their appreciation. Perhaps they genuinely didn’t realise they had been overlooking you. If you enjoy the work, like the people and feel there’s long term prospects there for you, maybe you should stay?
Generally, longevity of service with one employer is viewed as a positive by recruiters. Worth bearing in mind if you’ve had lots of perm roles in a short space of time.
Whatever you choose to do, ensure that you don’t burn any bridges and thank whoever you decide to turn down. You never know when you might need those connections in the future. Make sure you take the time to carefully consider your options and keep in mind the aspects that matter to you most. Glassdoor has a great tool that allows you to check the average salary within your job role and expertise and could help you negotiate with your business if you think you’re ready for a pay rise.
If you’re still in the market for a new job, check out our latest marketing jobs here.
This week we welcomed Ollie Riding to our expert team of consultants.
Ollie, 30 joins from SALT one of the Uk’s leading Digital and Tech recruitment agencies where he spent seven years rising to Managing Consultant of their SAAS sales team.
Charlie Griffiths our MD said “We’re thrilled to have Ollie onboard. His experience working with some of the world’s largest software companies complements our existing expertise in b2b tech and means we can now meet the demand for sales talent across our entire client base. We look forward to helping him grow the division which we know has massive potential.”
Riding explained “Having met Charlie and the team, the decision was an easy one for me. Stonor’s record of staff retention coupled with their tech client base made them a natural fit for me. I am excited about working in a less corporate environment and heading up my own business unit”
The sales division is a great new addition to Stonor, which follows our new Tech division that was launched in December 2020.
If you’d like to find out more about the Stonor Sales divison click here.
Covid changed everything this year, but what does that mean for people’s careers, have priorities changed? In November 2020 we surveyed a group of candidates to see what mattered to them most when choosing a new role.
It wasn’t surprising to see that most candidates preferred a very flexible working option, something that we’ve most people have adapted to in the last 9 months. This was followed closely by companies having a dedicated budget and plan for training & personal development and ranked in third position was private healthcare. 56% of the candidates that completed the survey said that their priorities had changed as a result of Covid-19. Interestingly a recent study by CV Library said that searches for remote jobs are up by 174%.
We’ve also combined some findings of ours with CV library and you can find the infographic here.
Probation: What it means for you and your employer?
You’ve aced your interviews and been offered the job, Congratulations, you start next month! Job hunting may have been stressful but now you’re home and dry! Well, not quite…
You’re now effectively on trial. It’s time to put into practice everything you promised in the interviews. This is the dreaded probationary period where you and your new employer must live up to the expectations that have (hopefully) been set. Probationary periods usually vary from 3 months to 6 months but may be shorter or longer depending on the business and role. This can cause stress during the initial months of your employment, after all, you’re usually on a week’s notice for the entire time. We thought it might be useful to put together some info to help you better understand your probationary period and how best to navigate it.
Ahead of starting your new role, you will have signed a new contract which clearly states all the terms and benefits associated with your role. This should include your salary, working hours & overtime, holiday, sick pay, redundancy pay and notice period. This is where you turn if you need to check your rights, or if you have any disputes. It is important to realise that many of the benefits of your new contract may not be activated until after you have successfully passed your probation.
Save a copy of your contract you may need to refer to it at some point during your employment or, when you eventually decide to move on.
Every contract will include general implied terms for both the employee and employer which include, a duty of trust between both parties, a duty of care and a duty to obey any reasonable instructions given by your employer.
Your employment commences from the day you start, not the day your probationary period ends. This means that your eligibility for statutory employment rights, starts from your official start date. This includes the right not to be unfairly dismissed.
By law, employees have statutory rights which include National Minimum Wage, maternity leave, paid holidays, itemised pay statements, compensation regarding redundancy and unfair dismissal. Any rights you have in your contract are in addition to your statutory rights. You can agree to any terms in a contract with your employer, but these cannot be worse than your statutory rights.
Extending the probationary period
If your employer doesn’t feel that your performance has lived up to expectations during your probationary period, or you’ve had to take extended leave, they may decide to extend your probation. This isn’t always a bad thing as they can obviously see potential but haven’t had the opportunity to assess you properly during your initial 3 - 6 months.
If your employer is not happy with your performance or conduct, they can legally dismiss you providing they follow the correct disciplinary procedures and they give you the correct notice period. It’s important to note that your employer doesn’t have to wait until the end of your probationary period to do this.
If your contract is broken
If either you or your employer breaks the contract, it causes a breach of contract e.g. if your employer dismisses you without the correct amount of notice. If this is the case you should try raising a grievance against your employer.
It’s important to be treated fairly as an employee and know where you stand during your probationary period. It’s always worth taking advice if you feel the role has been miss-sold, or if you’re manager isn’t delivering on what was promised. Equally, it’s important for your employer to know they can trust you and that you’re capable of fulfilling the role to an acceptable level.
There are a few very basic things you can do to ensure you keep up your side of the agreement.
Turn up on time dressed appropriately. Always check what time your employer expects you in on your first day, (often they will want a bit of extra time to prepare for your arrival.) First impressions count so do not risk being late, your employer will immediately start to worry!
Make an effort to introduce yourself to other members of the team, often employers will ask their staff what they think of a new employee during probation.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. - It can be daunting when you start a new role in an unfamiliar environment but every one of your colleagues will have had to do the same thing so don’t worry. They should want to help you settle in so if in doubt, ask!
Provide feedback. - Your new employer has invested a lot of time and money in you, they will want to know how you’re settling in. Whether it’s all going swimmingly, or you’re drowning, don’t be afraid to let your manager know, they would much rather have the opportunity to address the situation than lose you.
Looking at becoming a freelancer? Here's some tips!
We’re seeing a shift in working behaviours both from employers and employees. In a world where working from home is now the norm, it begs the question, are we better off freelancing for lots of different companies? Especially with the uncertainty that lies ahead, is it better to have multiple revenue streams rather than just relying on one company? If you’re considering freelance but don’t know where to start, we’ve put together some tips for you.
Reach out to your contacts and connections
Never underestimate the power of your contacts and colleagues! You will have most likely gained experience in the industry you’re looking to freelance in. Think about who you learnt your skills from or connected with during your experience, can they help with advice, give you a reference or even recommend you to businesses looking for support? Don’t forget the power of LinkedIn either, posting information about your new business could potentially be seen by thousands. We recommend that you reach out to all the relevant people you feel that can help you, you never know what they can offer you, unless you ask!
Setting up your business
If you’ve never run a business before it might be worth partaking in a course to help with this, Natwest offer some business support tools for people seeking to set up a new business. It’s worth doing your research, setting up your details with HMRC and using an app like Quickbooks to set your accounts up. This will all be easier to keep track of the earlier it is set up.
This then leads on nicely to picking a suitable rate for your services, this can often be the trickiest bit. It’s good to do some research about what other freelancers are charging in your industry, also take into account their length of experience compared to yours as this can often increase the cost. Don’t ever price yourself too low, you will end up regretting it and it could lead to a bad relationship with your client. Another way around this is to create a hybrid costing model, if you’re looking to go into marketing freelance work, you could look at charging a higher amount for strategy and branding and then a lower rate for things like social media. This is all completely up to you, but always have a reason for your costings and try and create a portfolio of your previous work to help.
Building your brand
Now onto the exciting bit, how are you going to build your brand?
This is when you can decide what you will call your business. It’s good to get an idea of what kind of look and tone you’re going for. You can quite easily get this across on social media so ensure you set up or update LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It would also be an idea to get some business cards created to hand out at events.
Onto events, make sure you attend anything relevant to get your name out there. Networking is one of the most powerful tools and is an easy and low cost way of getting work. In these times, actual events may be few and far between, but you can sign up to relevant virtual events.
Making a plan and routine
Although you may have got used to working from home over the last few months, it might be hard to motivate yourself with setting up a business in the first instance. It’s extremely important to develop a plan of how you’re going to get yourself off the ground. Prepare a list of priorities and make a timeline of what you want to achieve and when by.
It’s also important to set up some structure to your working day at home, as it can be difficult to motivate yourself when it’s just you. Ensure you’re taking regular breaks from your desk and have a start and finish time to your day. It’s also important to eat well to ensure your energy levels are consistent throughout the day and you don’t face an afternoon slump. Create a dedicated work space if you are working from home, this will help you differentiate between work space and personal space. You can find more work from home tips here.
Never stop improving your skills
To stay relevant, ensure you’re constantly keeping up to date with the news in your industry and any new advances in technology. This is exactly what your competitors will be doing so you want so make certain you don’t fall behind. It will also mean that you can offer better products to your clients which may help you win pitches.
Starting a business is never easy, but that’s the good thing because not everyone will do it! If you have the skills, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t go freelance, especially in a time where more and more companies will be looking to hire freelancers over employing someone on a permanent contract. If you have any questions about setting up your marketing freelance business, please contact us here.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The marketing sector is complex and constantly evolving. This means that staying on top of trends and updates is essential if you want to remain current and ensure your career doesn’t suffer. Websites like Marketing Week, Campaign and The Drum provide useful content on the latest industry updates and you can also sign up to their mailing list to receive bulletins straight to your mailbox.
There are lots of online courses available through the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the IPA as well as free ones through Google
Thinking outside the box
Marketing should be a very creative role that encourages you to try to think of ways to stand out from the crowd and differentiate your products/services. Don’t forget that some of the most successful advertising and marketing campaigns all started with an idea. The Cadbury’s gorilla, the GO Compare tenor and countless other seemingly crazy ideas have all provided to be phenomenally successful so don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and try different approaches to your competitors.
Often ideas come to you when you’re not working, so always try to get them noted down somewhere, the most useful thinking time you have is when your brain is relaxed – hence the way so many people dream up ideas in bed, the shower or commuting to work.
Testing and analysing
A good marketer will always be exploring effectiveness and trying to improve the ROI on their spend. They will analyse campaign performance to enhance their strategy ensuring it’s improved the next time around. They will look to A/B test audiences to see what works best for their brand.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses
There will likely be areas that you excel in, but equally it’s important to recognise your limitations and when to ask colleagues for help. Working with other marketing professionals can not only improve your knowledge but can form a well-rounded marketing campaign. It is healthy to acknowledge that you won’t be fantastic at everything and it’s okay to ask for advice or help with projects. Collaboration is vital and this could be with networking groups, on and offline not just your immediate team. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and share your experiences and learn from other’s failings!
Keep an eye on your competitors
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Steve Jobs.
Always having an idea of what your competitors are doing. If something has worked well for them you should definitely look at applying a similar method to your campaign with your own twist. Likewise it’s also good to analyse what has gone badly for others to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes! Follow your competitors social media channels and try to ensure you don’t miss opportunities to capitalise when they inevitably get things wrong.
If you’re looking for your next marketing job or would like advice on anything related please get in touch!
Are we more productive working from home or the office?
Over the last few months we’ve seen a complete shift in working habits, with most of the UK working from home where possible. Businesses may not have thought much about flexible working before, however some employers have even considered making this the norm going forward. A big question that comes from this is are we more productive working from home or the office?
The office can pose multiple distractions throughout the day, whether it’s meetings, commuting or catching up with colleagues. Of course working from home can have it’s own distractions too, especially if you have friends or family living with you. A recent study showed that 65% of workers said they felt more productive working from home than in the office.
Other aspects of the workday when working from an office include the commute and the amount of money you can end up spending throughout the week. Commuting can add hours onto your work day, with the average commute being around 59 minutes. The cost of travel can also eat into your monthly wage, on top of buying coffee’s or lunch out each day, which can really add up and mean that your budget is squeezed.
But does that mean working from home is better?
If you work from home, you immediately save the commuting time. But you may find you spend more hours working than you would in the office environment which isn’t always healthy. It can be much harder to switch off, when you can’t psychologically differentiate your work place to your home. You could also incur distractions from family members or friends who live with you or in general become distracted with additional jobs around the house – and the fridge...
On a positive, it’s your choice whether you choose to spend extra hours working or just stick to your working hours. If you have personal commitments that require some flexibility with your working hours, it would be a lot easier doing this from home. You’ll also be able to save more money in the long run and probably be a lot more rested.
There’s also pro’s for the employer about working from home, less office space will be required and a decrease in bills. If they can offer their employees a good work life balance, they could also see an increase in productivity too.
In general, it’s all about balance and seeing what works for you. Although there’s uncertainty as to when we get back to ‘normal’, it’s definitely worth working with your employers to come to an agreement about what kind of working style is best for you. If you're looking for your next remote marketing job, check out our latest roles here!
Is this the time to be using a marketing recruitment agency?
With so many marketing candidates in looking for roles, perhaps you’re weighing up why you would need a recruiter to help fill the jobs, and if it’s worth the cost?
It’s an extremely competitive market at the moment, there are often hundreds of job applications per posting. This is great, until you realise how long it takes to actually review all those applications and decide who, if any of the applicants can actually do the job. Some companies have even hired additional staff purely to assess the sheer volume of applicants.
This is where a specialist marketing recruitment agency can prove extremely helpful. Recruiters are set up to manage bulk applications and have systems in place to quickly filter candidates. They do all the legwork while you get on with the more important day to day tasks of running the business.
It’s not just the filtering though. Most specialist employment agencies will have access to passive candidates that just won’t be applying for your advert. A recruiter will be interviewing more potential applicants right now than ever before. If you brief them on your role, you’ll have access to an even wider talent pool which increase your chance of success.
Specialist Resources and Tools
Recruiters often have access to a variety of tools that will help define the selection process further, LinkedIn Recruiter and Hinterview are two such tools used by consultancies. These are not usually something you would want to invest in for a one time hire and something that can be provided at no extra cost from the job agency.
Candidate attraction, experience & your reputation
You know what you want, but do you know how best to communicate it to your potential applicants? Do you know what job boards work best for what roles? Do you know what messaging works best to help you stand out from the crowd? Often companies waste money on job adverts that fall flat and, even with such a buoyant candidate market this can still result in disappointment. When you partner with a recruitment agency, you immediately benefit from the expertise of (hopefully) experienced consultants, their advice can be the difference between 1000 responses and no responses when it comes to adverts.
What happens when you get the responses you were hoping for but don’t have the time to properly manage them? You can end up giving a very poor first impression to candidates. The candidate experience is often forgotten but it’s vitally important to hiring success. If people don’t feel like you’re treating them with respect, why would they want to work for you? A recruitment agency should have processes in place to manage expectations and ensure that event those people who aren’t successful still leave with a good impression of your company.
Often businesses don’t realise they have a bad reputation in their marketplace until prospective employees share their views. It takes a good recruitment consultancy to advise and manage your reputation among candidates. It’s important to understand that your recruitment team act as an extension of your PR team, as well as your hiring team – be careful who you use as it can have a massive impact on your hiring success.
If you’d like advice on your hiring strategy then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
As a direct result of Covid-19 many businesses are having to look at ways to cut costs to be able to survive going forward. This is where tough decisions are needing to be made. Making redundancies is an awful thing to have to do, but if you’re the employer there are things you can do to soften the blow and help your employees on their next steps...
Try and give your employee as much notice as possible, if they are at risk of redundancy then let them know about it as soon as possible. This gives them more time to prepare for every eventuality, save some extra money and forewarn their families. It isn’t always possible to do but if it can be done, it will be appreciated by the employee.
This will most likely be devastating news for someone and this is where you can do your best to help them get on their feet again. Look at writing a personal reference so that your employer can take that to future interviews, this can also be done on LinkedIn which will help them look more desirable to potential employers.
Each individual will react to this kind of news differently and it may be the case that they need counselling or financial advice. If this is something that your business can offer then great, but if not, it will be good to get some useful numbers/websites in advance of the meeting to be able to offer to your staff facing redundancy.
Job searching and training
It might not always be possible but offering a one to one meeting in which you can prep your team member for an interview with your expertise could be very beneficial. It may also be that you can recommend a few training courses to help them have a better chance of getting the role.
It’s important to note, you must pay employees for any time they take off to look for new work or partake in training to help with their next role. This does not need to be more than 40% of a week’s pay, despite the amount of time off you allow.
Fast track back into the business
If possible, you could offer employees the option to come back on a fast track process when the market strengthens. This shouldn’t be something that the employee has to do, but it’s nice to know they will have the chance in the future to come back without needing a formal interview.
Support colleagues who need to break the news
It can be a very stressful job for whoever has to let someone go at no fault of their own, whether that’s yourself or a colleague. There are a few things to bear in mind too, its important prior to the meeting to understand in detail the organisations plans, know exactly why the redundancies are being made and understand the support that employees can get from trade unions. This will ensure you can give your staff the most up to date information.
Consult a recruitment agency or HR specialist
With an abundance of industry knowledge, recruitment agencies like Stonor, will be able to help advise your staff on their next steps. It’s best to pick agencies who specialise in the area you work in as they will have a better idea about individual requirements. Giving your staff member information about agencies to work with will help provide a chance of moving into their next role.
Stonor Recruitment have put together a job seeker checklist which includes tips of what to do when you’re looking for your next role. If you’ve been made redundant or would like to chat to one of our marketing recruitment consultants then get in touch with Charlie Griffiths on firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to ensure you’re Happy, rather than Sleepy or Grumpy
If you’ve been furloughed and you’re fortunate enough to be returning to your old role, or a new role for that matter, there are a few things you can do to ease you back into the working routine.
Get back into a routine
Whether you’ve been working from home or on furlough, it will have affected your body clock. We recommend starting to get up a bit earlier, having breakfast and slowly building up to your old routine. Exercise is very important too. If you haven’t been as active as usual during lockdown and Joe Wicks isn’t for you, it’s still worth getting out of the house for a walk. There’s so much evidence showing the connection between physical and mental health so anything you can do is positive. Check in with your colleagues, ask what they’ve been doing and also speak to your employer about their expectations for when your back, a lot will probably have changed and it will be important to get into the right mindset.
Managing your commute
First of all, check do you have to commute? How often is it really necessary for you to be in the office. Many of our clients are telling us that that they have completely changed their attitude to working from home. If it’s necessary in your role, there are some things to bear in mind. If you’re travelling by public transport, you will be required to wear a facemask and possibly carry hand sanitizer, you’ll also need to follow social distancing rules and be aware of other people who may be very sensitive to you getting close to them. If you haven’t before, try listening to a podcast or relaxing music that helps de-stress you and prepare you better for the day.
Getting used to a new way of working
Even when you get to the office, it’s unlikely to be business as usual. Your employer should have conducted a risk assessment and ensured the office is safe for you. If you’re not comfortable, raise your concerns. Some colleagues may be more wary than others and everyone will have a different attitude, be sensitive and try to establish a common ground.
Coping with Stress
For many people it will feel like they have been in a bubble for the last 3 months. Returning to normality may be a little stressful, and likely tiring. Check in on your friends and colleagues and ensure you take regular breaks throughout the day. Ease yourself back in and set expectations with your employer at the earliest opportunity, often people worry about their performance unnecessarily. Understandably people are concerned that they will return to a mountain of work, but provided a plan is agreed on how you deal with it and what the time frames are, it need not be so daunting.
Consider a move
Covid-19 has resulted in a huge number of redundancies and it’s a hard time for a lot of people. If your role has been made redundant, or you are considering your options, we recommend taking a look at our jobseeker checklist here. If you would like further advice contact a recruiter you trust to give you an honest appraisal of the market you work in, they should be able to help you make what could be a very difficult decision.
If you would like to find out more about Stonor Recruitment, contact Charlie Griffiths on email@example.com or call 01844 350131.
Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or you’ve unfortunately found yourself in a position where you're now job seeking, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to maximise your chances of finding the role you really want.
Updating your CV
Always the first port of call. It may be a bit of time since you last looked at your CV so it will most likely need updating. Don’t forget to read through it and see where it can be improved, along with updating any personal details such as phone number and address. Stonor offer a free CV checking service if you would like a professional to review it for you.
We recommend condensing your CV to a maximum of 2 pages, listing work experience from most recent and tailoring the qualifications or skills for the role(s) you’re applying for.
Seeing what’s out there
Although many companies have put their recruitment on hold, you can still find businesses who are hiring & onboarding remotely. If you feel that you have the skills that match available positions, then we recommend you apply with a brief (one paragraph) cover note. You can use sites such as Jooble who search various job boards and collate all jobs available in one place, filtering out duplicates and helping you save time in your job search. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the responses you’re hoping for, job seeking isn’t easy and you must be persistent!
Get your CV in front of as many people as possible
Once you’re happy with your CV, it takes no time at all to post it to the major job boards. We recommend, Indeed, Reed, CV Library and which ever specialist boards are most appropriate to your experience. Be sure to be clear about what your expectations are in terms of salary and locations you’re prepared to work in. The more specific you can be, the less time you will waste talking to recruiters about roles that don’t suit.
Online training courses
This is a great time to learn something new or brush up on existing skills. Try to pick courses that will make you more desirable for the companies you want to work for.
Research your target market
Ensure that you are keeping up to date with the industry you work/want to work in, this will be vital and set you apart from other applicants when you apply for your next role. Don’t be afraid to research the companies you think will benefit from your experience and contact them directly. You’ll usually find that the more senior the person is that you contact, the more likely you’ll receive a response, so aim high! Make sure you concisely explain why you’re interested, but also why you think the company would benefit from hiring you. What can you do for them?
Practice video interviews
During this time, companies who are hiring are doing so over video. Although this won’t be forever, we recommend practicing some video interviews. It’s worth recording an “elevator pitch” for yourself, 30 seconds on who you are, what you do and what you can do for them. Send it along with your application and you will find it helps differentiate you AND build your confidence.
Think outside the box
If you have been made redundant during the Coronavirus, you’re not the only one. Unfortunately, you will likely be up against some stiff competition. With this in mind, it’s important to think outside the box. Can you create a portfolio of your work, write a blog or even intern somewhere to gain experience? These things will improve your chances of being picked when you do interview. Anything that’s relevant to the role you’re applying for will be an advantage.
If you are looking for your next Marketing job, whether that’s in Creative, PR, Market Research or Digital - Stonor Recruitment can help! For more info contact one of our recruitment consultants on 01844 350131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips to help you successfully onboard a new team member remotely
An induction gives your new employee an objective view of your company, organisational culture, and work ethic, which will allow the employee to better integrate into the workplace. During the Covid-19 pandemic, people are being asked to stay at home to work, which can prove slightly challenging when introducing a new colleague into the business. So what can you do to help bridge the gap and create a good environment for your new starter to work in (even if that’s from home) and how can you successfully onboard a new team member remotely?
Before the start date
Being prepared for your new starter is vital, you need to ensure they have all the right tools ready for the job. The new employee should receive IT equipment and manuals ahead of their start date. Employers should look to create a introduction pack for their new starter to include essential information they need to get on with the role, things like apps to download, passwords and information to read up on. If you’re sending this to them by post, you could accompany it with some branded goods.
Preparing for the first day
Set your new employee a schedule for the first day, factoring in any face time invites to meet the team. This will give you the opportunity to talk about their new role, set out expectations and go through any projects that they can get to work on.
This is a great time to cover all the admin tasks associated with starting such as updating their LinkedIn profile and the website along with any new starter training that can be completed online.
During your 1:1 with them, setting out goals for the next 30, 60 and 90 days will help the employee gain an idea of what is expected of them as well as give them some focus for their time working from home.
Creating regular check in’s
As their employer, you will be responsible to set up regular check-in’s with your team and new starters. You will not only be able to address any issues as soon as they occur, but also keep the team motivated. There are a variety of platforms that provide video calling, it will be up to you to test and see what works best.
Working remotely can be a bit isolating and not all new starters find it easy to open up to a new team of faces on screen. Make sure you’re encouraging your team to look out for one another, keep up their fitness, routine and attend virtual social events – the new Houseparty app is great for this!
Let your new starter know how you’ve celebrated success before, like holding Summer/Christmas parties or going out for a monthly lunch. This will let them know what’s to come when you’re back in the office.
The main things to take from this are to get the onboarding process right and make your new starter feel welcome, encourage open conversations and feedback and to evaluate the onboarding process after every hire. There is always room for improvement! If you have any questions get in touch with one of the Stonor recruitment team on 01844 350131.
Read the full guide here!
We’ve all been told to work from home over the coming weeks to limit the number of workers in each office and avoid the spread of Covid-19. Although you may already work from home a couple of times a week, committing to it full time may be a bit isolating and can disrupt your routine. There are many advantages to working from home, but there can also be disadvantages so we’ve put together a few simple ways in how to work from home successfully and keep productive and positive.
Stick to a routine
Keeping a similar routine to your usual workday will help keep you motivated. By waking at a similar time to usual and setting yourself daily targets (whatever they may be), you will find it easier to work without getting distracted.
Take regular breaks
It’s easy to stare at a screen all day, but you do still need to remember to take some time out, go out for a walk or work through an exercise video, or just make yourself a tea or coffee. Important to remember that physical and mental health are closely linked.
It is very important to have some human interaction during the day, by scheduling in calls or video conferences you will have a chance to chat with colleagues and celebrate any success that you’re having.
To prepare yourself mentally it’s good to dress as if you were going into work, you will find that it will automatically give you motivation and increase productivity. Not to mention video calls in pyjamas don’t tend to go down well!
Dedicate a space for work
It’s good to have a space within your home that you can associate with work, although it’s not always easy you should try to find a quiet area that you can dedicate to work, then when you finish or need a break you have somewhere to escape from.
Stick to work hours
It can be hard when you’re working from home to switch from work hours to personal hours, however you need to have some time in the evenings to chill out. You could keep track of the time by setting an alarm to go off when you want to finish for the day.
It can be hard working from home every day consecutively, however by getting out to exercise and keeping in close contact with your team (if you have one), you should be able to avoid cabin fever and maintain productivity.
As we approach International Women’s Day 2020, it is important to reflect on how we as a marketing recruitment business have played our part to close the gender pay gap in marketing in particular and support equal opportunities for all.
The industry as a whole recognises that there is still work to be done to close the pay gap, a recent study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has identified that there is still a 28% gap for full time workers in Marketing. Looking into the information further, it showed that there was a 20.1% difference for men (£47,353 p/a) and women (£30,046 p/a) who both held the same job title - Advertising Account Manager / Creative Director. Although this is down from 2018 by 1% it highlights that change still isn’t being made fast enough in the industry.
What is even more worrying is that the gap between Marketing and Sales Directors has increased from 6.9% in 2018 to 11% in 2019. There has been a lot in the media recently about the gender pay issues and despite the increase in awareness, it seems like companies are not doing enough to help close the gap.
How Stonor's results compare
Stonor regularly keeps up to date with industry average salaries using reports and information from LinkedIn and Indeed, which helps their consultants advise on the right salary when going through the recruitment process regardless of gender or ethnicity. Stonor also consults their clients on what they should be offering candidates to ensure fairness for applicants.
We recently ran a report detailing our performance from 2019 to benchmark how we’re supporting our candidates obtain equal pay. Over the last 2 years, 71% of our placements were women. When comparing like for like roles, we found that the women we placed ACTUALLY ACHIEVED HIGHER SALARIES on average than men. Our analysis showed that, whilst there was very little difference between the genders at junior level, in mid management (30k - £50k) and senior management (above £50-100k) level positions, women came out on top by an average of 7.4% and 6.2% respectively. So, whilst the evidence for a gender pay gap nationally is irrefutable, we found that within the creative sector (in particular Marketing, PR and Market Research) the opposite trend was true for our candidates over the past 2 years.
In summary, there’s still lots of work to be done but from what we’re seeing, the creative sector is on the right track! If you're looking for Marketing Recruiters, get in touch with Stonor today.
Fed up of your current job and thinking about moving into a Marketing role? It’s not uncommon to want to change careers, in fact the average person will change their careers 5-7 times during their lifetime. But what is holding you back? Whether it’s the fear of not having the right skills or taking a pay cut, if you dread going into work every day, then it could be time for a new role. We've put together some tips on how to navigate a career change into Marketing.
There are so many areas of expertise within Marketing, some of which include Digital, PR, Creative, Market Research and Client Services. Not to mention the volume of industries that you could go into, so it’s important to research what areas interest you the most. Although it can be a little daunting to know where to start, getting in touch with a marketing recruitment agency like Stonor can help advise you on the industry and where your skills would best suit. Once you have found something you’re interested in pursuing, you need to go for it.
You will need to tailor your CV to fit the job role you’re applying for, this will help employers understand what you can bring to the role, even if you don’t have many skills that match. You should write a cover letter too; a lot of the time, culture fit is more essential than experience, especially for an entry level marketing job, so it's the perfect opportunity to explain why you’re looking to change career as well as get your personality across to the employer. Using a marketing recruitment agency like Stonor is helpful because they offer a free CV check if you apply for a role through them.
Preparing for a salary drop
If you are looking at changing careers completely, you may need to consider applying for an entry level role so you can build up your expertise. There would be a possibility you will need to take a pay cut. A few simple tips for being able to do this would be to create a new budget that will consider your new salary and look for a way to save on your current bills/commitments. Although it can be nerve racking, think about your long-term goal and where you see yourself in 5 years!
Even though change can be overwhelming, it can lead to your overall happiness and job satisfaction. If you’re looking for a career in Marketing, these simple steps should help you make that transition a little easier and remember to contact Stonor if you’re looking for a Marketing Recruitment agency!
We are delighted to be exhibiting at the Buckinghamshire Business Expo on March 6th at The Gateway in Aylesbury.
The Expo is a central part of the Buckinghamshire Business Festival - a celebration of business in the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain which runs from March 2nd – 13th and is organised by Buckinghamshire Business First.
We will be exhibiting at the Expo from 10am-4pm and invite people to come along on the day to see us and lots more businesses that will be showcasing the best of the Buckinghamshire business community. Come and speak to our team to learn more about what we do and how we can help you.
You can book a free ticket to visit the Expo and experience all that’s on offer via the Buckinghamshire Business First website: https://bbf.uk.com/businessexpo
For any queries about the Business Expo or the Business Festival, contact Buckinghamshire Business First: 01494 927130 / email@example.com.
I was recently asked to write a blog on " How to negotiate a pay rise"
Excited at the prospect of not having been put out to pasture just yet and welcoming the opportunity to utilise all my past sales experience, gained working for one of the worlds biggest consumer goods companies, l put pen to paper.
The words flowed liked a well oiled engine before suddenly stalling and spluttering to a holt.
The problem it turned out was not that the project had defeated me , but that l didn't believe what l was writing, and l will explain why. - I don't actually think that an employee should ask for a pay rise.
Well run companies pride themselves on telling everyone that their employees are there most important asset and nowadays go to considerable lengths to hang on to valuable members of staff, whether it be massages at the work place, free food, relaxed dress code, games rooms, flexible hours, generous pensions, extra holidays etc. The most obvious way to keep staff happy is to pay them well, commonly known as "The golden handcuffs" and successfully used by any company worth their salt.
If, as an employee, you feel the need to ask your employer for more money, then there are two questions you need to ask yourself first. Am l not being paid more because the company does not value me and are not particularly bothered whether they keep me or not? or, are they just not a very well run business who don't respect their staff? Either way, the time and energy that you would need to put into planning and presenting your case for a salary increase would probably be better spent looking for another job.
It is very easy to stay in a role simply because it is something you have done before when in fact it might be important to properly assess your skills and consider branching out into another area, or at least find a role that fully allows you to perform at your best. It is interesting that a footballer will often sit on the bench at one club only to become a superstar at another club; Liverpool fans will know who l am thinking of! If however you are performing well but just not being appreciated then you will have to move to a well run company that does respect their employees and reward them accordingly.
From my forty three years experience working in the employment sector, the net result of anyone who does manage to negotiate a salary increase has tended to be the following. The company resents the individual and only pays them more money to give themselves breathing space to go out and find a replacement, or, the individual comes to realise that it wasn't just the salary that was the problem and ends up looking for another job anyway.
Author: David Carroll
Stonor Recruitment specialises in Marketing, Creative, Digital, PR, Legal & Market Research Recruitment. To brief us on a role or for more information about outsourcing your marketing recruitment, please contact us.
There is no denying that artificial intelligence in recruitment is extremely helpful within the industry. Not only does it reduce the workload for hiring managers and recruiters, it can enhance the recruitment experience for both client and candidate. But can we expect to see any revolutionary changes from AI in 2020?
In the past we’ve used chatbots in recruitment to instant message our website visitors, typically between business hours. As technology progresses, we expect to see chatbots become a vital part in the recruitment journey as they become more intuitive. Bots now have the ability to act as the recruiter’s personal PA. Features of many advanced chatbots include screening candidates, booking them in for interviews, matching them to relevant roles and answering general questions. Alongside these features, chatbots can operate around the clock so they remove the barrier of business hours. By reducing the time spent on administration, recruiters can divert the attention to important aspects of their job – interviewing and recommending candidates.
Optimisation has played a huge part in marketing for years. Aside from segmenting and grouping your audiences to help increase your open rates and CTR’s, it is now becoming increasingly apparent that sending your campaign to the right person at the right time is more powerful. Automated email and marketing businesses such as SendinBlue now have the capability to send your email to a high volume of recipients on the same day, but tailored to the right time for that exact contact. With this type of functionality, engagement rates are naturally higher than previous methods.
Automated Candidate Sourcing
Once a time-consuming task for recruiters, candidate sourcing has been revolutionised by highly intuitive job boards and of course LinkedIn. With social media and hyper connectivity, consultants are now able to search for and reach candidates they would never have been able to access to before. Developments in AI have meant that recruiters are able to find professionals for even the most niche roles. A time-saving measure that means companies can spend less on admin resources and more time on helping businesses find the right employees.
Sourcing Freelancers and Remote Workers
In 2020 it is estimated that 50% of workers will work remotely according to a report from OddsMonkey. This trend has changed over the last few years dramatically, which means recruitment companies and HR Managers are able to adjust their search criteria. This is a huge opportunity for recruiters as they are able to extend their search range without having the barrier of location preventing them from finding the most suitable candidates. By applying this in their search criteria when using job boards such as Indeed or CV Library, CV’s tailored to specific requirements will be sent to the recruiter. Video Interview technology such as Hinterview, cuts out the necessity for face to face interviews.
Facial Recognition Apps
Now this one actually could be revolutionary.
There are a wave of new apps that provide the functionality to assess the candidate’s facial expressions during video interviews, these intuitive apps can (apparently) determine if the individual will be a good fit for a company. We’ve already seen quite a few large brands adopt this within their recruitment journey and it’s only going to increase.
So 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the industry, with changes such as remote and flexible working still set to rise it will be interesting to see how AI evolves even further to change the face of recruitment.
To brief us on a role or for more information about outsourcing your marketing recruitment, please contact us.
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 Recruitment.
Stonor Recruitment specialises in Marketing, Creative, Digital, PR, Legal & Market Research Recruitment. To brief us on a role or for more information about outsourcing your marketing recruitment, please contact us.
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.
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. You could always look into working from home options with your employer which can help decrease the stress of commuting, even if it's a day a week.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our jobs page.
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 email@example.com.
Top 8 team building activity ideas for your marketing agency
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!)…
1. 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!
2. 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!
3. 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!
4. 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!
5. 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!
6. Two Truths and a Lie
This quick activity is a great little ice breaker, especially for new joiners. For this exercise, get every team member to write down two truths about themselves and one lie but make sure they don’t reveal them yet. Once every person has finished, each team member should tell everyone the three facts. The team then have to guess which one is a lie. The idea behind this activity is to get the team to share interesting facts about themselves and to encourage team bonding.
7. Office Trivia
Office trivia is a quick and fun game that can be played both in-person and virtually, for those who work remotely. All you need to do is come up with 20-30 questions that are specific to your workplace. It’s a good way to test your employee's knowledge and is also great for team bonding.
8. Body of Words
This is a fun and simple game that’ll get the whole team involved. The aim is to get the team to create letters and words using their bodies. It’s a great way to encourage communication and planning, as each team will need to work together. The team that creates each word the quickest wins. Adding the competitive element also helps with team bonding.
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 Recruitment today.
What are the benefits of working from home? 8 pros & cons of flexible working
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.
5 Benefits of remote 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…
1. 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!
2. 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.
3. Flexible working can make your agency more divers
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.
4. 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.
5. Flexible working improves employees’ skill
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.
3 challenges of remote working
Despite the many benefits of working from home, it also comes a few challenges. Overall, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, however, there are a few things employers should consider when offering remote working options.
1. Impact on work/life balance
A common issue with working from home is the impact on working hours. Many people struggle to switch off after a hard day of working as they find it difficult to determine when work begins and ends.
Working in the office means that at the end of the day, employees can head home and leave work at the office. Due to virtual workplaces, employees have constant connectivity to work, so fully switching off is not as simple as leaving the building at the end of the working day. In turn, this can have a negative impact on work/life balance. So, it’s important for leadership teams to set boundaries in order to help manage employees wellbeing whilst working remotely.
When it comes to sickness, company policies are usually very clear for office-based employees. If you’re ill and unable to work, then you can take the day off. Unfortunately, for people who work from home, the lines are slightly blurred.
Often, employees who work from home will struggle to churn out work while feeling bunged-up or groggy. The negative impact on workers is obvious - lack of recovery time, feeling awful and worrying that you’re not working hard enough, but the implications for the business can also be detrimental. While sick-working employees might be available online, there’s no real guarantee that the quality of work they’re able to do is to company standards. Errors will likely be made, which could have wider complications for the business.
It’s important for employers to set clear policies when it comes to sickness and working from home. It can be hard to get the right balance but offering flexibility and encouraging open communication can help to look after employees’ wellbeing and ensure the quality of work isn’t compromised.
3. Lack of team spirit
One of the biggest challenges of remote working is the lack of team bonding, especially when onboarding new team members. It’s hard for newbies to build relationships with their colleagues when working in isolation. While some enjoy working on their own in a quiet environment, many thrive in an office space, where ideas can freely bounce around and colleagues can offer support for one another.
One way to overcome this issue when working from home is to organise regular meetings and calls to give teams the opportunity to speak freely outside of the day-to-day tasks and duties. This is also a great way to encourage team bonding, which is essential for creating a good working environment.
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.
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 and 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. Contact Stonor Recruitment today!
8 tips to help improve your CV
We’ve gathered our top 8 tips to improve your CV so that you can impress employers and land the interview.
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 eight CV tips for you.
1. Think about the style of your CV
The font needs to be clear and readable for your employer and this also counts for aesthetics. The aim is to get everything across in 10 seconds, so think about using bullet points and don’t make it complicated!
2. Adjust the layout of your CV
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 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.
3. Stick to the Truth
In no way is it ever okay to lie about your experience on your CV. It’ll 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!
4. Make your CV 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.
5. Try using active verbs
Using active verbs on your CV can signal to employers that you’re confident in your abilities. Showcasing your skills with an active voice is a great way to impress the person reading your CV or application.
6. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes
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 it, 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.
7. Make sure your email address sounds professional
When employers review your CV, they tend to scrutinise every part. Even something as trivial as an inappropriate email address can make employers think that you are unprofessional and not taking the application process seriously. Make sure you keep the address simple and use your full name.
8. Tailor your CV so that it’s the perfect fit for the company
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 curriculum vitae 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! Contact Stonor Recruitment today.
How to identify skills gaps in your marketing agency
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.
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.
How to build your first employee training programme
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
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 tips to help you get the salary you want in a job interview!
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
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 finding your next marketing role! 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.
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.
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 Recruitment today.
Should you hire a Freelance or Perm Employee?
Debating whether to hire a freelancer or perm employee for your Marketing Agency? 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.
“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 Recruitment 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
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 recruitment mistakes to avoid in the creative and marketing sector 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
It's 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.
7 tips to help banish your interview nerves for good!
Job interviews are both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Once the initial warm glow of making it through to the 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.
Whether you’re preparing for a virtual video interview or one in-person, 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. This 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. Do some research to fully prepare
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. Practice makes perfect
Research is an essential part of successful interview prep, but what will really help reduce your nerves is practising your answers beforehand. We suggest running through some possible questions and saying your answers aloud. Start off using your notes as prompts, then when you feel more comfortable you can practice without. The more familiar you are with the answers you have prepared, the less nervous you’ll feel on the day.
You can practice talking to yourself in the mirror, or alternatively get a relative, friend or partner to act as the interviewer. However, make sure the person you choose is someone who is kind, supportive, and most importantly… honest! Constructive feedback can be very useful and highlight any areas you need to work on.
6. Boost your confidence with positive self-talk
Self-talk can be tricky, especially for those of us who are overly critical of ourselves. However, the language that you use to talk to yourself can impact your mindset. It’s important to change the perspective on any negative thoughts so that they are constructive rather than destructive.
Try changing your interview nerves to excitement. Avoid constantly telling yourself how worried or stressed you are about the big day. Instead, flip your perspective and focus on the excitement of having the opportunity to showcase your skills. If you want the interviewer to believe you are right for the role, first you need to believe in yourself and your abilities.
7. 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
When it comes to building a high performing 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
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.
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 tips to help you smash your marketing interview...
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?
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 Marketing Events 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, get in touch with one of the Stonor Recruitment team. It’s packed full of useful hints and tips to help you take the next step in your marketing career.
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.
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 notice though…
So how do you spot 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.
11 quick job hunting tips for busy people
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 the 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. Connect with your network
LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other industry professionals and recruiters. It might be worth reaching out to people in your network to see what opportunities are available.
4. Utilise handy job alerts
Make sure you are signed up for job alerts on both LinkedIn and job boards so that you don’t miss any opportunities. When you search for roles on LinkedIn, just click on the “Job Alert’ button and you’ll get updates about similar jobs.
5. Use LinkedIn as a search engine
Whether you have a clear idea of the role you want, or you’re looking to venture down a new career path, using the search function in LinkedIn can help you find loads of opportunities. You can use broad industry terms, or more specific job roles to search for what you want. It’s important to remember that this is also how recruiters look for potential candidates. So, make sure you use relevant keywords within your profile description in order to be found for the right role to match your skillset.
6. Use professional photos on your profile page
If you haven’t already, make sure to add a headshot to your LinkedIn profile. It’s important that the photo is relatively up-to-date and looks professional.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Research recruiters and register with one you trust
It’s always best if someone can refer you to a recruiter 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!
11. Try to stay positive
Job hunting isn’t always an easy journey. You may find that you have a few knockbacks along the way, but it’s important to try to stay positive (easier said than done, we know). Always ask for feedback where possible and use this to help you improve for next time. The right job is waiting for you, so don’t give up!
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
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…
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
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.