The Bank of England has predicted the UK will enter into recession in the last quarter of 2022. Limited spending leads to little economic growth and unfortunately, recruitment is an area which will feel this hit sooner and harder than other industries. In spite of this, the world keeps turning and recruitment is still necessary during a recession. Even though candidates are likely to be more reluctant to leave their current jobs, plenty of candidates will still be graduating from university and looking for work. Some workers will be faced with the reality of redundancy or reduced hours. Recession recruitment then will play an important role in many lives. So, what can you do to navigate the recession as a jobseeker? When there is an economic recession, finding a job can be a challenge. Successfully securing a new job requires patience, determination and the willingness to adapt to new working conditions and processes. Learning how to find a job during an economic downturn can help you navigate any potential challenges with patience and expertise. In this article, we discuss what a recession is, explore how to find a job during a recession and review some tips to help you during your job search.
Update Your CV To Stay Ahead In A RecessionThe most important thing you need to do, you can do right now. Updating your CV should be part of your job search anyway, even in a booming economy there is fierce competition in the digital marketing industry. To elevate your chances of getting noticed, you need to update your CV and establish your personal brand. You should clearly and effectively communicate your knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences to your potential employers. Focus on your skills. When job opportunities are limited, the competition becomes even more fierce so it is important that you put together a strong cover letter to accompany your CV. This will help differentiate your application from other candidates. Your CV should demonstrate your work history, skills and any relevant achievements. For graduates with limited work experience, check out our previous blog post on how to demonstrate your value to potential employers. You can include any technical skills such as computer programs or any additional languages you speak. Just make sure you would be comfortable speaking those languages in the workplace!
What Areas Of Media Remain Lucrative in A Recession?If your chosen career or industry does not thrive during a recession, you might need to consider looking for work elsewhere. Temporary jobs or those with transferrable skills to your dream career can help you gain valuable experience and build your CV for future job seeking. Some industries which tend to be recession-proof include education and law. Luckily, there are areas of the media industry which are proven to be recession-proof. Performance media offers the lowest risk return on media investment and so it is the safest form of advertising there is. Anyone with a website offering can justify highly quantifiable expenditure through performance media channels. We have already talked about the following areas being among the most in-demand marketing roles this year:
- PPC Search
- Paid Social Media
Level Up To Keep UpIn the highly competitive digital marketing and ad agency industries, you may find you have access to a wider range of jobs when you learn new skills. You can find many free resources online including podcasts which discuss the skills you are interested in learning. Spend some time determining if you need to brush up on certain skills to make yourself more marketable - it might be a brand-new skill or something you haven't utilized in some time. Review job descriptions for jobs in your field and industry, keep up to date with new technologies and trends and you can make yourself a more employable candidate both in the short term and when the economy picks up. Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning and Google Analytics are all great resources.
Networking (Always Networking!)We've said it before, and we'll say it again! Networking is such a powerful tool. Seek out like-minded professionals and research events, both in-person and virtually. LinkedIn and Facebook both host professional groups and the opportunity to comment and engage with people in your industry and beyond. You can make use of both personal and professional social media to signal that you're open to new work opportunities. make sure you perform a social media audit to make sure you are putting out the best image you can. Connecting with and contacting people within your professional or personal networks is helpful when there is a recession as they may know about job opportunities that are not advertised online. Step outside your comfort zone and make yourself visible. If there is a thread, share relevant information as well as your own personal experiences and expertise. You never know where what doors that engagement may open up in your professional career.
Act Now To Get AheadThere is no time like the present. For more helpful articles like this one, head to the Dotgap blog: Upskilling And Why Is It Important For Me Why Is LinkedIn The Ultimate Career Tool Dotgap breaks the traditional digital recruitment agency mould and have a more thoughtful, considerate approach. We know the industry because we have all worked there ourselves. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.
This month, we have been talking about career progression and how you can change jobs to optimize your learning and build experience. But how do you demonstrate skills and talent when applying for a graduate role? In digital industries, marketing graduates are in a good position, as they know the latest developments and newest digital tech. Graduate employers are looking to recruit motivated applicants who have relevant skills and who will fit into their company culture. A good degree is a standard requirement and while some will look for certain technical expertise, most are focused on potential. The question remains, how can you find relevant ways to showcase skills like commitment, teamwork and motivation to learn without previous work experience in the industry? Read on for our tips:
# 1 CommitmentA key step in career advancement is to establish loyalty and commitment, not only to the industry but to your team and company. For obvious reasons, this can be difficult if you are applying for your first role. Commitment gives you credibility and value as an employee. So how can you demonstrate these qualities using your life so far, before you become a marketing graduate?
- Make sure you demonstrate your passion and genuine interest for the industry. Is this just a job? Or the start of a career?
- If you spend your spare time, reading and even working on projects related to your field of work, make sure you include this in any application or interview -these sorts of activities demonstrate commitment.
- Talk about long term plans. Be clear about your plans and goals for personal development within the company!
- You can also join groups on social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn and engage with discussions
#2 Team PlayerWorking well on a team improves productivity as each member is working towards a common goal, and the company culture created is a positive one, encouraging members to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and motivate them. So, as a marketing graduate, how can you demonstrate you are a team player and available to help your colleagues?
- If you've ever played team sports, this is a great example of, quite literally, being a team player!
- Think about any group projects you might have taken part in over your educational career and how you communicated, organised and problem-solved with that group.
- Whatever your example, emphasise group successes and be clear about your actions and their contributions.
#3 MotivationHiring managers and prospective employers will be looking for motivation as one of their key attributes in any potential hire, especially in a graduate. This is your chance to show you have the drive to work hard and perform well. You need to show what motivates you at work and whether you are able to work on your own initiative. Without employment history in the industry, you can still demonstrate your motivation the following ways:
- Build an active presence in your industry on social media. Join groups and participate in discussions to show your interest and ideas
- Volunteering in a role which chares skills or in the industry is also very well received - you must be motivated to work for free!
- Think about the language you use on your CV when describing your accomplishments. Avoid generic verbs like "led," "managed," or "built" and replace them with word like "negotiated," "persuaded," or "appointed."
Marketing Graduates: You've Got This!Getting a job as a marketing graduate comes down to this: Transferable skills. Transferable skills are competencies that can be carried over from one activity to another. So don't undervalue your experience. You should get involved in a wide range of activities and work experience while you are at university to develop these skills so you can promote yourself to employers. Are you a marketing graduate? Dotgap has a wide range of opportunities for you! Check out our current vacancies here.
Whether you are job seeking or have been headhunted, you are in a unique position to find out if a workplace is the right fit. This includes checking whether a company truly cares about diversity, equity and inclusivity. An inclusive workplace can look different for everyone. Here's our three tips on how to make sure your potential employer goes further than just ticking boxes.
1. Ask The Right QuestionsTypically, a recruiter should be able to answer most questions you have. They work with the same companies over time and should know their processes and culture well. Think about what's important to you and pick a few key questions to ask. It is always a good idea to follow any phone calls with more detailed questions over email. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Do you take on school leavers and/or graduates as part of your talent pool development?
- What maternity/paternity cover is offered?
- If you are applying for a remote role, how does the company support inclusivity?
2. Be Specific About Your NeedsWhile you don't need to bare all on your CV, or divulge personal information in your interview if you aren't comfortable, it is important to express your needs to assess whether a company is ready to accommodate you. Consider talking to your recruiter if you are uncomfortable discussing anything at interview.
3. Make ConnectionsCheck Facebook and LinkedIn for any groups or connections you can reach out to prior to any interview. People who currently work at the company or have previously worked at the company will be able to provide you with different insights into the working culture. They might also be able to offer you helpful advice for your interview. Prepare some questions to ask and be candid, you want to find out information from behind the scenes. Try these examples as a jumping off point:
- What do you like/dislike about working at the company. (If they no longer work there, you can ask why they left if it is relevant.)
- How would you describe the company culture?
- How would you describe the work environment?
- What if any activities outside of work do you attend?
Company Culture: Trust Your GutWhat a company has published online, both on their website and social media provides key information on their DE&I policies. But it is important to dig a little deeper. You need to make a judgement on whether it feels authentic or not. Does it make clear, measurable commitments and report on progress? Check out sites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor for more information on company structure and any potential red flags. Twitter and industry news sites can provide more relevant information on potential employers. Are senior executives leading conversations? Your instincts are usually right. so, don't forget to ask, express, and do your research! For the latest in digital jobs, head to dotgap now.
Our last blog post talked about diversity and why it is so important. This week we are diving into how you can improve your diversity through clever recruiting. Having different perspectives and backgrounds in your team will contribute to new and more diverse ideas. This helps to drive innovation in your company. The development of a diversity recruitment strategy is one way to do this. On top of this, it is our belief that all companies should be striving for diversity regardless of business benefits. Building teams from qualified candidates regardless of their gender, orientation, race, religion, socioeconomic background, or disability is long overdue, and a step toward true equality in the workplace. We recommend doing a diversity audit initially to see where you need to focus your efforts. You will probably find your HR department holds a lot of relevant information. However, an anonymous survey can be an invaluable tool for collecting information on diversity. Let your employees know you are working to improve your diversity and need their help to build a diversity recruitment strategy. You can quickly and easily create anonymous online surveys using tools such as SurveyMonkey.
Spend time Auditing Job AdsAs an extension of the diversity audit of your company as a whole, you should spend time doing an audit of your previous job advertisements. Two main areas to consider are:
- Language use: It is important to find ways to be more inclusive in your language to appeal to candidates from different backgrounds. Many advertisements have language geared toward a certain demographic which inadvertently excludes others.
- Qualification criteria: Consider less focus on specific degrees or schools and instead, concentrate on competencies. For example, critical thinking, or the ability to work as part of a diverse team.
Reduce Unconscious Bias with Blind RecruitingBlind hiring allows you to gear all your vacancies toward unbiased processes from the very start of your recruitment process. By intentionally removing any details that can give the reader insight into the applicant's background, you can screen the applications on job-related issues only thereby reducing bias. CVs are edited to include only skills, and job-relevant experience and abilities. For example, age bias can be avoided by removing graduation dates and dates of previous employment and years of experience (as long as they are not relevant). All you need to include is what type of qualifications candidates have and how they rate themselves in the skills you set out in your advert. Try asking for them to rate experience as basic, intermediate, or expert for example. You could use screening tests to help remove unconscious bias like geographic, education, affinity or gender biases.
Agencies Can Help Improve Your DiversityAnother thing you need is a diverse talent pool to source candidates from. Focussing on only the sources that you know best can result in a talent pool of similar candidates and a lack of diversity. So, how can you make sure you are casting the net as wide as possible?
- Consider using a recruitment agency. With their own pool of people each with their own candidates sing an agency can really help you with your outreach.
- Source your candidates from a variety of different places.
- Think about including internships to candidates from specific backgrounds.
Use Your Existing Employees' NetworksTry reaching out to some of the employees on your team who might be part of the demographic you are looking to hire. You can encourage them to share job advertisements with their networks and make sure you support them and provide them with the tools to promote your company properly. This approach is great for company culture and makes employees and candidates feel valued. Creating a diverse referral program is a great way to boost your diversity recruitment strategy.
There’s No Reason You Can't Improve Your DiversityIn short, there is no excuse. From both a business perspective and a moral one you need to be taking steps to make sure you have a diverse and inclusive working environment. As a creative agency it can propel your innovation and problem solving to new heights as well as making you and your product more relatable. Don't fall behind, get ahead of the pack and start today.
For a long time, digital industries and media agencies have had a lack of diversity in regard to their employees and senior members. Gender, age and race are the least balanced but this article will also look at LGBQT+ and disabilities to help highlight the problems, progress and areas to work on for a more diverse digital media world. While stats across all industries showed some improvements in these areas over the last decade, unfortunately, and especially in media agencies, this progress was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with stats showing a drop across all areas. For more information, you can check the IPA 2020 Census. This report suggests the pay gap widened too, as did the number of female employees. However, it would be remiss to ignore the latest findings of the same report. Only a year later we can see some improvement and there are some encouraging findings:
- More individuals from a non-white background are holding senior positions, as well as an increase in those holding entry-level and junior roles.
- There has been an increase, albeit a marginal one, of women holding senior roles in media agencies.
Diverse Workforces: Ethnic DiversityAccording to data collected by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, a sobering 88.8% of employees in the digital sector are from a white ethnic group. What's more, a study entitled 'Black, Qualified and Unemployed' found that BME individuals who graduated with a first degree were twice as likely to be unemployed than white graduates. 2020 was a year of big change in terms of bringing racial discrimination to the foreground of public opinion. The Black Lives Matter Movement was unlike anything seen in decades and was impossible for businesses to ignore. BAME representation has improved in media and advertising agencies in the last few years, there is still more that can be done. There is so much untapped potential out there. It has been suggested that if individuals from BAME backgrounds were able to reach their full career potential through opportunities and progress in the workplace they would add 24 billion to the UK economy with the most diverse companies over 30% more likely to have higher earnings. If you are interested in hearing more, BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) are pushing for more initiatives and accountability around improving diversity. They believe that a diversity index with baseline diversity stats would help everyone to set targets and see how much further it is for the UK sector to go. Head to their website for more information.
Diverse Workforces: Gender DiversityWhen it comes to gender, women are taking up less than 40% of roles. So we need to ask why. Gender imbalance in digital and tech starts all the way back in the UK primary, secondary and higher education systems. Recent estimates have found that 50,000 girls turn away from STEM subjects every year, despite out-performing boys across STEM subjects. Some studies suggest this starts with general misinformation about what school subjects can lead to what roles. For example, there are many outdated preconceptions around STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and careers. But we should not forget that non-STEM subjects can lead to digital roles too. Digital, media and tech companies can counter this by doing outreach in schools, giving talks and making sure they are involved in communities in some way. Schools should be communicating career opportunities and pathways to all students. There is still an image of STEM subjects and digital jobs being more masculine which is not helped in male-dominated classrooms and workspaces. Combined with a lack of support, from those teachers or parents who don't understand tech and digital, this can lead to a lack of confidence which sees women perhaps not going for careers they want.
Diverse Workforces: Ageism And DiversityThere is an age divide in the media, advertising and digital industries. It appears the under 25s and over 55s are affected the most. A report from 2020 found that only 7% of those employed by agencies were under 25 and only 6% were over 50. With an average age of 34 in most media agencies, what causes this and what can be done to counter it? The truth is, with a wide age range of employees, you will be able to successfully talk to more consumers, something which is particularly important in the media advertising industries. If creativity and communication is the goal, creating a multi-generational environment can help fuel better solutions. "More than 500% of budgets are targeted at millennials; yet consumers 55+ spend more than double the 18-34s." - Annalie Killian, Sparks & Honey, from this article in The Drum, reminding us that the older generations have more money to spend, so perhaps it is time fore a shift in focus.
Diverse Workforces: LGBTQ+ RepresentationThis is a more positive section of this article, the All In census found the number of employees identifying at LGBTQIA+ is significantly higher in media advertising agencies than the UK population average. The UK average is 3% whereas 10% of those working in agencies identify as LGBTQIA+. However, this census did find that almost 40% of those who identified as LGBTQIA+ felt under-represented at senior levels, compared with only 23% of heterosexual employees. It would be important to examine the reasons why this could be the case in your agency, and be sure to encourage all co-workers to apply for promotions and senior roles regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Research by The Valuable 500 found that out of all the articles discussing diversity published in 2019 and 2020, only three percent referenced disabilities. So, while there is a big conversation around other aspects of diversity, this is one community who are continually side-lined. People with disabilities are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the world including more than 750 million individuals. Disability inclusion significantly widens the talent pool. Moreover, companies that excel at disability employment and inclusion are likely to experience higher revenue, higher net income, higher economic profit margins and an increased likelihood of outperforming their peers. A related point, taken from another blog post on disability diversity that should encourage all of us to care more about this issue is this: Unlike the other diversity types mentioned in this article, a disability can be developed at any point during your life. You can become disabled at any time so equity and inclusion should be important to all.
Diversity And Inclusion Mean SuccessIn short, being inclusive of gender, age, disability, race and LGBQT+ will give your company a diverse and representative workforce. What this means is that your output will likely be better for your consumer. Bringing as many different ideas and perspectives to the digital table is paramount to inclusive, supportive workplaces and brilliant products/services that are built with all users in mind. Having more diverse teams at every level of development in a digital company means that end products and services can better reflect users and wider society. Creating products free of bias and prejudice cannot be achieved without a diverse creating team.
What Can We Do To Be More Diverse?Within your company, you can make every day, micro-level changes. If we use gender diversity s the example here, you could think about preventing a male-centric groupthink, or encouraging a female colleague to go for a senior position. Something as simple as making space to listen to the concerns of women in the workplace can help to build a respectful, comfortable environment. People from different countries, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientation, ages and so on must embrace such diversity – not just tolerate it. They need to seek out the opinions of people who may seem foreign to them and think differently from them. They need to bring them into the tents of strategy-making, business process redesign, business model revolution, and skill building. That’s the inclusion part of diversity, and it’s just as important as having a multitude of very different people from very different walks of life. Digital companies have to take the initiative and become pro-active when it comes to diversity. New initiatives nationally and regionally are worth engaging with, as well as looking at your recruitment policies and diversity and inclusion training for current employees. Blind hiring and unconscious bias training for all staff is a great way to start your journey to a truly diverse company. Policies and procedures in the workplace to support diversity, create comfortable workplaces and ensure employees don’t drop out are all well and good but starting at an earlier stage, before candidates get to the workplace is important too. Think about talking to your recruitment agency next time you are hiring. For more blog posts about media agencies, jobseeking and roles, head to dotgap now.
It can be a daunting prospect, to go back to work. From the perspective of the woman who has been home looking after children, it can be overwhelming and intimidating, depending on how long you have been out of the traditional workforce. Unfortunately, there is still a deeply ingrained bias within the world of work. It ignores the value-added skills a mother has, both innately, and learned from their experiences as a parent. At dotgap, we believe Motherhood is no reason to feel as though you can't go back to your career in media. Read on for our tips on how to take back your job.
Why Is Media So Difficult To Return To?Media careers are often hard-earned and low paid, with a lot of emphasis placed on work experience. Taking time away can make you feel as though you've lost the momentum you've likely spent years building. Both media and marketing are fast-paced industries, changing more rapidly than ever with new technologies and software being released all the time. A year or two out of work and you can feel really out of the loop! There are a lot of articles out there talking about using your time as a mother to take courses and learn new skills. However, motherhood is already demanding you learn, on the job, every day. So, how can you stay in the know?
- Try to use social media to connect with other women in the industry or the company you are interested in. If you can find a good mentor this way, it would be invaluable.
- Industry podcasts are a great way to keep on top of the hottest topics.
- You could also set up industry news alerts on your phone so you get the latest information wherever you are.
Talk About The Skills You Have Gained Through MotherhoodThis is an important one. Don't shy away from the things you have learnt and tasks you have achieved while you have been working as a mother. Much like we talked about in our post about writing a CV in 2022, you need to be upfront and open about what you've done at home. Don't be embarrassed to use examples from your home life to demonstrate how you can juggle tasks and get things done. For example: Planning a wedding is not something we might think to cite as experience on a CV. It can, however, be a fantastic example of dealing with multiple suppliers and stakeholders, multitasking under pressure, and working to a deadline!
Time ManagementEvery day, mums have to look after other lives as well as their own. This ultimately means using the time in a day effectively. It is easy enough to fill a day with one person's needs, for example, eating, exercising, work, rest and play. But if you double or triple this responsibility you've got to be seriously good at organisation and time management. Prioritising tasks is a natural part of day-to-day life as a mother. This can be transferred to managing workloads or a team of people in the workplace.
Communication and NegotiationAs a mother, it is a natural and an instinctive skill to speak clearly and comprehensively, especially with young children. Instructions are given simply, and tasks are explained with patience and clarity. This is a skill which has enormous value in the workplace. The negotiation skills required to calmly talk a toddler out of a meltdown can make mums excellent colleagues, easy to talk to and patient with questions. This patience and approachability give mums a specific skillset which can make them great managers, better than other candidates in many circumstances.
Working Under PressureAny new parent has to quickly learn how to handle a range of previously unknown situations. This adaptability is undervalued by employers in the workplace. Mums can react and adapt to new situations quickly and calmly, while meeting ever-changing and often immediate deadlines.
Be Clear About Your NeedsUse those excellent communication and negotiation skills learned through motherhood when discussing any role with a potential employer.
- Make sure that any flexibility offered is actually flexible.
- Communicate clearly when you will be contactable to employers and colleagues (hours/working days).
- Don't be afraid to bring up remote working or flexible home working options.
- Be clear about plans for potential kids' sick days, you can ask the agency if they have days off available for dependents?