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There are more people than ever working in remote or hybrid roles. But what impact will a recession have on this 'new normal'? News of an impending global recession has many remote workers worried they will be the first to go. While it is certainly wise to be prepared and ensure you are doing what you can to remain a valuable member of your workforce, it would appear that remote workers could actually help businesses retain staff and save money through a recession. Since employees were all sent home in March 2020 employees have discovered how flexible working has improved their stress levels and in many cases improve productivity. In fact, recent data even suggests that fully remote teams are surpassing the productivity of on-site teams, with hybrid workforces performing particularly well. This article will provide a brief look at a couple of key points from this discussion to help put your mind at ease.

Remote Workers Save Money: The Aim of The Game During A Recession

Remote working doesn't just save employees travel costs. Downsizing office sizes can save companies tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds (GBP) per year. On top of the saving in rent, the cost savings also come from equipment and building maintenance, repairs, and utilities. Even companies which offer their remote workers money towards their home set up or internet see an enormous saving. So what does this mean for the return to work battle? Over the last few years, workers have gained leverage in the jobs market and digital is no different. In a recession, employers generally look to reduce their headcount. This will shift the market from candidate-driven to client-led with the power shifting from jobseekers to those hiring. This represents a challenge for recruiters but remote roles could be the way to turn the situation to their advantage. Businesses need marketing, always so there will always be a requirement for digital marketers and working remotely can help cut costs.  

Recession and The Workplace Proximity Bias

There has always been a thought that those who seldom visit the office to work and, as such, have little direct physical contact with their managers are more likely to be let go.  In the current economic climate, the question has taken on a new urgency, are the remote employees more likely to be on the firing line?  Unfortunately, data on this issue are almost non-existent. Never before have there been so many remote workers. While prejudice against remote workers may not be a manager's intention, it is difficult to imagine fair treatment when some employees are always physically close and some are at home. Given the benefits hybrid and remote work has shown so far though, it would appear that workplace proximity bias could become a thing of the past.   

Good News For Digital?

The digital marketing industry has shown no signs of slowing down, and while we certainly expect things to change as employers and individuals strive to cut costs, businesses are increasingly realising their online presence and digital marketing are vital in growing and retaining their customer base. By supporting remote work, digital agencies can keep people employed while saving money themselves. Hybrid and remote work is to be embraced and is proving to be a viable model for workplaces now and in the future. Digital agencies can lead the way becoming adaptable and flexible enterprises that can rapidly adapt to new circumstances while continuing to design and deliver services to customers. Dotgap is here to keep media professionals doing what they love! Get in touch today to find out how we can help.

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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 Recession

The 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 
  • Programmatic 
While temporary jobs only last for a specific amount of time and may only include limited job responsibilities, performing well at a temporary job can help you expand your professional network, which may assist you in eventually finding full-time work in your desired role.  

Level Up To Keep Up

In 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 Ahead

There 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.    

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In honour of World Mental Health Awareness Day on the 10th October, this week's blog post will consider how to evaluate your work-life balance and offer some ideas on how to improve your sense of well-being. Work-life balance has been a subject of discussion for decades but it has become much more so following the pandemic lockdowns and subsequent shift in remote /hybrid working not only in digital industries but beyond. During the lockdown, many of us experienced more time at home with remote working and the many benefits of this such as no commuting and being able to spend more time with family. Many companies have kept this freedom with remote working and hybrid working options but what does this mean for our work-life balance? Even though we are a couple of years into this shift, it can be difficult to adjust. Working from home can make it difficult to set boundaries and it can become easy to normalise working long hours or being under extreme stress. Our assumptions around work and what is expected of us easily become deep-rooted unless we take a step back and review our situation

How To Self-Check Your Work-Life Balance

Perhaps you've gotten used to feeling a certain way, or maybe you feel as though something is off. This is normal. Media careers are notoriously difficult to keep and set boundaries in due to the nature of the work and company cultures. Here are three steps you can take to evaluate how you are doing in your work-life balance:
  1. Stop and step back. We usually wait until a big life event, such as a loss or birth before letting ourselves reflect on our lives. However, it is important to consider how you are feeling and what might be causing it. For example, is there something making you feel stressed or causing you unhappiness? What are you prioritising and what are you missing out on? Figuring out and being aware of your feelings can help you work out what changes you need to make.
  2. Weigh it up. Once you know what is wrong you can think about your priorities and what needs to change. A good example of this is to work out whether needing to work on weekends is worth losing out on your free time and social life. Or, is working long hours worth losing out on family time?
  3. What are the alternatives? Is there anything that you can do within your working routine to adjust to your new priorities?

What Can You Do To Improve Your Work-Life Balance

If you work from home, a great first step you can take is to make sure you take a phone break. there are plenty of mental health benefits to limiting your exposure to the blue screen light last thing at night and first thing in the morning. In regards to maintaining a better work-life balance, taking time away from your phone will help you draw a line between work and home.   Try to work smarter by prioritising and try to avoid getting caught up in unproductive tasks and distractions. A good way to do this is to set time limits to spend on tasks and take regular breaks. This is particularly hard when you are working from home but try taking at least half an hour for lunch and get away from your desk if possible. Visit the gov.uk website for information on your legal break requirements.   If you can, consider keeping track of your working hours over the course of a week or a month to give you a better idea of how long you are actually working. Make sure you factor in time spent outside of your normal working hours where you might be worrying or thinking about work. This will be a good indicator of work-related stress. Keep track of your working hours over weeks or months rather than days. This will give you a better picture of your work-life balance.    Finally, always talk to someone if the expectations and demands of work are too much. Your manager and employer need to know where the pressures lie in order to address them. 

What Can Your Workplace Do?

It isn't just your responsibility to find a balance. Your workplace and employer play a role too and have certain responsibilities to look after your well-being. They should ask their employees about this and be responsive to ideas that could improve the work-life balance of you and your colleagues. It is down to you to communicate your needs if you are under too much pressure.    A good employer will foster a culture of openness and train managers to spot signs of stress. It is becoming more and more expected now that people should have flexible and remote working options wherever possible and provide the infrastructure to make this workable for all parties.   They should increase support for parents and carers so they can continue working and also allow for the use of relevant support services or counselling during work hours as they would for medical appointments.   And finally, just as you should step back and review your situation every so often, so too should your employer, taking time to regularly review your situation and workload with you to make sure it is achievable.

Work-Life-Balance Is A Cycle

Maintaining your work-life balance requires regular check-ins and effort from employees and employers. Work-related stress can seriously affect your ability to perform well in your role and can have a serious impact on your mental health.  Make sure you know what you are entitled to and communicate with your managers.   For more tips on working from home, check out 7 Simple Tips To Tackle Working From Home on the NHS Website.   Mental Health.org have some great tips on how to reduce stress.   If you are struggling with any mental health issues please seek help from friends, family or the NHS urgent care helpline.

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Recently, we've been talking a lot about how to get jobs, perform well in interviews and utilise moving companies to your advantage. However, given the current economic climate and cost of living crisis, many people are looking for stability and assurance they will be in work and able to pay their bills. Upskilling enables you to strengthen your position, improve your skills and develop new ones. In times of economic trouble, employers may focus on retention and fill job vacancies internally, making it a crucial time to upskill for your career growth. So, whether you are still looking for a new job, or staying where you are, you can secure your position and increase your chances of success by upskilling – in digital, there is no such thing as knowing too much!  

Upskilling - How To Do it

Effective upskilling involves the combination of internal skills and external resources. Depending on where you work and what your current working situation is, you should be able to use a mix of your company’s training modules as well as your own creativity to your advantage.  With so many of us working from home now it can be difficult to leverage company resources in the same way. So, whether you’re aiming to make a move, increase your pay or just make yourself more versatile, here are some of the top ways to upskill remotely, or fit it into your new hybrid working.

#1 Make it a part of your routine

If you are trying to fit in upskilling around working from home, it can be really challenging. By the time you've done your work it can be really hard to stay at your desk and commit to learning. But, here's the thing. If you don't commit to it, you won't do it. Try starting small, half an hour before you start your working day for example, or a quiet hour after your evening meal.

#2 Listen to podcasts

This seems to feature a lot in tips and blogs online and for good reason! There is a wealth of great information out there now, easily accessible and easy to fit in your life. You can listen to a podcast at the gym, on the bus, doing the washing up, or while working. Check out some of these upskilling podcasts as see what you think.

#3 Read industry news and books

While many books are available online to listen to know, podcasts aren't for everyone. Try subscribing to industry newsletters or magazines and looking for industry-related books you can enjoy with your coffee.

#4 Try out new technologies

Take the opportunity whenever possible to have a go at new technologies. This might be something you get the chance to do at work or something you need to take on yourself. The truth is, even non-tech roles require a certain amount of technical proficiency in the digital marketing world. There are usually free tutorials for many platforms which aren't too time consuming or labour intensive.

#5 Use online course providers

There are so many courses available online now. Udemy and LinkedIn Learning provide thousands of course options for a reasonable price - LinkedIn offers a one-month free trial. Google Analytics Academy and Codeacademy have free courses available and both provide fantastic insights for those working in digital industries.

#6 Attend virtual events

Even though we are back out in the world there are still plenty of online events and conferences which allow you to attend from your own home and connect with people around the world. A great way to learn and upskill without leaving the house - saving you time.

Upskilling Is Futureproofing

With virtual options and free courses available, if you are thinking about upskilling for any reason, there really is nothing to stop you. Just don't overload your schedule. Start with small and manageable learning and see what works with your lifestyle. Don't forget to ask your employer if there is something specific related to your role or company you want to learn - they may be able to share excellent resources with you and might even give you time to learn in your working day. For more content like this, head to the dotgap blog!

 

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As we are coming out of summer, the Christmas countdowns will be starting before you know it. The rest of the year has a tendency to slip away very quickly and if you are job hunting, you may feel as though everything grinds to a halt and you may as well wait until the new year to find a new job.  You may have even heard that companies don’t hire in the fourth quarter of the year because of the holidays. The truth is though, the worst time of year to find a job is actually over the summer, during the school holiday period.  Hiring remains relatively high across all sectors with a notable increase in hiring across hospitality and leisure, retail and media, marketing, advertising, PR and sales. These industries are the most active recruiters at the moment.   October through December are certainly very busy for businesses but companies all across the country will still be actively recruiting and keen to have open positions filled for the new year. On top of this, if you don’t find your dream job to apply for there are still plenty of things you can do to help get a job before the year ends. 

Networking Can Help You Find A Job 

Part of the reason the holiday season seems like a daunting time for jobseekers and hiring managers is the busy social side of the end of the year. It is likely your calendar will fill up with social events with friends, family and work events all vying for space. Instead of writing off the last quarter of the year to parties, why not make them work for you? 85% of job openings are filled through networking in the UK. Now, we aren't suggesting you try and network with your granddad at your Aunt Linda's Christmas lunch but you never know who you might meet at a holiday party. Someone might know of an opening at their work or put you in touch with a friend who's hiring. Consider taking business cards with you or connecting on social media. Keep it professional though - Linked In is best. For tips of how to network successfully, check out this article on networking at tech events.

Be Ready For Short Notice Interviews 

As we have already mentioned, hiring doesn’t slow down in Q4. However, you need to remember that many employees take time off for the holidays and this can slow down the recruitment process while staff cover for one another. You might notice you wait longer than usual for a reply to emails. Don't let this put you off your efforts to find a new job.   You may receive interview confirmation and a date with little notice. With staff off, it will be harder for companies to organise interviews. o, you should be ready to go at short notice. Read up on interview skills, think of answers to common interview questions and think about why you want to work for this company. When you get called in for an interview, you'll just have to focus on researching the company. You'll be able to go in armed with knowledge and feel confident you are prepared.   

Get A Headstart On The New Year

Obviously, there are many reasons you may not find a new job by the end of the year but there are still reasons why you should be active in your industry during Q4. The fact that many believe there is no hiring in Q4 will work in your favour, you might find there are less applicants and you are more likely to land an interview.  Even if your dream company isn't actually hiring until the new year, you will benefit from networking. It is a great time of year to network and if you are memorable, you might be the first person they bring in for an interview. You can avoid being lost in a pile of new year's applications. 

Now Is A Great Time To Find A Job

The average time to hire in 2022 is 42 days. If you take into account the time on either side of that for you to find a new job, and to get ready to start, the whole process can take longer. By October, many companies will be making plans for the new year which includes seeing whether they need new staff. Instead of hiring someone in January, it’s much more beneficial to hire someone in the months before so their new hire can be fully onboarded and ready to contribute once the calendar rolls over. For your next opportunity, contact doptgap today and find your next job!

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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 Questions

Typically, 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? 
You can usually find published information on gender pay gaps; companies will be proud of what they offer  Look at the company's recruitment strategy too. Are they asking for specific age, location and education information or are they taking steps to eliminate unconscious bias in recruitment? 

2. Be Specific About Your Needs

While 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 Connections

Check 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?
The answers to these questions can help give you more of a feel for day-to day life at the company and how deeply DE&I strategies are implemented.  

Company Culture: Trust Your Gut

What 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.

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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 Ads 

As 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.  
When it comes to writing new ads, slow down and be methodical in your approach.  Take time to think and strategize over the design. Try to use gender neutral terms and identify skills that are not currently present in your organization, and include new criteria to attract a different set of candidates.   

Reduce Unconscious Bias with Blind Recruiting 

Blind 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 Diversity 

Another 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' Networks

Try 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 Diversity 

 In 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.  

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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.
There is still a lack of diversity in the UK digital media sector. This is evident from the significant gender and ethnicity pay gaps. There has been little improvement in media agencies since 2020. But why are we talking about diversity and inclusion? These are not just buzz words, diversity and inclusion are critical to any media agency's success. (The IPA findings rely on member agencies, so there may be some fluctuation in these statistics)

Why is Diversity Important?

With a team of diverse employees, you will have access to more creativity and wider skill sets. Plus, more diverse ideas for solving business problems, which will help your company grow. Another incredible benefit of diversity in tech is simply having more talent to choose from.  There are different types of diversity, let's look at them here:

Diverse Workforces: Ethnic Diversity

According 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 Diversity

When 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 Diversity

There 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+ Representation

This 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.

Diverse Workforces: Disability

When we think about diversity and inclusion, too often the disabled community is excluded. 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 Success

In 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. 

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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. A mother is working at a stand up computer station with one arm around her young daughter

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.
A mother and daughter with down syndrome sit at a table together. They are playiing blocks of different shapes, sizes and textures

Talk About The Skills You Have Gained Through Motherhood

This 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 Management

Every 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 Negotiation

As 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 Pressure

Any 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.   Motherhood: A woman is sitting on a chaise lounge at the foot of a bed, working on a laptop balanced on her legs. Slightly out of focus in the background are two children napping cosily on the bed.

Be Clear About Your Needs

Use 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?
It will not be the same experience as before, so don't expect it to be! However, if the last few years has taught us anything, it is that flexibility and remote working situations can, and do, work. Parents juggled careers and home schooling alongside illness and day-to-day life, showing us that traditional workday setups aren't the only way to work.   Motherhood: A mother holds a new baby tightly against her chest with one arm while working on a laptop with the other hand

And One More Thing ...

Don't pay attention to the narrative and bias - motherhood does not make you a high-risk employee, but instead, you offer high potential. Highlight the qualities like patience, commitment and determination you can bring to the roles. Remember to communicate clearly about your needs and requirements, and you will foster a long-lasting and productive working relationship. Are you looking to get back to your media career? Head to our jobs page for the latest digital postings.      

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A second-round interview shows you have met the core job requirements, you have successfully demonstrated you want the job and they are interested in hearing more from you. It is also pretty standard for more competitive roles and it is where the real vetting happens.   Make sure you take it seriously. It is a great sign to get a second interview, but it does not confirm getting the job. The company will want to get to know you better and find out which candidates will be the best fit.   Read on for our tips on what to expect and how to prepare for your second interview.

#1 New, or More Interviewers

It's not unusual for different people to be interviewing you in a second interview. So, make sure you inquire about who will be interviewing you. Then, you can look up your interviewers as part of your interview prep, use the company website or Linked In to find out a little about their backgrounds. This can be really helpful in coming up with specific questions to ask.  Employers are impressed when a candidate has done their research.  

#2 Expect More In-Depth Questions

When it comes to your second interview, you should expect a more in-depth discussion. You will likely talk about how you will operate in the role and you should prepare new questions to demonstrate your deeper level of research.  New questions are particularly important if you are meeting with the same interviewer, so use your first interview as a jumping off point. Is there something you wished you'd brought up or a question you wish you'd answered differently? Review your notes from your first interview and see where you can expand. Think about what the role requires and make sure you have plenty of example s which demonstrate why you are the best person for the role.

#3 Show you Fit In With Company Culture 

Try to take cues from the interviewer regarding how casual or formal you should be. In today's competitive environment, much of your second-round success comes down to how well you will fit in as well as your competence for the role!  With new interviewers and unknown personalities, you might be nervous but there is no reason to stress. Just relax, be yourself and use what you've learned so far to align yourself with the company values and identity. 

#4 Presentation Tips - Response To Brief

A big part of second interviews in digital marketing is the "response to brief" presentation. This is a great way for interviewers to see whether you have the approach to handling work they are looking for. Make sure you read, and fully understand what is being asked of you, and feel free to ask questions while you are preparing. Always stick to the suggested duration and make every visual aid count. Ensure your presentation tells a good story to avoid death by PowerPoint at all costs!
You should have already asked who is interviewing you, make sure you know who you are presenting to and what is expected of you. Above all, make sure you practice it, and know it inside and out.  This will help you feel more at ease and enjoy yourself more.
A nice extra touch is to leave a copy of your presentation with them and provide any supporting information that helps them better understand everything you've just presented.

Always End With Interest

However well you think the interview goes, remember to try and end on a positive note. Something as simple as being enthusiastic can leave a lasting impression on interviewers.  Are you looking for a new job? Contact dotgap today for the most up to date digital marketing roles in the UK and abroad!  

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Get in touch

We would love to hear from you if you are either looking for a new job in the digital media industry or if you are looking to find talent and hire people from the digital media industry.

We work mainly with media agencies, advertisers, media owners, marketing agencies. technology companies and creative agencies.

Send us an email and we will respond as soon as possible.

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