Did you switch off this summer?

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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

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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…

DON’T RELY …

Healthy Employees Make Happy Employees

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‘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.

BIRMINGHAM ROADSHOW

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 …

Making the Leap to Freelance

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At some point in your career you may have considered making the leap to freelancing, perhaps the thought of being your own boss, working with multiple clients and meeting new people and being paid handsomely for your time are all appealing. However, there is always the worry that you won’t find enough work.

At Blue Skies, we have a four strong freelance team and with our collective years working within freelance, we’ve listed some points to consider before making the leap…

THE MOTIVATION TO FREELANCE

Is it to earn more money, work on different types of work, meet more people etc?  Then figure out whether there a buoyant market for your line of work in your area.  Speak to freelancers working in your business, colleagues …

Is Your Price Right?

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The current market is an interesting one and not without its challenges, its candidate driven, more so than ever. Good candidates with in demand skill sets are in demand across our markets and they have plenty of choice; it’s not unusual for a good candidate to be exploring three or more opportunities at any one time. This inevitably means some clients will lose out on a potentially great hire, which is fine if the candidate failed to convince or inspire at interview, but we strongly advise that if you see a candidate that impresses enough for you to offer them a job, that the initial offer made reflects both their experience and the salary expectations set out at the beginning of the process.

At Blue …

Do You Have Transferable Skills?

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Have you ever found the perfect job only to read through the job description and realise that there are some areas that you appear to be lacking in? What do you do in this situation… click the back button and move on to the next opportunity hoping that it will mirror your experience perfectly? Or do you carefully consider the skills being requested and link them to a skill that you already have?

Many candidates fall into the first category and consider themselves not suitable for a given role, but should companies and candidates alike be focusing on what we call ‘transferable skills’.

Transferable skills are those key skills that you have developed over time that you can take with you, be it in general …

What Candidates Want

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As a recruiter in todays hugely candidate driven market, I frequently find myself in a position whereby my candidates ask for my advice on which companies they should take the time to interview with, which of the offers they receive they should accept and what they should do about the counter offer they receive upon handing in their notice to their current employer.

On the flip side, my clients frequently ask me why the best candidates are so difficult to find, even more difficult to pin down for an interview and why, even when a generous offer is on the table, the top candidates can still remain so difficult to secure. Ultimately, the reason both my clients and candidates are in this situation is a …

The Growth of Digital

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2016 proved to be the year for digital, with many companies realising the potential that is available to them in terms of reaching a much wider audience through digital channels.  Where there has always been a need for a Digital Manager within a business who possess broad digital skills, what we are seeing more and more are the requirements for specialists in each channel.

One of the greatest increases has been for candidates with SEM experience and also separately; social media expertise.  With social media being a relatively new channel of marketing for organisations, finding candidates who have the level of knowledge in this area is challenging.  Given the candidate-scarce market we are in, this makes recruiting for these roles all the more tricky.  Content …

Creative Pool Annual Awards 2017 Nominee

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We are proud to have been shortlisted for the Creativepool Annual & Awards 2017 in the Best Recruiter category.

Creativepool has officially announced the shortlist nominees; this brings the start of the People’s Choice voting for the 2017 Annual and Awards, with support from jones knowles ritchie, Saddington Baynes, and Made in Global.

The excitement growing around this year’s Annual Shortlist is a reflection not only of the global creative talent found on Creativepool, but in the creative industries as a whole, particularly in a time when creativity is needed more than ever before. The People’s Choice competition also offers a unique angle to the competition by providing the whole creative community the chance to let their voices and their opinions be heard – allowing them to …

Raising Money | London Revolution

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The amazing Michelle will be cycling 185 miles around London to raise money for our charity of the year The Shakespeare Hospice and to help us reach our £6000 target.

The London Revolution is a 185 miles, two day event taking participants on a cycle ride around London. Not only do we wish her the best of luck but want to help her raise money. If you would like to donate to Michelle and help a very worthy charity, then click the donate button below.

“Blue Skies have chosen to support the Shakespeare Hospice in an effort to raise as much money as we possible can. For those of you who don’t know about the amazing work this charity do, they provide support of all kinds …

Did You Freelance for Free in 2016?

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Although the idea of working for free makes most freelancers fume it would seem that some still do, with recent research finding that during 2016 at least 9 per cent agreed to do just that.

It is predominantly the creative industry that is asked to work for free with Graphic Designers  near the top of that list with 85% of those surveyed being asked to use their skills for ‘exposure’ over the past five years.

% of creatives asked to work for free in 2016

Photographers 87% Graphic Designers 85% Illustrators 81% Front-End Developers 74% Back-End Developers 71%

Of those agreeing to work for free most stated that they made the decision based on the experience they would gain from that work, and the under-25s are …

Standing Out from the Crowd

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If like many people coming into the New Year you are dissatisfied with your current role, applying for a new role can be daunting, time consuming and even traumatic.

It’s hard to know how to appeal over every other candidate who is also applying for their dream job. A Brand Republic survey in 2016 states that more than half (58%) of jobseekers in the creative, marketing and advertising sectors find it hard to stand out in the application process. Here at Blue Skies we are always looking at ways into what gives successful candidates a competitive edge so you stand out from the crowd.

LinkedIn have recently analysed millions of LinkedIn profiles, more than 21 million in the UK alone, and have released some interesting research …

The Rise of Part-Time

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More companies are remodelling their employment structures, realising that there is an in-demand part-time and job share candidate market for the taking.

A recent study has found that highly paid part-time roles have increased over the past year by 5.7%, with more than 770,000 people now working in a part-time capacity. The Charity and Public Sector employers are leading the way with this change, with the hope that more Private Sector organisations will follow with more flexible structures.

Employers have come to realise the value that can be had from employing part-time or job share staff, especially if they are returning after a career break, with many employees having previously dedicated a number of years to a company prior to their break and return fully …