The January Myth

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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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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 …