Interviews are a crucial part of the job application process. It's a chance for both the employer and the candidate to know each other better. While the interviewer will ask many questions to determine your suitability for the role, it's essential to keep in mind that there are some questions you should avoid asking. Hiring managers will be looking for more than your qualifications and the worst thing you can do is give the wrong impression based on your questions. In this blog post, we'll discuss five questions that you should avoid asking during an interview.
5 Questions To Avoid Asking At Your Next InterviewAsking bad questions in your interview may indicate a lack of interest, preparation, or even intelligence. Similarly, asking a good question at the wrong time can be just as damaging. Most of these questions should never be asked in a job interview, and some questions should be saved until a job offer has been made. When an interviewer asks you if you have any questions during a job interview, this is your opportunity to do three important things:
- Collect final information on the things that will help you make your decision
- Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have listened and have done some research
- Show them you are interested, a good fit and would be a great choice if they make you an offer
#1 Asking About Salary And BenefitsAsking about money can be really awkward. While it's important to know the salary and benefits offered for your potential role, you need to avoid asking about it too soon. A first interview for example. If you ask about it too soon, it may give the impression that you're more interested in the compensation than the actual job. Questions like:
- How much will I get paid
- How soon can I get a raise?
- What discounts do I get?
- Will you pay for training or an advanced degree for me?
- What other benefits do you provide?
#2 Asking About Time OffThis can be a tricky one and it comes up all the time as a recruiter. Asking about time off during your first interview may send the wrong message to the employer. It can come across as though you're not committed to the job, and you're already thinking about taking time off. It's best to wait until you've been offered the job before you ask about vacation time or other time off. Try to avoid bluntly asking about time you won't be at work.
- How much paid vacation time would I get?
- How soon can I take a vacation after I start work?
- How many paid personal and/or sick days are allowed?
#3 Asking Overly Personal QuestionsWhile you want to seem friendly and relaxed, asking personal questions during the interview might be considered inappropriate. Make sure you are aware of the company's formality and what is expected. If in doubt, speak to your recruiter! Questions about the interviewer's marital status, religion, or political views should be avoided. It's important to keep the conversation professional and relevant to the job. Questions like this are completely inappropriate and will probably kill your chances of getting a job:
- Want to go out for drinks or coffee later?
- Is s/he married or have a significant other?
- Are all the employees here “hot” (or — much worse — “as hot as you are”)?
#4 Asking About The Company's ReputationAsking about the company's reputation may give the impression that you're not familiar with the company. It's essential to do your research before the interview and have a good understanding of the company's history and reputation. As a candidate, you should focus on how you can contribute to the company instead of questioning its reputation. Avoid questions like "what does the company do?" or "who is the main competition" because you should already know these from your research and asking them will seem as though you are unprepared and uninterested. Research the employer and the location before you go to the interview to be prepared to ask good questions in the interview. If you aren’t interested in them, they surely are not interested in you. A good way to find out more about the company than you can find online is to ask about company culture, for example:
- How would you describe your company culture in 3/5 words?
- What kinds of employee achievements are most recognised?
- What is your favourite part of working here that I wouldn't see on a tour/read about online?
#5 Asking About The Job DutiesWhile you should show an interest in the job role and your duties, asking about them in the wrong way may give the impression that you've a) not familiar with this kind of job, b) haven't read the job description or c0 you've read it and forgotten it!
- What does the person in this job do?
- What are the requirements of the job?
So, What Should You Ask In Your Interview?You need to prepare by reading and researching the company, job role and if you know who you are interviewing with you can research them! Often, they will answer most of the common interview questions. Be prepared and think about more questions than you think you will need and take notes throughout the interview so you can remember things that catch your interest. Personal (but still professional) questions are great for example:
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- What have past employees done to succeed in this role?
- What qualities are the most important to succeeding in this role?
- Is there anything else I can do or provide to help you make your decision?
- Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications or experience?
Happy New Year! Now is the perfect time to start thinking of resolutions to help advance your career in marketing. As the industry continues to rapidly evolve and expand, setting goals for yourself can help you stay ahead of the competition and achieve the success you desire. Here are some inspiring resolutions that marketing professionals can set for themselves in 2023.
Top 3 New Year's Resolutions for Marketing Professionals in 2023: Expand Your NetworkHaving a strong network of connections is essential in the marketing world. Making new connections can help you gain access to knowledge and resources that you wouldn't otherwise have. Make a resolution to attend industry events and workshops, join networking groups, and reach out to other marketing professionals whether that is online or in person!
Stay Up-to-Date on Industry TrendsThe marketing industry is constantly in flux, with new technologies and trends emerging on a daily basis. Staying up-to-date on the latest advancements in the industry can help you stay ahead of the curve and be more effective in your daily work. Make a resolution to set aside some time each week to research the latest industry news and trends. A major trend for 2023 seems to be the importance of short 'snackable' video content. 'Gen Z' are the first generation to have grown up with the internet through their entire lives. Dynamic digital content is more important than ever to keep users engaged! 2023 will require expert strategy and focus, read more from Google experts in this interesting article on 2023 trends.
Focus on Self-Improvement: UpskillingAs mentioned above, it’s important to stay current on the latest techniques and strategies. The best way to keep up in the fast world of digital marketing is to dedicate time each week to research and study. Make a resolution to focus on self-improvement and invest in yourself. Take an online course, read industry publications, and attend seminars and webinars to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and strategies. Stay accountable by scheduling 30+ minutes a week on your calendar that’s dedicated to industry research. Take this time to read industry newsletters, or listen to industry podcasts to see keep up with the latest marketing innovations. Check out our previous blog post Upskilling: What Is It And Why It Is Important For Me
Realistic And Achievable New Years ResolutionsThe new year is the perfect time to set resolutions that will help you reach your goals and become a better marketing professional. Make your resolutions to stay up-to-date on industry trends, expand your network, and focus on self-improvement. With these resolutions, you'll be sure to have a successful 2023 in the marketing world. As always, Dotgap are on hand to help you find your next job and progress your career in digital media. Get in touch today for more information.
As we near the end of the year, we wanted to reflect on some of the most popular topics covered in the blog. From tips on how to get a job in digital marketing as a graduate to re-entering the workforce after taking time away to be a parent, we have tried to cover relevant topics for recruiters and jobseekers alike. Read on for a roundup of Dotgap's 2022 digital marketing blog.
The Recession, Cost Of Living Crisis and Digital MarketingThe economic climate has presented many challenges over the last few years. Businesses have had to adjust their strategies to accommodate changes in consumer behaviour and the availability of resources. People are likely to be more cautious with their spending during a recession so it is important to emphasise value over price. Companies must reduce costs while still achieving measurable results from their marketing efforts. Considering how the current climate will impact the marketing industry we can surmise businesses need to be mindful of budgets while maximising technologies that can help reach their target audience. This includes leveraging social media platforms to build relationships with potential customers, as well as utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure they're visible in online searches. This can also be a difficult time to be looking for a job, raising questions about the impact on remote and flexible working arrangements.
Changing Jobs For Your CareerChanging jobs can be a daunting and even confusing process. It can be especially difficult to know whether you should stay or go when you are thinking about the bigger picture in your digital marketing career. The first step is to assess your current situation and make sure you are making an informed decision. Consider your current job, the new job you are considering, and the implications of a switch in terms of salary, hours, and benefits. Once you are confident that the change is the right move for you, it is time to start the job search. Research potential employers and the job market, and make sure to update your resume and cover letter. Reach out to former colleagues and contacts to see if they have any job leads you may be interested in. You may also want to consider networking with professionals in your field in order to get your name out there. Once you are ready to apply for jobs, make sure you take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter for each job you apply to. After you submit your applications, it is important to follow up with employers, either through email or phone calls, in order to make sure they have your application and understand your skillset. If you are looking to relocate, make sure you take extra consideration. The last step is to prepare for the job interview. This means researching the company, its products, and its mission statement. Make sure to practice answers to common interview questions, and dress professionally. Finally, make sure to be yourself and be prepared to discuss why you are the right fit for the position.
Diversity in Digital Marketing RecruitmentDiversity, equity and inclusion have been buzzwords for the last few years now. But what does it actually mean in practice for businesses and candidates? There are lots of benefits for organizations to embrace diversity in the workforce, including but not limited to a wider talent pool and better representation. The recruitment process should be designed to ensure diverse representation. This means that the recruitment process should not be biased towards any particular group, and should avoid making assumptions based on gender, race, religion, or other characteristics. Digital marketing companies should strive to create an inclusive recruitment process. That means it is free from any kind of discrimination. A diverse set of applicants should be encouraged to apply, and the criteria for selection should be based solely on the skills, qualifications, and experience of the applicant. Is digital marketing diverse enough? There is still a lot of work to be done and it is an ongoing task but there have been great advances in recent years. Constant review and evaluation is vital for continued development.
Mental Health At WorkMental health is an important part of overall physical health and wellness. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked, and many people struggle with mental health issues in the workplace. Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health and seeking help can help ensure that everyone is able to stay healthy and productive. There are a number of steps employers can take to create a healthy and supportive workplace. These include providing mental health awareness training, setting up an anonymous reporting system, and making sure to provide employees with regular breaks and vacation time. The increase in remote and flexible work has brought many benefits for people. But the blurred lines between home and office can make keeping a work life balance tricky. Employers should ensure that they are providing necessary resources and support to employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. This includes providing access to mental health professionals or offering flexible working hours. By taking these steps, employers can create a workplace that is open to discussion about mental health and supportive of employees who may be struggling. This can help ensure that everyone is able to stay healthy and productive in their work.
Digital Marketing Job Search In 2023We started the year with tips on writing your CV in 2022 and many of these tips remain relevant. Automation remains one of the key trends in digital marketing recruitment. Automation tools can be used to streamline processes such as job postings, CV sorting, and candidate outreach. This can help businesses save time, money, and resources, and make their recruitment process more efficient. You need to optimise your CV for these tools too. Social recruiting is a growing trend in digital marketing recruitment. This involves using social media to find and engage with potential candidates. Companies can use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to post job openings. They are increasingly using them to engage with potential candidates, and build their employer brand. Candidate, be aware of your presence online with a social media audit and make sure you are making use of platforms such as LinkedIn to bolster your credibility.
Looking Ahead: Digital Marketing 2023Digital marketing recruitment is changing, and it's important for businesses to stay on top of the latest trends. As a jobseeker it is important for you to be aware of these trends too so you can review your career progression plans and continue to grow in the workplace. Dotgap is committed to keeping media professionals in their industry. Head to our website for the latest vacancies. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas
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.
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 itEffective 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 routineIf 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 podcastsThis 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 booksWhile 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 technologiesTake 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 providersThere 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 eventsEven 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 FutureproofingWith 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!
Obviously, there are a great many factors to consider when you are considering changing jobs. Things like location, pay, company culture and how much you enjoy or don't enjoy your current job are all highly relevant. If you are in a position to change jobs tactically or a new opportunity has presented itself, this article can give you helpful guidance on optimising your moves to help your marketing career! As you progress through your current job, you may notice your interests shift. In the fast-paced world of media, marketing, advertising and digital you may notice your job role shifts too. You can find yourself looking elsewhere for a new challenge or discover a new role you want to follow. To make sure you are changing careers an appropriate number of times to best demonstrate your desire to progress while still assuring recruiters and hiring managers you can commit, read on!
Agency Marketing Careers – Should You Jump Ship?It is a long- held belief in the industry that marketers start on the agency side to build their skills before looking for a more permanent in-house team. It is certainly true that there are enourmous benefits to agency work in regards to building knowledge. You'll work with a variety of clients and potentially be exposed to many different fields and roles. However, this doesn't mean after a time you will complete this journey and be ready to 'settle' elsewhere. It is down to you and the opportunities that arise so ther eis nothing to say this established route is the best. Historical models for career progression don't really fit in the digital marketing world, with new developments, new technology and therefore new roles advancing all the time agencies have a great deal to offer those looking to explore all the industry has to offer. With traditional advice, and that of managers, often being to stay in their departments, hone their craft, and learn to nurture other people’s development you have to wonder if this is really still the best way to learn.
Tactical Moves Can Help You Keep AheadChanging jobs can give you the exposure you get at an agency by letting you work in different roles and industries. This will strengthen your professional experience and ultimately enrich your marketing career. As the digital industry continues to grow, more emphasis is placed on skills specialist possess rather than time in a specific role. Given the fast-evolving nature of digital, many of the most knowledgeable digital marketers have the least work experience as they have come straight from learning new technologies and the most up to date innovations. Many traditional marketers might find they don't have time to learn these new things 'on-the-job. Employees can gain perspective about best practices and a new skill set as they move from one employer to another. A well-thought-out job change can let you learn new skills as part of your day-to-day job and new employee training. It doesn't take a genius to see that job hopping too much can hurt your employability. But it is possible that staying too long in one job can hold you back too! For most jobs, employers will be looking for a balance between commitment and progression so it is not a simple decision to know when to stay and when to move on. Staying too long can look like complacency or lack of motivation and employers might assume you would have difficulty adapting to new situations or different company culture. In short, the number of times you should move depends on your preferences. All employers' requirements are different but a good rule of thumb is at least one to three years. Staying in a role for three years or so can let employers know you are wiling to commit yourself but also that you are up for the chance to learn new things. It suggests an employee who is constantly learning and progressing and ready for the chance to learn new things.
Should I Stay or Should I go: Progressing Your Marketing CareerIf you're happy in your role, there is no reason to move until you feel ready for an opportunity elsewhere. Many people stay in with the same company in similar positions for a long time because they enjoy the role and the company. You should change if feel there is no way to progress further where you are and you are hungry to learn more. Maybe you have a career plan and need to move companies in order to get to the role you are aspiring to. There is no one answer or quick-fix and there is no telling what opportunities might or might not arise in your current place of work - especially if you are with a start-up or rapidly expanding company. Are you ready for your next challenge? Dot-gap has a range of exciting opportunities available now, from entry-level to account director. Get in touch today to make your smart move.
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?
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.
If you’re a business owner, it is likely you’ve considered working with recruitment companies before. After all, the recruitment industry has become very mainstream over the last decade; in fact, it is now one of the most efficient and effective ways to hire high-quality employees. But how can you find the best recruitment agency for your business Here are a few tips to help you find the best London recruitment agency for your needs and your budget.