Embracing Marketing Mistakes

Attracting Top Marketing Talent: Insider Strategies with Recruitment Expert Melanie Parker

January 02, 2024 Prohibition PR Season 1 Episode 17
Attracting Top Marketing Talent: Insider Strategies with Recruitment Expert Melanie Parker
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
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Embracing Marketing Mistakes
Attracting Top Marketing Talent: Insider Strategies with Recruitment Expert Melanie Parker
Jan 02, 2024 Season 1 Episode 17
Prohibition PR

Unlock the secrets to recruiting and retaining the crème de la crème of the marketing world with Melanie Parker, our esteemed guest who's an expert in the recruitment landscape. Melanie lays bare the harsh reality of an outdated educational system failing modern marketing needs, while we sprinkle in tales from my own recruitment playbook, emphasising why a strong portfolio and experience trump any unpaid internship. With Melanie's savvy insights, we chart a course for businesses to navigate the rough waters of the talent gap and come out on top.

Ever wonder how mid-sized companies can go toe-to-toe with the big dogs in the battle for talent? Melanie and ourselves shine a light on the strategic importance of a company's 'why' as we dissect how to craft an employer brand that resonates with the desires of today's job seekers, especially when it comes to remote work. We don't just stop there; we also tackle the thorny issue of AI in marketing, from automating the mundane to sparking a renaissance in creative thinking.

Our convo takes a turn down the culture corridor, revealing how current employees can be your best billboards and why a shift from rigid hierarchy to a flatter, more inclusive workplace is winning the day. And if you're curious about how professionals are championing a new work-life balance, or why the North is the next big thing for career movers and shakers, you'll want to lend an ear. So, sit back, press play, and equip yourself with the strategies to ensure that your marketing team not only survives but thrives in today's digital jungle.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Unlock the secrets to recruiting and retaining the crème de la crème of the marketing world with Melanie Parker, our esteemed guest who's an expert in the recruitment landscape. Melanie lays bare the harsh reality of an outdated educational system failing modern marketing needs, while we sprinkle in tales from my own recruitment playbook, emphasising why a strong portfolio and experience trump any unpaid internship. With Melanie's savvy insights, we chart a course for businesses to navigate the rough waters of the talent gap and come out on top.

Ever wonder how mid-sized companies can go toe-to-toe with the big dogs in the battle for talent? Melanie and ourselves shine a light on the strategic importance of a company's 'why' as we dissect how to craft an employer brand that resonates with the desires of today's job seekers, especially when it comes to remote work. We don't just stop there; we also tackle the thorny issue of AI in marketing, from automating the mundane to sparking a renaissance in creative thinking.

Our convo takes a turn down the culture corridor, revealing how current employees can be your best billboards and why a shift from rigid hierarchy to a flatter, more inclusive workplace is winning the day. And if you're curious about how professionals are championing a new work-life balance, or why the North is the next big thing for career movers and shakers, you'll want to lend an ear. So, sit back, press play, and equip yourself with the strategies to ensure that your marketing team not only survives but thrives in today's digital jungle.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

Follow Chris Norton:
X
TikTok
LinkedIn

Follow Will Ockenden:
X
LinkedIn

Follow The Show:
X
TikTok
YouTube

Speaker 1:

Culture is important, but how do you define culture? Culture is difficult to define on a job advert, because this is when you get all this pool table.

Speaker 2:

Culture is what people say about you when you're not in the room. Yes, exactly so. Is it fair to say there's a bit of a skills gap between what students are being taught and the needs of the actual companies.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely 100%. It's really quite criminal actually. It'll give a greater ability for people to take the mundane tasks to maybe a smaller level and actually really get creative, which then that kind of flips it on its head a little because you think about oh okay, so there's all this tech coming into marketing, and we've already discussed the difference between technical people and creative people, but maybe it's the tech that can help people get even more creative. So I think that's exciting, that is exciting.

Speaker 4:

Welcome to Social Lead Acceptable, the only podcast for marketers, pr professionals, entrepreneurs that actually celebrate the biggest mistakes, mishaps and misfortunes and help you learn from their lessons. In every episode, we'll do our best to deep dive into the stories from renowned brands and expert marketeers who've made the mistakes and then they've picked themselves back up. During the show we do our best to explore the failures and what helped turn these brilliant marketers into the people that they are today. So if you enjoy the show, do let us know in the comments. Please let us know. In the comments. I read everyone. So if you're interested in getting more creative people into your team, you can subscribe to us on any platform. At socialade unacceptablecouk, there's every platform you want in there.

Speaker 4:

In this week's episode we have Melanie Parker. Melanie's passion is talent acquisition and recruiting the best talent for scaling digital businesses. Why have we invited a recruitment specialist on the show? Don't switch off. So the answer is because Melanie's covering how can you get more creative people into your team and you just can't get them or they're not staying long enough. This chat is for you. We grill her on everything to do with talent acquisition and finding the right people, because I know it's difficult to get the right people, and we all know that people are what it's about. Creativity is all about the people, so hopefully today's chat will remove all the preconceptions you've got over what a recruitment consultant is, so sit back, relax and let's hear how you can attract the best creative talent to your brand.

Speaker 3:

Welcome to socially unacceptable from f**k upstaffame, the marketing podcast that celebrates the professional mishaps, mistakes and misjudgments, while delivering valuable marketing and life lessons in the time it takes you to eat your lunch.

Speaker 4:

Welcome to socially unacceptable. Thanks for joining us. This week we have the Founder and Director of Graph Talent, melanie Parker. Welcome to the studio, melanie. Thank you very much for having me. Do you want to just go through a little bit about what your expertise is in the marketing sector so you can tell our listeners what you're all about?

Speaker 1:

Yep. So I started off in recruitment. I mean my third decade, believe it or not, it's quite a long time. So I started off doing sort of marketing roles in a sort of commercial capacity. And then I went to work at Leeds Beckett University and set up the UK's first student and graduate specialist recruitment business within the university and there I worked with some wonderful people from the faculty Neil Kelly, robert, minton, taylor so I worked across PR, marketing and journalism and really I kind of created an employment engagement team who were very we were very active in finding roles for students and graduates coming straight out of university into marketing roles.

Speaker 2:

So is it fair to say there's a bit of a skills gap between what students are being taught and the needs of the actual companies.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely 100%. It's really quite criminal actually. You see it in the lack of portfolios from entry talent. I can't understand why they're not told to kind of make sure they've got a really good quality portfolio to enter the market. But actually, because I recruit from sort of grads up to senior level as well, you still see big skill gaps at any level. So unfortunately for marketing, the skill gap stretches right across your entire talent pool.

Speaker 2:

So what does that mean, then, for graduates leaving university looking for a job? Does it mean unpaid work experience, or do they start with companies and then have to get rapidly abscured?

Speaker 1:

Oh, you've asked me the question there. That always gets me on fire. So when I was at Leeds Becket University, we worked with the PRCA to actually whistleblower and unpaid internships, especially now against diversity and inclusion. It's absolutely despicable to not pay students for work that is done and I was very, very aware of. Well, I wouldn't work with any company who wouldn't pay students and graduates full stop. I just don't know why that's the thing. And especially now, how can you say you're diverse and you're inclusive when you're creating opportunities for people who can afford to do them if they've got some way of income from parents or some other unfair advantage?

Speaker 2:

So myself and Robert Minton-Taylor from Leeds Becket University alongside the PRCA, did quite a big expose on unpaid internships, but they absolutely shouldn't do it, so are you saying even I guess, when we talk about internships, what we're talking about here a week, two weeks, working somewhere one day a week, half a day a week.

Speaker 1:

I think the maximum should be two weeks. If the student or the graduate is really having a problem getting their foot in the door. I would advise students and graduates two weeks. Make that your maximum, but don't go over, Because I was very privy to the fact there was an agency who I won't name because it's not nice to do that would get student and graduates work and they would bill that out. It's billable work.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 4:

Exactly so. People listening to this are going to be either, you know, heads of marketing departments they're going to have, they want to grow their creative teams In terms. I'm totally with you on this. Like I did free work experience at university, I was a graduate of the PR degree. I went to Leeds Beckett University. I learned there, I learned under Robert Minnan, taylor and other teachers and I know quite well. But I worked for free for a time during a student, and not because I'm from a well-to-do background. I'm from a working class background. My dad's in construction, it wasn't. I wasn't funded. I funded myself because I believed in my career.

Speaker 4:

The internship thing, in my opinion and I don't know what other marketing people listening to this will make of it is a two-way process because at the end of the day, you're getting your foot in the door. You get an experience with decent, quality people and but you're not. It depends on the sort of experience you're giving to people. We're not. We don't get people in to work with the photocopier or whatever, because I don't believe that's growing people's career development needs or whatever. I think that if you get somebody and you give them proper tasks so they build it and you can see how good they are, they can learn and they get an experience. I thought COVID was a tough time for that as well. So I suppose, what is it? What's your take on today that you're saying that people should pay everybody, whether whatever they're doing in marketing should pay interns after two weeks Outside?

Speaker 1:

of two weeks. Absolutely. I just don't think there's any justification for anything else. You know, by two weeks they've proven what they're capable of. So now, unless you're going to keep them doing sort of tasks that are not actually going to help the career pay, it's just that simple and, honestly, I find a lot of opportunities, particularly for our Yorkshire and the M62 corridor opportunities in London, for example. Our graduates can't go and do that, or couldn't go and do that. How on earth are you meant to live? How are you meant to pay the transport costs? Why are you supposed to stay? So? One of the biggest people who's guilty of that is an extremely wealthy fashion label, for example, that just absolutely categorically refuses to pay. And I used to come across companies all the time that would say you know your graduates need me more than I need them, which? That was what. So you don't need to worry about your talent acquisition, you don't need to worry about your pipelines, you don't need to worry about what narrative you're putting out there to the young generation. That's not right.

Speaker 4:

The slave label. It's like slave label.

Speaker 1:

Is it devil?

Speaker 4:

wear.

Speaker 4:

She's working for nothing, yeah, and in the fashion industry is a thing, and so the work that Robert and yourself and others did in that area. I remember when the PRCA and Robert did that campaign it was interesting because but it did, it did bear fruit on whether it made you think about work experience. But we'd because I come from that background and that's my experience we followed that process anyway. But I get that some people would exploit that system, some people and would use work experience people as full on employees, which just doesn't feel the whole reason I set up the agency and the university in the first place was when I got there.

Speaker 1:

I wasn't meant to be running a recruitment business for them. But I got there and I was like, look at all this world to world talent, look at all these bright kids. What on earth are they all doing? And then at that point people were like working in bars, working in retail and things, and everyone was so comfortable with saying they've got highly transferable skills. I'm a recruiter it's not transferable. I'm a hiring manager it's not transferable. You can't say, oh, I've worked at Nando's and I'm going to be brilliant in a client pitch, it's just like you. Well, support from the.

Speaker 4:

PR side of things. I taught, so I was a graduate of the university, then I taught on the course and then I had a program of work experience at prohibition. We introduced it, where we give people either a week or two weeks that come in and do work experience and if they were exceptional, then we'd say, would you like to quit one day a week or for during the holidays, and we'd pay them. And we've got I've got two people out there now who from that, and that's the benefit, that's the best way of doing it. So I suppose one of the questions I've got is what are the biggest mistakes that marketing professionals, head of marketing departments, are making in 2023? Where are they going wrong?

Speaker 4:

In terms of trying to find talent or in terms of yeah trying to find the right creative talent to grow their brand Because there's people out there they'll be nodding their heads to this like thinking. I have tried. I've advertised my role. It's been advertised for three months. I've had people apply. They're all under qualified, they're all over qualified. They're just not the right creative candidate.

Speaker 1:

Elongated recruitment processes for interviews at that level. If it's under 35,000, there's no need for them. Literally there's no need. They're too long. Candidates do not want to be jumping through all of these hoops anymore. The times have changed. When you were in an employer-led market, the employer could set the bar and demand all these things of candidates. Candidates have got opportunities galore. You might not want to hear it, people might not want to hear it, but it's a fact At any level. Actually, you've got people queuing up. The talent skills gap in this area is so critical that people are going to have to change the way you do things. There's no simple fix to this. I've been recruiting for 30 years and there's no one pill will magically make it all better. But long interview processes are a major issue.

Speaker 4:

For us we've been going 12, 13 years, never used a recruitment consultant for an entry level post, never had to Last role. We just put out we've got 87 applicants, but it's the quality. The quality, well, there's varied qualities, but then we have used recruiters for different levels, the more senior positions. I would say that the quality can still be dubious, depending on what kind of we're jumping questions here, though, because let's not get on to recruiters, because that's a whole different bag.

Speaker 1:

But where can I give you actionable things for you to do? If you're a marketing manager, if you're a hiring manager, let's focus on what you can do. I think what you can do is you have to shorten your interview process. It is like I was saying it's not an employer-led market anymore, it's an employee-led market. Now, in 30 years of this city, recruiter, marketing, talent, pr, journalism, all the other bits and pieces I do I used to have a lovely time.

Speaker 1:

I used to be able to put adverts out. I used to get nice pool of people applying for jobs or bright-eyed, bushy, tailed wanting to do the best. We don't have to worry about Yorkshire, london, manchester. We've got to worry about Europe. We've got to worry about the world. So many people want our talent. It's really hard. The talent pool is so reduced now If businesses, for example, do things, say, for example, I'm a big fan of in-office. I'm 50 years of age, it's all I've ever known, so I like being in the office. But a lot of the generation behind me, they don't like it and actually they're really putting up a fight to not have to go back into the office in the way that companies now since obviously COVID's thankfully gone away are wanting. So there's a huge disconnect between what the employee wants and what the employee wants, and sometimes in industries there can even be a slight bit of arrogance, but we are whoever they say they are. That should be enough. That's not enough.

Speaker 2:

So that's an interesting point. Let's say we're not even talking about agencies now. Mid-level company, mid-sized marketing team, what can they do to attract talent then? So clearly there's more. The power is with the employee, in effect, as you've just said. So mid-level marketing team, 10 in the marketing department, not massive budgets, they probably can't pay top wages. What can they do then to really attract talent?

Speaker 1:

Well, it has to be about employ your brand and it has to be about somehow getting your message out there. So there are there's ways to do this, but you need to. When I'm working with SMAs and startups, one of the things they're really critically concerned about is I'm not big. Nobody will know who I am. I can't compete against X, y, z and I'll just put my pen down and say well, why are you trying to compete? You know you can't compete. Let's look at what you can't compete on location salaries, perks, benefits but now we have to find the USP that makes a big difference. We have to find the talking point about this company and we have to start to talk to the candidates about why this business makes good sense to join.

Speaker 1:

Throughout my career, I've always helped startups and SMEs way more, because I can, with total honesty and authenticity, say to candidates if this depends on a person's point of view, right, everyone's different. But if you want the corporate life, you're not going to have a full education in the field, like if you're in a smaller business. You've got the CEO, the MD, the on hand. If you're early talent, this is your opportunity to be absolutely leaning into that seniority and learning like a little sponge. That's what you should be doing, but it's like I find a lot of people fall on their own sword by being intimidated by bigger companies with bigger brands.

Speaker 1:

I've done it myself when I've recruited for my team. I think I'm only graft, I'm only tiny, but that's how I kind of work this out. It's like imagine going in for an interview and somebody apologizing for being who they are. It's not the best start, is it If someone's saying I'm sorry, we can't pay you the going rate, I'm sorry, we can't, we don't have the fancy officers or whatever it is. So you're far better to create and your market is, after all, npr experts so you need to craft your own story about why it's good to join.

Speaker 2:

So talk us through that then. So you know what. How would one go about you know, creating or understanding what your employer brand is?

Speaker 1:

You have to look at your why. You have to look at why you set the company up in the first place. What is it about this collective group of people you're trying to employ that makes sense, look at. You have to look at not only the technical skill, but you have to look at the soft skills as well. And they always get you know. Obviously they become a more prominent now.

Speaker 1:

But I'm a firm believer that people can be taught anything, but you can't teach people to turn up on time, to be present, to really want to graft, if it's not in them. So I think to me, if I was in that kind of mid-sized agency space, I would be looking at my why. I'd be looking at what I was trying to achieve. You have to get your narrative on point so people want to join and they feel compelled to join and it's also managing expectations, like so many companies feel they've got to be perfect. The world isn't perfect and actually when you're a startup and you're SME say we don't know all the answers, be humble, you know, sometimes this over-slick kind of messaging is confusing to people and actually it takes nothing for candidates these days to deselect. So you have to be really careful about the narrative you're pushing out and make sure, especially if it's at the younger end, it's more about. This is what a typical day like. Give them some clues about what's expected of them but not you know like really.

Speaker 2:

So you're saying kind of transparency from the earliest kind of interaction with a candidate tell them your values, tell them your why, talk about why you're different to other people in the market.

Speaker 4:

What do you think the most in-demand marketing skills are at the moment?

Speaker 1:

I'd say video and data.

Speaker 2:

You're safe, Andy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, videos have been. I mean because everyone prefers now to watch video as opposed to reading a blog or some other content. You know, it's quick and snappy, they can do it anywhere. So video is on point and I think honestly like marketing tools, the whole kind of SEO, ppc, the whole data analytics, the whole data science behind the stuff that makes your clients sit up and listen to say I'm putting this money into this campaign, but I can absolutely robustly see through black and white data where my money's going and where my ROI is. I think for marketing it's. You know, the whole industries have to become some technical experts as well as creatives, and so there's a there's a kind of schizophrenic pattern in that?

Speaker 4:

Because, creatives, as much as they try to pretend they're data analytical specialists, they're two totally different creatures. Yeah, and then they are. They're like a proper creative who's sucking on his glasses and pontificating and taking that time to incubate those ideas. There's clever, smart people out there that are much more intelligent than me. They're not really the data analysts but, like you say, the modern marketer has to tie into the analytics. What are the data saying? What is the latest campaign? What's the click-through rate? What's the view? How long are people staying on a particular page or whatever? Yeah, it is fascinating. So what do you think are exciting marketing trends at the moment that are coming out for employers?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think, I mean honestly, I think video is really exciting. I think you know like we're seeing the start of it now. But when you look at the platforms TikTok, Instagram, all the kind of vision-led pieces of social I still as well, I mean, call me old, but I still like thought leadership. I still like decent quality content, like podcasts.

Speaker 1:

Like podcasts, a little shout-out. I think it's worrying from an AI perspective what's going to happen, because I know some agencies who were saying they're all, who were saying, oh, it's great now because we don't need copywriters, because we've got AI, and I'm like, well, you want to be careful with that, because if your clients expecting that a human has created it, shouldn't you be upfront about that? I think there's a time to bring it in but to kind of like mislead, and I think you know AI is obviously very prominent and it can be utilized well, but I, like all things, I don't think you can replace human.

Speaker 4:

It's not finessed though, and it's not creative.

Speaker 4:

It's the and I've said this on this podcast before it's the average of averages. Yeah, however, I did use something really cool yesterday called Otter AI. So for all you listeners out there, if you're not using Otter AI for meetings, go off and meet. Go off and use that on a team's meeting. Record your call. It'll transcribe your call and then you can have a chat with it and it will pull anything from the chat. You don't even have to say this is an action or that's an action. You can just say give me the actions from the call and then you can say write me a follow-up email and it writes it out perfectly. It's quite frighteningly brilliant, actually.

Speaker 1:

Well, I was going to say, like just to flip this around a minute to the heat, off maybe for a second on New York, and do you think, as marketers, that you will encourage your clients to use AI? Like how, yeah, yeah, yeah. I keep on thinking well, what's the perfect blend of human in AI?

Speaker 4:

Well, it's the perfect. The perfect blend is we're using it as a tool. So, for instance, after this, I've used AI to create some of the questions that I've offered you today to look at the key topics in the recruitment sector and creativity. Our producer will, after this, will run the video and sound through some AI to polish it up and make sure it sounds better. Then our marketing team will take the podcast and run the podcast through its podcast platform and the AI will then transcribe it and it'll never get it 100% right. Everything has to be checked. That's just three or four examples of how and it's saving time. That's all it is.

Speaker 4:

But do I think that people you know I've got 30 PR professionals are they all going to go out and use AI? We're just getting rid of everybody and get an AI to create their press releases and send them out? No, because humans have the human interaction, like the experience we've got. Now. You've got your experience, but I will say it's quite shocking. When you have a 30 minute conversation with someone, it records it and then you can interrogate it through a chat and it will pull it all out like it's thought. The process through that to me is like another level of AI. This writing AI is interesting, but this way you can interrogate it and it is creating something that is inferred from your conversation, not that you specifically said. That is when it's getting exciting for me, because jobs are going to change, not be gone, if you know what I mean. We're going to get to do more interesting things.

Speaker 2:

You're in our employers yet demanding it as a skill. Then AI, or are you not yet seeing that On the tech side.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think in marketing. No, I haven't had any job come across my desk. Literally, that is the sector-launched expertise, if you like as AI. But I think the industry I don't know it's like say, everyone's just getting used to it. What is this new version?

Speaker 1:

I remember I mean I don't do anything to do with accounts or finance recruitment, but the analogy I'd like to potentially use is to think about remember when accountants had to do boot keeping and so their whole life was like on Excel spreadsheets. And now everyone's got sort of SaaS products to manage their accountancy, which means actually accountancy is now should be better because they've got more time to consult with us as opposed to getting heads down and filling in columns. So actually I wonder if in marketing, this is what I feel it'll give a greater ability for people to take the mundane tasks to maybe a smaller level and actually really get creative, which then that kind of flips it on its head a little because you think about oh okay, so there's all this tech coming in to marketing and we've already discussed the difference between technical people and creative people, but maybe is the tech can help people get even more creative. So I think that's exciting, that is exciting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's circle back for a moment to talent acquisition. And so employers listening to this. They're running marketing teams. What else are potential recruits looking for in a company then? So let's assume we can't pay top whack. There's always going to be a company willing to pay bigger wages. So where does things like training? Obviously we've talked about culture. I think the cliche a few years ago used to be we've got a snooker table in the office and we've got table football.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, Certainly when I started. It's not even a cliche. I heard it the week. Somebody on another podcast that listened to saying, oh yeah, we've got a beanbag and a pool table. It's still the thing people mentioned.

Speaker 1:

So should we all run out and Honestly, I don't think anyone cares about that, so we shouldn't run out and buy beanbags and pool tables.

Speaker 2:

No, I really would have thought that I should have bought a massive pool table.

Speaker 1:

I put it into tangible benefits like learning and development. That's a really good key point I don't often see people talk about when you start this job. Obviously, everyone's aware what they're doing when they accept the job and that's the job they've got. But what about after? I still hear so many people say I don't want them to be too ambitious. I mean, what the hell does that mean? How can you not want? It doesn't mean because somebody is saying I'm accepting this job, I want to do this job. It doesn't mean to say they want to be hired in a CEO in month three.

Speaker 1:

But it's like if you don't give people the tools to say this is what you can expect your journey to be with us, or our intention is. But it's showing good will to lean into things that people want and it is things like market see is now as well. I rarely see a marketing job descriptions what tech stack they use, so there's no note to how technically advanced they are. But it would be best to say whatever tools you use and to put it on the job description, because then obviously, if people have got that skill and if not, then they're getting clues about what they need to get. So I like things like Coursera, Google, Digital Garage, Udemy, things like that. You could say, from a learning and trainer point of view, it now doesn't have to be so expensive. It's not actually expensive, but what people seem to struggle to give us the time and the space for people to learn Training.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I mean a great way to train. We're all using bloody video calls now, so we do loads of internal training. Training is built into what we do, but we have internal training courses. There's been one this morning isn't there with all the juniors and that's recorded on Teams and then that's then stuck on our internet and people can then click on it and then watch it. For new employees it's not extra work. It is for that person to prepare that deck, but they present their ideas and their thoughts, processes, and then it's there for it's probably relevant for a couple of years. It can be really relevant.

Speaker 2:

So culture of learning, the kind of the internal mobility where people can see how they can progress. What else do we need to?

Speaker 1:

think about Culture's important, but how do you define culture? Culture's difficult to define on a job advert, because this is when you get all this pool table fridges on the front.

Speaker 2:

Culture's what people say about you when you're not in the room. Exactly so.

Speaker 1:

I always encourage employers to use the people in the company who are not the hiring managers to talk about the culture. I don't know why the hiring managers think they've got carte blanche on every decision.

Speaker 1:

Use the talent you've got in your own organization. Get them to say why do you like working here? Everyone's so savvy on Glassdoor now everyone will instantly go on check the kind of reviews. It doesn't mean to say they'll make a decision based on what they see. Sometimes companies can have not such a great star rating, but people will still go ahead and put in applications. But things that matter is things like really good feedback.

Speaker 1:

People want to feel listened to. It's really important, particularly in these generations. They want to feel like their voice is being heard and they've been listened to. So I think it's doing small things internally where you can have kind of because even now. So you guys will be mega successful at what you do. Your juniors will probably be a little bit more digital native. Maybe, I don't know, you could be secret techies, but I don't see working like workshops with a blend of knowledge, because the people who are very senior think might think well, what could I learn? But I think if there's no ego involved, then the training should be the juniors teaching the slightly older teams about technology, why it's important and how they use it, and the older generation can then teach the younger generation about why things like building really good relationships are super important and why to not be afraid of the phone and not be afraid to pick the phone up. I mean it's ridiculous, but sometimes people just can't go on a level.

Speaker 2:

So we're talking less hierarchy, more of a horizontal structure yeah, you want a flat structure. Is that a new thing and I was interested to hear you talk about people wanting to be listened to, and I feel like perhaps 20 years ago, 10 years ago, there was a much stronger hierarchy Junior member of staff would never dare talk to the chief exec, but now that sort seems to have gone out the window.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it's flattened and in the two markets I'm recruiting, so like tech and marketing, tech really just has embraced flat structures, remote working, advances in technology and always on learner mindset is absolutely key in technology and in technology you'll never hear a senior developer ever say I know everything. The expectation is you don't know everything. Sometimes in this industry I think people think is a mark of like to distinguish them that they say that the experts. It's kind of dangerous to say any of the experts, I think if you're close to learning, I don't think that's a good message. So sometimes I think you know where technologists tend to be very sort of down to earth and less bothered about structure and hierarchy and positioning and just say actually I know nothing about this language. I'm really I feel like I'm good on Python, for example, so I'm going to go and learn SQL or SQL and that's all right. No one judges them for it. But sometimes in different industries if you don't know something, people feel judged. I think that's a bit wrong.

Speaker 2:

The other piece I'm quite interested in is talent retention. So you spend a lot of time recruiting, you find someone brilliant, you hire them, you train them, you onboard them. Hours and hours and hours of work for everybody involved, huge amounts of energy, emotional energy, and then they piss off somewhere else. So how do we stop that? You know, how can we retain talent in a sustainable way without having to necessarily resort to pay bumps every quarter?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, it's tough, and it really is tough because it's everyone's been headhunted all the time. Like 30 years of recruitment. Headhunting was reserved for executive level positions. It's not now. Everybody's headhunted at every single level, not just locally, nationally in Europe. You know, I've seen a big sort of trend, if you like, for people getting digital nomad visas and actually working in Spain or wherever, but still being employed by UK companies but choosing to live and work elsewhere.

Speaker 1:

I think, with retention it's difficult, isn't it? Because you've got to balance the needs of your business against what an employee wants. And of course, an employee is always going to want everything on a stick. That's just natural. Whatever we are prepared to give, people say yes, thank you very much. I think you've almost unequivocally got to decide what your culture is, decide what you're all about. You have to get people bought into that first. You can't, you can't, apologise for what's not possible.

Speaker 1:

And sometimes I think people try and pretend to have all these wonderful kind of mechanisms internally to make work life balance and all the rest of it, but at the end of the day, the work has to be done. So it's how you sensibly do it, manage and expectations, but I genuinely feel like through a good quality recruitment process, and it starts at the recruitment process. It doesn't start when they've joined. If it starts when they're joined, you've done it wrong. It needs to start when they don't even barely know who you are, Because the decision they make to join you is that not the same decision as why to stay? So the issue comes when they join a company and then they think, well, wait on, I wasn't told this. Well, actually this doesn't resemble anything like our thought. Good people don't necessarily want to leave people in the lurch like good employees don't want to see your high and dry, but you've got to be true on your promises. Can I ask a?

Speaker 4:

question. You've talked about home working and remote working. Obviously, in the creative sector that we're talking to marketing people, covid's bored of talking about it, but actually we've had three or four people off with it in the last four or six weeks. I've got somebody off right now, but not me. Thankfully, the latest research says that almost two-thirds of job seekers are seeking fully remote roles ahead of the summer, so this was just done before the summer. What's your experience of that Fully remote roles? And, because you mentioned it early but you didn't go into it much, is it fully remote or is it a hybrid, because you were saying that senior people want people back in the office and the generation millennials or Gen Z want to be at home. What's your experience?

Speaker 1:

My experience is, I would say, here in Leeds, people like hybrid ideally I actually wouldn't say it's 100% remote and I am seeing they want flexibility. But they also, through COVID, what they've realized is, if you're not around with a team of people and I think creatively and marketing as well you have to have collaboration. Now, yes, you can do collaboration with tools, with tech tools we've been talking about. It's been a big subject. So the way I look at things is in this, always on learning mindset, how can you always be learning when you're not around people to learn from? Now, yes, you can do it remotely, but in my money it doesn't feel the same. It's not the same. So I feel like you know they do want flexibility. I think three days in the office, two days at home is probably the most popular model that people ask me for.

Speaker 4:

But again, you know it's how often you ask for that. Like, is that everybody Pretty much all the time? Yeah, all the time.

Speaker 1:

Nobody says I want to be in office five days a week.

Speaker 2:

And what about the four day week then? Is that something that's a bit of a flash in the pan? I think it's a flash in the pan.

Speaker 1:

I've seen companies trial in it. I've seen them putting bits on LinkedIn saying how wonderful it's worked. I don't know Publicity's done. I think it is a flash in the pan.

Speaker 4:

I've got another question. So I went down to the PR conference down south and basically I was talking to a number of owners in the PR site. This is a PR conference, so PR founders and owners, and they're all from London, so we're based in the north of the UK and Leeds I know you cover the whole of the UK but and they were just telling me about talent acquisition and talent retention, going back to Will's point and they said in London it's fucking nightmare because people, they find people, they get them in their job. They're in the job for 12 months and then they go. Yeah, and unless you're one of the big five PR agencies in the UK or the big agencies, Is that through head hunting Are they getting stolen away?

Speaker 4:

from them, or? Yeah, I think people just, they just said the hardest thing. If you're one of and let's face it, there's a lot of agencies in London, because it's so competitive, unless you're one of the big guys, to keep hold of people, it's just so challenging, is that anything?

Speaker 1:

you've experienced. I mean, I like to bring talent up from London.

Speaker 3:

Sorry. I'm sorry, Londoners.

Speaker 1:

I'm like the pipe pipe are going as much better up here and I think one thing that the Northern. I know we've got some mechanisms to shout about our wins and what we do in this industry, but I think we need to do more because if you ask the not like candidates are really not aware of the kind of campaigns we work on or pay you. So you're doing your job for your clients, right. This goes back to your employer branding. You do the job for your clients, you reward your clients with your skill, your expertise, and you don't put it in your recruitment packs. You don't talk about the brands to the level where actually people think, wait a minute, if they're dealing with Moyer Shandon, for example, in Leeds, I don't need to go to London, I don't need to have that big kind of overhead and it's a broader reputational issue.

Speaker 2:

North v London, isn't it? I think for a lot of people it's seen as a kind of a pilgrimage we graduate, we go to London. You have to work in London to get great experience. Yeah, I did it, but actually there's a massive tech industry in Leeds. Manchester is absolutely booming. You don't necessarily need to make that move, do you.

Speaker 1:

No, honestly, I'm officially an economic migrant from Sunderland, so I had to come to Yorkshire to find the kind of work that I wanted to do. But now I think you know, with our brilliant universities we were so lucky, We've got fantastic universities and actually I would say over the last five years there's been a notable, notable increase in people staying here after university, and not just instantly. It's not the immediate thought to go, I have to go to London. And I meet so many candidates now who say, actually, Mel, I really don't want to go to London, so I'm dealing with the opposite. I think that's the COVID effect.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think a lot of people just went hang on a minute, I don't need to go down there. But the problem, because London is the center metropolis of where everything is, and especially in our industry, what we work in I'd say 90 something percent, I don't know what the stats are are in London. But yeah, you're right, you can have a very good career in any of the regions, in any of the other cities.

Speaker 2:

Maybe it's a PR. I mean, what we need really is, you know, we talk about.

Speaker 4:

We need a Northern powerhouse, which we're not getting.

Speaker 2:

And we endlessly talk about that I know All the regional borrowers need to join up and promote the North as a more attractive destination.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely 100 percent. You know, there was all in, wasn't there?

Speaker 4:

There was the campaign with the, with Channel 4 to come to Leeds, and Channel 4 is now open.

Speaker 1:

And then the whole industry got together.

Speaker 2:

Well, leeds needs to work with Manchester and I can't say that happening any time soon no it's the divide, isn't it?

Speaker 4:

I don't know.

Speaker 1:

I think I mean there's rivalry scored Again. If I'm taking lessons from tech, tech people don't approach that, they approach collaboration the same way that a lot of marketing firms do. They're much more open, Just much more open, but it's not us.

Speaker 4:

Right, when you say marketing firms, it's not just us, because we've got clients in everywhere in the UK, right, yeah. But I will say, if you're based in, let's go with. If you're based in a particular area, I pitched years ago for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, from a London agency actually, and I thought there's no way we were in this and they went with a Scottish agency. And I'm not saying that they were probably bad on us, but what you do notice is like, at Manchester brand, it's more likely to go with a Manchester agency and maybe a London brand is more likely to go with a London agency. Maybe it's just the locality, I don't know. I've seen that. So it's not the agencies. I think it's more the clients actually think oh well, they're just round the corner or the closer.

Speaker 1:

But what? About the collaboration working, though, Like I think you got. So what will happen, I think, is that you'll win a pitch and you do a huge PRPC. Yeah, we've won this pitch, we're fully integrated, we're doing XYZ, but I don't know, as an industry, I don't feel like people. Do you think people? Really? I think it feels a bit more scrappy, a bit more like I want to win this fight. I want to win it at all costs.

Speaker 4:

Right, do you? What do you think?

Speaker 2:

Well, you're talking Northern agencies approach to pitching.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm talking about people in the same shoes as you. So other agencies, you might be competing. I just find, say, like in tech, although they're competing for business as well, they collaborate more.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I see what you're saying. I think tech has a longstanding tradition of collaboration, doesn't it? And I think the tendency is certainly in agency land. There is, or traditionally there's been, a reticence to collaborate. I think, actually, that's getting better. I mean, I think people are a bit more growing up about it.

Speaker 4:

The UK's biggest open drill. It is all marketing and tech, isn't it To get that free? And they had some great speakers this year. I know you're involved in that.

Speaker 2:

I am Back to this retention idea because we obviously want to avoid upskilling somebody and then leaving within 12 months. It's just a massive waste of time and effort and money, isn't it? What's your view on? I've seen a few. Obviously, a lot of agencies do exit interviews, don't they? I've seen a trend for staying interviews, so almost annual interviews, saying why are you staying with this company? What's your view to that and how would that work?

Speaker 1:

That's a great idea because it is just that cross-fertilization of your employees and the head manager or the company being impactful for one another. There's things that they can. People can learn up and down streams. So if there's things that an employee, if you create and foster the right kind of environment where you can be honest, that's never a bad thing. You might not want to hear sometimes what people have to say, but far rather, if it's in a controlled way, it's better to know of any problems. Isn't that just your performance?

Speaker 2:

review no, it's not.

Speaker 4:

Well you discuss why you're here and why you're in town. No, that's more KPI.

Speaker 1:

This is more.

Speaker 2:

So we use a tool called Office Vibe and I've noticed a lot of agencies, a lot of clients using that as well, and it's an employee For anyone that doesn't know, it's an employee engagement tool and you can get that kind of candid feedback. Why are you still in your role? What do you like about it here? What would you change? Is that what we're talking about here?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that's good. And then from there as well, you need to create actions, people. I think people employees get fed up when if there's a problem, it's spoken about and then nobody actually does anything about it. I think that just calls cultures and people just then want to leave and opt out.

Speaker 1:

I think if they feel like they're staying static and they're not really learning something, that's another big issue, because the things we're discussing today how fast this industry is growing, the different media mix you're all involved with now I know candidates who will say to me if I stay in this company, I'm not going to be employable in a year's time because I'm not catching up. Wow, like they're aware that they're not actually at the cutting edge of what's going on. So that's like people are trying to look after and future proof their roles, their jobs. So I always encourage my clients to think about how can you have really good quality conversations about looking at future folks in your job and having them really adopting this sort of like always learning attitude, because I think if you foster that, it's going to seriously lessen the reasons why people would want to walk.

Speaker 1:

If you're an environment where you're being listened to, it's like look, it's not perfect. It's not like with. Time is an issue. I think in marketing agencies, most definitely In a service industry, you've got a lot of demands, deadlines, things have to be done. It's difficult sometimes to carve in the time, but I feel like the companies that get it right and actually listen to the employees and actually action some of the things that they say, they don't suffer with the same sort of tenure issues.

Speaker 4:

So well, this show is all about fuck ups and stakes in marketing. So there's people out. This is why everybody's waiting to hear, and the best ones are always the candid ones, where people tell us the truth and I must admit, in the show notes we like the sound of your fuck ups, oh God. Yeah, so do you want to tell us what professional mistake you've made and what you learned from it? Oh, dear.

Speaker 1:

Well, this was so. As I mentioned, I worked at Leeds-Becky University don't kill me Leeds-Becky University but when the VC was having a really high profile gathering, you know there was loads of important people there. So as part of the recruitment business I set up for them, I used to hire hospitality staff, which were all students, obviously, because we had hospitality courses. So it does come with its issues. So I mean they just decided to play a game, if what's that thing you call it when you go around nicking drinks.

Speaker 2:

Oh mind sweeping.

Speaker 1:

Mind sweeping at a whole new level yeah mind sweeping.

Speaker 4:

Thank you, so you're told.

Speaker 1:

At a whole new level. So all these students were meant to be, you know, catering the event, waitressing, what not. Well, anyway, they got. They saw the amount of alcohol and everything and they just got a big giddy and it was far too tempting. So they kind of like, had a lot of champagne and wine and I got a call from security saying Mel, you need to come down here. And I was like why, what's going on? They're like all your students are malt behind a skip and they've just basically, you know, helped themselves, don't want to be behind a skip. They were mortal, morphal, have you not heard? Mortal? Yeah, it's like hammered, Hammered, hammered. You're absolutely mortal. So, yeah, surrounded by empty bottles, and they had to pick each student up and say you're supposed to be representing the university here we're going to. I mean, how many of them were?

Speaker 1:

were there About eight.

Speaker 2:

And how did you sober them up Is the real question.

Speaker 1:

Coffee and a stern word and stern words yeah, absolutely I was. I was saying to them you know God, you represent your university here and we're going to get killed here the VC C. No, I hit. No, no, no, no no. You kind of managed to just sort of yeah, no.

Speaker 4:

What was the worst thing they did? How did they know they were leathered with the dropping things?

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, and of course the security guard had called me to say well, anyway, the door nicked off. I thought they were all behind the skip drinking.

Speaker 2:

I mean they must have drunk a lot of a skip. Looked like an appealing place.

Speaker 1:

Not as avian. Yeah, no, that wasn't that.

Speaker 2:

What's your lesson there then?

Speaker 1:

Well, I wouldn't say. The funny thing is I wouldn't change it because I mean obviously this was me getting students into jobs. But you know, I don't know, it was just. You know, it's like a bit Lord of Flies mentality. Once one started, the old started. But I mean I can laugh about it now. At the time it felt like a bit oh my God. But actually it is their university. So I mean they get told off a little bit, but not as bad as it could have been. If it had been like a client, it would have been absolutely horrific. It was bad enough.

Speaker 4:

But we got through it. I've got a few questions from people off Twitter. Actually. Okay, Sorry, Axelon, sorry, sorry. A name is asked on Twitter who is likely to be a good fit for a CMO, a generalist or a specialist.

Speaker 1:

Hmm, $50 million question there. So I always think the best way to come with this is the CMO should have at least one deep sector knowledge expertise and then also be able to do the helicopter big picture stuff. So I think I'm doing a typical politician's answer here. I think it's it's all in some sort of a-, yeah, it depends.

Speaker 1:

No, I mean you want them to have the bigger picture as a CMO, but I really think they should have at least one sector knowledge, expertise and then obviously collaborate with the rest of the team and bring expertise in as and when you need it. But yeah, I think, a total generalist, I don't think would be right.

Speaker 2:

So just on that, before you ask the second question. I've read somewhere that the average CMO stays in post for about 18 months, which is less than the lifespan of the average hamster. So what's going on there?

Speaker 4:

Well, you've teed up Matt's question. Matt Box on X oh, look at that. He says why are CMOs 10 years so low?

Speaker 1:

So same question Burnout sometimes conflict in demands. Sometimes CMOs don't see eye to eye with the rest of the team. There can be some sort of Behave you say, which maybe is not helpful and that just makes people think the one only sometimes low budgets.

Speaker 1:

Not having you know the kind of budget that they want to be able to see to do the project well, can be Frustrating. Sometimes lack of talent, even in the team you know if they haven't got anyone that can actually get to help can be equally frustrating. So a little bit of everything actually.

Speaker 2:

In fact, now that we've actually verbalize, it's quite a lot of reasons and making and meeting targets and achieving Ultimately and on that, actually see is. So most see is come from financial background and they typically fd because before they become see you don't often see cmo's becoming see eos.

Speaker 1:

I'm not having to know how, until I've been paused that question just to put you on the spot thanks will do make good, see, as I've seen.

Speaker 4:

You know they will If they've got a strong marketing background. They believe in marketing the business and I mean I just always think that they've got really successful businesses usually usually see a cmo or head of marketing if they get promoted to quite a good job of a c o r n d wrong.

Speaker 2:

But most blue chips of f from an fd background cos, but anyway that's a but yeah, I would.

Speaker 1:

I always think it's better to really understand annoying. You've got to know your market. You've got to know your push and pulls credibility?

Speaker 2:

I suppose I mean from a board level. Does the role of cmo Lack credibility and comparison with an fd?

Speaker 4:

Does marketing or coms like?

Speaker 2:

Well, mark, traditionally with PR, what is something I'm steven waddington has talked about in depth is the kind of the prestige and status of PR as a discipline in amongst the c suite which is it can fluctuates, doesn't it really?

Speaker 4:

depends. If the shit hits the fan all of a sudden, you, the biggest, you, the most important person in the room, quick ask the ask the PR professional. What the fuck do we do here? Where is it If, just day to day, turning out news stories and everything's going well? What do you know you need? You don't need to be in? This meeting tends to be. I'm generalizing there, obviously, but I think that the PR person becomes more important if there's a crisis. Marketing the market. The market is. If they're very good marketers, they know their shit and I think this, if you're good to you, should you should know, you should listen to them. John houston on twitter has asked postgraduate professional qualifications, yes or no? I'm Postgraduate professional qualifications. Should you get one or are they just a waste of time? Oh god, sorry for all you academics yeah, I'm thinking I got.

Speaker 1:

I mean I've got graph. Now I'm fully independent of higher education. It depends.

Speaker 2:

Here I got no, I'll tell you news. It depends. Go off the fence I don't think.

Speaker 1:

I don't think you need one person, I don't so but why use to deal with the MBAs from, say, american universities coming over here? So I think, if there's something else which is actually a better learning experience, I think theoretically do you need it. I don't do you know, I don't think so.

Speaker 4:

As I client is the university doctor and provide excellent MBAs online, I would always say that you should always get one.

Speaker 1:

I think you know when it, when you looking at sort of it's got. That is a point where it wants to be highly collaborative and you need to be learning from people in industry. I think as long as you learn from others in industry. So we would get people over here in leeds who, say, work for google or for coca-cola in the states. So I think that exchange of knowledge almost transcends the certificate. So I think, as long as it's got something else robust that you can actually think you know on all the converse, we would send students over there. So again, you seen a different culture, a different set up. What is it? How are they marked in agencies, different to the way we go about things? Are they in front? Are we behind? Is it level playing fields? What is it? So I think Just to do talk and talk. No, you've proven that. You've done that. Yeah, I can it. I mean, unless you're obsessed with like fancy frames on the wall with certificates.

Speaker 4:

It's not that I just think for professional development, like when you get become a senior marketing person, like you know, like myself, and you know I've taught at university and now I want to. Still, I constantly want to learn, so I am actually interested in what the university oxford's and is, but I can't dedicate the time to it. No, and fair play to anyone that does that, because I've got kids, you know, yeah, and you run a business and there's all the other things anybody that does everyone.

Speaker 1:

Just that, mark ritson one, don't they? Really and I think you know you can. I think the trouble is, like you say, unfortunately in higher education it might mean Take a year out to work or, you know, really dedicate a lot of time that people might not have the time, the money. The money is another thing. Postcards a lot more expensive, so it is a big. But I think there's other bite size learning you can do.

Speaker 4:

That's very high quality so you've been on the show. Now you've got the premise of what we cover and everything. If you were us, who would you next interview for next podcast?

Speaker 1:

Get an academic to ask about. You know the relevance of, for example, postgraduate and some of the gaping holes you can see in the curriculum. What do you feel is employers you need? And if the skills are not there, do something about it. I work with you know. I mean, like you say, you've lectured up there so you know you've got. You know the same people.

Speaker 4:

I do what you know, the last interview we did, someone recommended we speak to richard bailey, who I've worked with. So, richard bailey, I'm going for you, I'm gonna get on the show.

Speaker 1:

I think I'm sorry to do this, neil smith, but neil stand up. Oh, and jannis, all yeah, get jannis in, or I've worked with you. Know, surely, all of you, surely, surely, bearers, and I'm just a bit of a summary, then.

Speaker 2:

What are the top three things companies can do to attract and retain talent, the most important things they can possibly do?

Speaker 1:

so the top three things clients can do to attract and retain talent is have a really good employer employee potential briefing document that goes a little further than just a basic job description. You know you are. This is the marketing industry, this is the PR industry. Should be wonderful at putting sort of you know documents together. You know lots of photos, lots of things. People can see the light. That again, if you look at the industry with video, things are going visual.

Speaker 1:

It's no different for people looking at work Retained from a retained but so sorry from an attraction point of view. Your narrative needs to be honest. Don't fight or worry about who's bigger than you or what you don't have. There's no point in dwelling on that. It is what it is. Just put your offer out as it is, what's normal and you'll find just by being honest and managing expectations you get the same with the candidates. They won't expect you to be Slick and super organized if that's not what you are. So that's from an attraction point of ploy. Brand is king and treat it like you would a client work. So the way you would work for a client, work for your own brand when it comes to recruitment. So if you know, you're not putting a lot out there about why it's good to work here. There's a problem.

Speaker 1:

Number two is in terms of retention. Learning, development always on attitude doesn't need to cost a lot of money, can be things like you know, cross age group training. You can do it internally with your own people. It doesn't always have to be an external requirement, but just foster this culture of learning and always wanting to learn and make it visible. You know lots of companies do well with things like recommending books before people join. Oh, and you're on board, and has to be Like finesse your onboarding if people don't feel welcome. The minute they get here, that little seeded out germinates right there in that minute. So just things like you know, how much effort does it take to go and get someone their own log? Get them like something that might mentioned in an interview what kind of chocolate you like? Anything personal, make a personal. They want to feel welcome and they want to feel like they've joined a good place that's going to look after them.

Speaker 1:

It's simple stuff. It's not all the like you say, the football tables and honestly, when I see this thing about, oh, we have such an active social life and you can go out drinking on a Friday night after you've done 60 hours, let's just say, for example, in the office, don't you want to spend time with your own friends and family? Like I, get the thing. But this blend of you have to blend your Personal life with work life. Why do you have to do that if you don't want to do you know what I mean. It just seems it's become an industry thing, like we've all got to get on 24 seven and want to be with each other all the time. What if you don't? What if you're an introvert? You just not into it.

Speaker 4:

So thanks for coming on the show, melanie.

Speaker 2:

No problem, really enjoyed the chat well, I think recruitment unfairly has got a bad reputation. Hopefully you've redressed the balance through the hour of conversation.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, you're the ying to the recruiters yang right. So where can people find you if they like what they've heard today and they think, oh my god, she's hit the nail on the head? I want to get in contact with Melanie and get her involved.

Speaker 1:

Graph talent, and so W w dot graph talent dot code are you pay all the usual social handles. You'll hear me if you're in leads. Let's be honest. I mean, with the windows open, you're going to be able to know where I am, pop up all sorts of places, networking and obviously yeah, just on the website.

Speaker 2:

I mean, we can't talk PR people, we don't have the best rep know people, yeah, everyone, fix behind our flyers at the beach. So you know we don't just like, when clients call us this, they like just put a bit of spin on this really, and they see us as people just spin things. Yeah, which is all. When was last time you put?

Speaker 4:

some spin on something well.

Speaker 2:

I'm not rising to your question Different there, chris but some real value for for those people hiring talent in the region, nationally and beyond. And I think there's three or four kind of key takeaways I got from that. First of all, the idea that building the employer brand is time well spent, and the whole idea is you don't have to necessarily. You might not have the biggest budgets in terms of paying salaries, you might not have pool tables in the office or Incredible training programs, but actually having an honest and authentic employer brand is worth its weight in gold.

Speaker 4:

I just like the fact you deconstructed that we don't have to dislike recruitment consultants as much as we do. Anybody out there that's managing a marketing team or a PR team or A digital team will be getting inundated with linked in messages, and that's my view of recruiters and I work with them. We work with them quite a lot and and I think she did bring back some sort of confidence to it she knows the market, she knows what people are looking for and she knows what candidates Want, because candidates have changed and I thought that was quite enlightening because if people have listened to this, like you said, the the pool table thing always gets listened every time I hear about, even when I started in the job, it was like do you have a pool table? Table is pretty irrelevant.

Speaker 2:

it's about authenticity, right, and failing to adapt to those changes in the markets is absolutely crazy, isn't it? And you know things like the fact that people quite understandably want to work a hybrid model. I want to work remotely. Learning and development is a massive focus now. People quite rightly want a path don't know, yeah and a clear Development plan, and not necessarily to see you know, though?

Speaker 2:

no, but people want to know where they're going. It's things like Investment in learning and development and giving people a kind of a clear path of development. And yeah, as you said, it doesn't mean everyone's going to become CEO in two or three years, but people quite rightly want to know how their positions going to evolve and change over time yeah, people want to know that being listened to.

Speaker 4:

The feedback thing was a big thing. I actually thought you're a question about. Staying interview is interesting because obviously we have a lot of conversations with all of our employees, regularly, have monthly meetings, we have, you know, reviews and everything, but staying interviews is a whole nother set of yeah that I thought was quite interesting. You brought back to the part of what did he pull that one from?

Speaker 2:

well it's. I guess it's as an employer. You're going to get some uncomfortable truths, aren't you? The more you listen to people, we get it through office five. You get candid feedback, and some people aren't yet ready for that, but I think ignoring it is crazy. I'd rather know how people feel and what people want and you can then make decisions based on that rather than bearing it in the sand, staying interviews and extension of that yeah, you just basically stopping an issue becoming from small, a con, into a massive issue, a big tree.

Speaker 4:

So, yeah, I agree with you and I don't know the tree reference, but they go, so will tell me what we are preconceptions about interviewing a recruiter before we did it today.

Speaker 2:

I think, unfairly. I tarnish all crouters with the same brush and I think often we get unsolicited emails offering people you know, people in different positions, and we get them every day, to be quite honest, don't we?

Speaker 2:

Yeah but actually recruitment goes way beyond that and what we're talking about today was kind of talent acquisition, talent strategy, and that's the real value I think recruiters can add, and I think perhaps a small part of the market does tarnish the rest of the market which is doing yeah well, it's good, people is good, there's good marketers, there's good recruiters, clearly, and if you you want great talent, if you use a great great recruiter, hopefully they'll get you that great creative talent that you want because it great Creative.

Speaker 4:

so we discussed loads of stuff today, but what I love about it is it still comes down to brilliant people. You. The odd business is only as good as you're the people that are in it, so you need to be recruiting great creative people, and that doesn't include the two video guys that are pointing each other in this room Laughing laughing at themselves.

Speaker 2:

Oh god, discipline them later. Yeah, one of the things actually which we touched on but probably didn't didn't explore in the great detail, is hiring people with the right values and a kind of cultural alignment.

Speaker 3:

So so important yeah nothing.

Speaker 2:

if you get your employer brand piece right, naturally you're going to attract candidates that are the right cultural fit for you and they share the same values and they're respectful of your values but we did.

Speaker 4:

We did touch on the job description being the first route into like Into the employee, and job descriptions, even from the most creative agencies, are often a pile of utter crap on they. So you talked about using video and things like that. I mean, we do do that on our website and we've got you know, but I think that we treat we're, we've done it to you know, like we are job descriptions. We could probably make them a bit sexier. So the word is that.

Speaker 2:

I think we can make a job descriptions more engaging. I think we could talk about our culture and our values a lot more, rather than just arbitrarily listing Required skills things are better than literally.

Speaker 2:

The other thing I felt really important is on boarding. So you spend an awful lot of time trying to hire, trying to find the right people. You hire them. They come into the office on the first day. There's no net agree them. They're giving a laptop and phone and told to get on with it, and that's must be so disheartening for a candidate. You've got that one chance to get it right yeah.

Speaker 2:

And set out what the year, what the next five years, are going to look like, and so many people us included actually historically we've since changed our kind of on boarding processes get that wrong, so I think that's so, so important.

Speaker 4:

I think you've got to review everything all the time. You got to review your onboarding processes, especially during covid. It was difficult with, you know, people not being in the office and you had to make everything digital.

Speaker 2:

Now it's like a hybrid situation so thank you very much everybody for joining us today. Really interesting chat with Melanie. Now remember to Check us out on socially unacceptable dot code UK and you can see a full list of the different episodes hit that like and subscribe and definitely subscribe on YouTube.

Speaker 4:

We need as many subscribers as possible.

Speaker 2:

And we love feedback as well. So any comments about the show, any suggestions for guests, please get in touch.

Speaker 4:

Chris and will could be more articulate. Thanks a lot. We'll see you in a couple of weeks.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for listening to socially unacceptable. Please remember to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a five star review. Don't forget to follow us on social media on Instagram tick tock and linked in a prohibition PR and Twitter at socially away. We would love to hear some of your career fuck ups. We can share them on the show. For more information on the show, such prohibition PR, in your search engine and click on podcast. Until next time, please keep pushing the boundaries and embracing the socially unacceptable.

Attracting Creative Talent
Attracting Talent for Mid-Level Marketing Teams
AI's Impact on Marketing and Recruitment
Promoting Company Culture and Remote Work
Remote vs Hybrid Work
Employee Engagement Challenges and CMO Tenure
CMO Challenges and Talent Retention Solutions
Authenticity and Talent Strategy Importance