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.
1. How To Find The Right London Recruitment Agency: Define Your NeedsThe first thing you need to do is define your hiring needs. Are you looking to hire multiple people at once, or are you only looking for one employee? Is this a one-off event, or will you be hiring every few months? Are you only hiring in a specific area (such as online marketing), or are you hiring different people in different industries?
2. Learn About The Different Kinds Of Recruitment AgenciesOnce you have defined your hiring needs, you can start to look at the different types of recruitment agencies. If you are looking for temporary employees, a staffing recruitment agency may be the best option. If you are hiring people in digital marketing, you should look for a specialist digital marketing recruitment service (such as our own). Finding an agency that suits your specific needs means that you are more likely to find a high-quality employee (and it also means you are less likely to experience high turnover, which is good news for any business owner).
3. Check ExperienceYou may also want to check the experience level of the recruitment agency. After all, experience is one of the best indicators of success – and more experienced agencies tend to have more resources, which means it is easier for them to find a selection of great candidates. It can also be useful to check reviews of their services (and if they don’t have any reviews, we suggest choosing a different agency).
4. Assess CostsFinally it is important to assess your costs so that you can find a recruitment company that suits your budget. After all, most business owners have a pretty tight budget, and overspending can cause financial problems. So look for a reputable, affordable company that won’t break the bank. Many recruitment agencies have their prices listed on their website, and if not you can contact them to find out their rates.
Most employers understand the importance of hiring great candidates. They know that the right candidate will help to improve their business, and they understand that if someone is a good fit they are more likely to stay with the company for a long time. However now is a difficult time to hire; a recent study found that UK job adverts are at a record high in the build-up to Christmas, so it is harder than ever to find the best employees. Thankfully it is still possible to find high quality employees who are compatible with your business; you just need to make sure that your business appeals to these candidates. Here are three tips to help you attract the best digital marketing talent.
1. How Employers Can Attract The Best Digital Marketing Talent: Think About Your BrandingOne of the easiest ways to increase the quality of job candidates is by including clear branding. This doesn’t mean you need to use your logo or the company colours; instead you should focus on the values of your brand. Is your company known for being innovative and out of the box, or are you more traditional? Are you known for working with global giants, or do you normally work with small start-ups? This information will make it easier for you to attract likeminded individuals who see themselves in your brand. This means they are more likely to be a good fit (and they are also more likely to stay with the company for a long time!).
2. Cultivate A Strong Social Media PresenceYou may not think that your social media presence is linked to finding job candidates – but it certainly can be. After all, nearly four billion people use social media (in fact, there are over 1 billion people on Instagram alone!), which makes it one of the best places to advertise online. So make sure you have professional, active social media pages that your target audience (potential employees) can find. Then potential employees can follow you online, which means they are more likely to see job opportunities (or they may even send their CV in when you don’t have vacancies).
3. Create Engaging Job AdvertsFinally it is important to create an engaging job advert. Include a detailed job description, be clear and articulate when you are describing your ideal candidate, and make sure your company description helps you to stand out from the crowd. This means you are less likely to interview incompatible candidates who don’t have the right skills or attitude.
If you are looking for work in the digital marketing industry, it is likely that you have considered using a recruitment company. After all, there are more job vacancies than ever before, so it can be very difficult to find the roles that are suited to your skills. But is it beneficial to use more than one recruitment company? The answer seems to be no. Here are four reasons to use one recruitment company, rather than several.
1. Reasons To Use One Recruitment Company: You Can Find The Right NicheChoosing only one recruitment company gives you time to research each company thoroughly (rather than spending your time signing up to every agency that you find). This means that you are more likely to find a recruitment company that actually suits your niche. For instance, you may find a company that specialises in social media digital marketing, rather than content marketing. This will make it easier for you to be matched with roles that suit your skillset, instead of more generic roles that appeal less to you.
2. You Can Focus On Quality, Rather Than QuantityAnother advantage to choosing only one recruitment agency is that you can focus on quality, rather than quantity. There are lots of recruitment companies out there, but they are not all made equally; some work with multiple companies who are hiring in lots of areas, while others have fewer clients and therefore fewer roles. Looking for just one company means you are more likely to find a high-quality recruitment company with in-depth knowledge.
3. You Will Look More ProfessionalYou may be tempted to work with lots of different recruitment agencies in an attempt to find work quicker, but this can backfire. For instance, multiple recruitment companies could put you forward for different roles within the same company, which could make you seem unsure about your skillset. For this reason we suggest finding one company and being transparent with them about your skillset.
4. It Will Remove Some PressureFinally working with just one recruitment agency will reduce the pressure of your job search. After all, if you work with multiple agencies you may end up with multiple interviews on the same day! This can cause serious issues; for instance, you may confuse one company with another and seem unprofessional. You also may not have enough time to prepare for lots of different interviews. So choose one recruitment company that suits your needs and your skills, and put 100% of your effort into each interview that comes your way.
It doesn’t matter if you are a graduate or decades into your career; either way, the likelihood is you want to work for a great company. You want to work for a company that truly cares about their employees; one that offers career progression and excellent benefits. But how exactly can you find a company like that? One of the best ways to scout out a company is during the interview process. Here are five signs a company is a good fit for you.