It pays to be praised


It’s long been thought that employees’ main motivators are salary and the usual benefits, but a survey by Workfront that surveyed 1,000 creatives made for some interesting reading and suggests that it’s not the normal money driven incentives that motivate creatives to perform better. In fact it’s the simple and important act of praise for a job well done, which goes to ask, do employers really understand how powerful a tool praise is and are they using it to the best of their advantage?

According to the survey, 37% of respondents said that praise is their number-one motivator. Having worked with placing many creatives in jobs over the past 19 years, it comes as no surprise to us that creatives (and marketers) are lacking in …

Are you ready for Generation Z?


You’ve heard of the Millennials, but what about the next generation that is entering the workforce right now? Those born after 1996, and are about to knock on the doors of prospective employers everywhere, are known as Generation Z and they, like those before them, need handling in a different way altogether.

These potential employees have no experience of a world without technology. Mobile phones and the internet were becoming common place when they were born, and by the time they were old enough to fully engage with them these technologies were entering their heyday.  They are a generation that is constantly connected to the world and friends via technology, however they are socially conscious and used to building and being part of wider communities, …

The importance of awards and recognition


Following the huge success of many of my fabulous clients at the PRide awards earlier this month, as I sat writing my ‘congratulations’ cards I found my inner psychology graduate nerdy-ness coming out as I contemplated the significant positive impact that such recognition, and celebration of success, undoubtedly has upon the morale and motivation of employees within the workplace.

Humans seek reward. In basic terms, we have a physiological craving for the ‘happy hormone’ dopamine and we must find ways on a daily basis to release this neurotransmitter to satisfy our bodily demand for it. Processing reward and gratitude is one of the fastest and most effective ways to release dopamine, contributing to a state of contentment and satisfaction. Without praise, reward and gratitude, the …

Do you have a WBFF?


We’re always banging on about work/life balance these days. Flexible working, benefits, leaving work on time etc. and how that will lead to a happy life, but for some work and life go hand-in-hand.

Obviously having a job that you’re passionate about will lead to a happy work life, for some salary is the box that needs checking here, but for most it would be a job that holds your interest and passion.

However, having a WBFF (Workplace Best Friend Forever) is apparently the key to achieving happiness. Someone who will not only listen to your daily moans and groans, but someone who you will also go out to lunch with…or even the pub. If you don’t have one then go now and get one! …

Will there really be one million new creative jobs?


The Government have responded to a review into the creative industry that identifies a lack of diversity, a lack of jobs and a lack of funding. The aim of the review is to identify the areas of deprivation in the creative industry and how we can ensure job and financial growth within this vibrant sector. The government commissioned report after they identified the creative industry as being one of the five growth sectors that needs special support and attention as part of the Industrial Strategy.


The main recommendation is to create a new sector deal. It recognises that London and the South East is booming with creative opportunity in the UK, but what about those of us that aren’t living in these …

The stress factor: the life of a junior


Specialising in the junior end of the consumer market, my insight into both the candidate and client expectations is somewhat of a regular hot topic.

Within any industry there is an element of ‘earning your stripes’ and the days of getting up before you went to bed for very little wage have been rife – particularly in deadline and time sensitive environments such as marketing agencies. Although there is a school of thought that an element of stress in certain settings can have a positive impact, it has to be managed. Too much overload can cause burn out, particularly evidenced in the creative industry.

With the line between work and personal becoming ever more blurred, partly due to the digitally connected world we live in …

The January Myth


New year, new career.  Old news?  We think so.

As we head into the last quarter of the year we often hear from clients that they have lost a team member or won a new client and need to be recruiting for their team, but that they want to wait until the New Year to do so. The myth that, as recruiters, we are all of a sudden inundated with amazing new candidates on the 2nd January is just that, a myth. Whilst it’s true the market does pick up slightly with candidates getting back to work after Christmas and deciding that their New Years’ resolution is to find a brand new role, within the marketing and creative industries we don’t see a massive influx of …

How flexible working can benefit everyone


With increasing numbers of employee’s requesting ‘flexible working’ we are looking in to what that means in the modern-day workplace and how it can be a potential benefit to us all.

Flexible working opportunities can benefit everyone: employers, employees and their families. Most employers now recognise that it makes good business sense to provide flexible working opportunities for their staff and with a recent survey by Timewise stating that “90% of employees dislike the strict nine-to-five day”, now seems the time for businesses to be embracing the shift in work culture.

The survey found that full-time workers of both genders want flexibility to reduce commute times, increase leisure or study time, and to assist with childcare and that instead of working nine-to-five, many employees would …

Respect your candidates


Having worked in the recruitment industry for 18 years and recruited marketing professionals for the last 8 of those, I have witnessed the highs and the lows of the market; the boom in the economy during which clients had little choice but to take the candidates who were available (because they were so scarce), through to the recession when the market turned on its head. Clients were suddenly inundated with candidates that ticked all of their requirements and more, and in many instances willing to work for lower salaries, because the market was flooded with candidates and jobs were scarce.

In today’s market we find ourselves somewhere in-between.  Vacancy numbers are on the increase and the candidate market is scarce; the very best talent has …

Is this the decline of creative talent?


It’s not good news for the design industry following this year’s released GCSE results, which show a drop in the number of students taking up design. This decline trend also seems to have flowed through to A-level students and universities, with a recent report from UCAS showing that 14,000 fewer students (a 5% drop) applied for art and design university courses this year compared to 2016.

So what is the cause for this drop? It could be that with the recent rise of tuition fees students are thinking more carefully about career choices and what will be the best career choice not only with prospects and reward, but also to clear the debt that studying will have left them with the quickest.

However, it may …

Did you switch off this summer?


It has recently been reported that just 9% of British adults intended on taking a technology free summer holiday this year and having that much needed digital detox.

Gone are the days where holidays meant getting away from everything and having a break from the daily grind. Instead we are constantly attached to an electronic device of some sort, whether it mobile phone, tablet, laptop or even an electronic book reader. Everyone knows that a break from looking at a screen of any type is not only good for the eyes and concentration levels, but its also important as it brings you back to the real world, even if its just for 5 minutes, and allows the mind to calm.

The fact that such a staggering small number of …

Looking after the Interns


The IPPR think-tank has estimated that internships have doubled since 2010. With roughly 70,000 on offer a year many employers gladly offer an internship with their company in return for an ‘expenses only’ agreement. Not only is this exploitative but can also harm your company culture and your overall brand.

Internships are slowly replacing the paid graduate entry-level roles which have been in a steady decline. This means that employers have been reaping the rewards of getting the same standard of employee, with the same skill-set and talent but without the cost. Most job adverts, even the entry-level ones, these days demand a level of experience when applying, and often internships are the only way this can be gathered. For many it’s not a choice, …

Trends that might impact the creative industry In 2017

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It’s fair to say for most of us, regardless of our beliefs, 2016 and 2017 so far has been filled with unpredictable events that have changed the way many of us understand the world, the media, and our culture. This shared experience is something the creative industry must take into consideration as we think about the future and our place in it.

While once they strategised how to communicate in a world that was undergoing a technological revolution, it must now consider how to speak to consumers in a culture that is experiencing historic shifts on almost every level. With that in mind, these are some trends, insights, and observations that might be crucial for marketers and creatives to pay attention to this year…


Healthy Employees Make Happy Employees


‘This year I’ll get fit and healthy’…that all too familiar New Year’s resolution that results in a gym membership boom every January. But how many of these new members last until June? Statistics suggest that by this time of year, less than half of the freshly motivated and determined newbies remain. And when we look at the demographic most guilty of this short lived health kick it becomes apparent that those most guilty are us, the employed. Not the students or the retired, but actually the working professionals with that all too common excuse of time pressures due to workload and work stresses.

In one sense employers should feel flattered that employees so regularly sacrifice their fitness regime in order to prioritise their jobs. However …

Summer Roadshows

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This summer we’re hitting the road and bringing ourselves to you the candidates. Across July and September the Blue Skies team will be leaving our lovely office and settling down in various locations across the UK, allowing us to meet even more of you and to offer CV, portfolio and presentation advice.

You’ll find further details of our roadshows below and how to book a one-to-one consultant session or attend an advice group session.


Thursday 6th July 10am – 7pm Location: Artisan Alchemy

A one-to-one consultant session will be 30-45 minutes. During the session we will discuss your background and experience, as well as offering guidance and advice on the current job market, your CV and portfolio.

• Freelance Bible  – 1pm • …

Michelle’s Charity Cycle | London Revolution


On Saturday 13th May, Michelle took part in the Dulux London Revolution to help raise money for our Charity of the Year. Once again we thank her for helping us raise much needed funds for The Shakespeare Hospice and here is a summary of her experience in her own words…

“Waking up at 4am on Saturday morning, nerves and excitement set in, trying to force down overnight oats while triple checking that we had everything we needed. We hit the road by 4:30am, I’ve never seen the London roads so quiet.

The whole experience was new to me having never taken part in a cycle event of any kind, so I was in amazement when we pulled in to the field to park …

24 Hour Danceathon


UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that supported us. Charlotte and Michelle raised an amazing £1000 and racked up 126,250 steps/61.9 miles!

At 9am on Friday 14th July members of the Blue Skies team are following in the dancing footsteps of Dermot O’Leary and Sara Cox and holding a 24 hour danceathon to raise money for our charity of the year, The Shakespeare Hospice.

In order to raise as much money as possible we are asking our clients to get involved by sponsoring a dance routine for £50 in return for a live stream social media broadcast incorporating your logo for the duration of the dance. Or you can sponsor a whole dedicated themed hour for £100 which will again be streamed across social media.

Available …

The Clientside Shift


Brands are increasingly looking at agency talent to grow their inhouse marketing pool as more and more bring services inhouse and demand a wider skill set from their marketers.

A recent report finds that 40% of senior clientside marketers have previously worked within an agency, an increase of 15% in recent years whereby only 25% had previously come with an agency background.

The trend it would seem is that clients want their marketing talent to have a wider industry perspective, instead of the once favoured sole industry experience that many sectors demanded. Industries where this is increasingly happening are within the B2B sectors, where the brand is more of a focus than the product and the need is for more varied marketing skills rather than …

Top 10 Creative Regions


With the presence of BBC and ITV it’s not surprising that Manchester tops the list in the ‘Creative Regions’ report recently published by CBRE. However, Birmingham is growing faster than Manchester, specifically in the information and communications sectors and within the millennial group (20-34 year olds).

A suggestion that Channel 4 may be making a move to Birmingham, and talks of a proposed film studio has seen the city grow in the creative industries, and with more than triple the amount of SMEs than Manchester it is set to close the gap further.

Below are the top ten town & city creative talent markets, according to the report:

1. Manchester 2. Reading 3. Edinburgh 4. Cambridge 5. Glasgow 6. Oxford 7. Birmingham 8. Bristol 9. Brighton 10. Leeds

If you’re a top ten ‘creative region’ …

The Power of Events


Whether it’s an internal employee dinner or a large scale exhibition, events have become a key aspect of marketing to many companies. Companies who do not run or attend events and exhibitions could be missing a trick and falling behind in this ever changing market.

Some companies may not see the value in events or see it as a cost that they could do without, a cost they have not set budget for and money better spent elsewhere, however there are many reasons why events and exhibitions can have a far greater return for the company.

Events don’t have to be huge scale corporate affairs that take months and months of planning and preparation at great expense. It could be as simple as an employee …