The creative industry is brimming with talented individuals who are helping to shape our creative world. These industry A Listers have a wealth of knowledge and experience and Purple’s aim is to share their insights with our clients and candidates.
From CEOs, to Creative Directors, Heads of Technology to Talent managers, there are an array of professionals that are behind the workings of agencies and we want you to meet them! We will delve into what drives them, what challenges they face, their views on the industry and explore their careers, and we hope this will help to inspire the new generation of creatives.
This week Purple met Kirsty Maxey, Managing Director of Team Spirit.
Kirsty has over 20 years’ experience in marketing communications, starting as a graduate trainee with SunAlliance, she has worked across all areas of marketing covering all distribution channels. In 1995 Kirsty bravely set up her own consultancy, advising a diverse mix of clients on all aspects of marketing communications and after 5 successful years in business she decided to join Team Spirit as MD, working on a broad range of clients in the financial and professional services fields.
This insightful interview explores the development of her career from trainee to MD, the importance of mentoring and her top tips for a successful career in client services.
On November 19th, recruiters from around the UK will gather together to celebrate the 2014 Marketing & Advertising Recruitment Awards (MARAs). Established 5 years ago, the MARAs recognise those recruitment consultancies who have best confronted the changing demands of the staffing industry and who display unparalleled excellence within the overarching marketing industry.
Back in 2011 we took a chance and entered Purple into the MARA’s for the very first time. We were overjoyed when our name was called and we were announced as the winners of the Best Contract Recruitment Team award! Moving on to 2012, we entered again and amazingly scooped the Best Contract Recruitment Team award for the second year running, while also taking home gongs for Recruitment Consultant of the Year and Recruitment Boss of the Year.
In 2013, our winning streak continued and we were crowned Best Contract Recruitment Team for the third year in a row! Alongside this we were also presented with the Best Recruitment Video award.
After much consideration we decided to take on the challenge of the MARA’s one last time, entering two categories for this year’s awards. The level of competition was more fierce than ever before, with thousands of recruitment consultancies entering across all categories – however we can now proudly announce that Purple Consultancy have made it onto the shortlist for both categories entered! It would be a record breaking win for us if we are crowned Best Contract Recruitment Team for a 4th year running. It would also be a proud moment it we were to take home the award for Best Recruitment Website, as our new site has been live for less than a year.
We won’t find out our fate until the live ceremony in November but whether we are crowned winners or not, to be shortlisted in these two competitive categories is a great honour!
Watch this space!
Introducing Matthew Williams, our new awesome academy leader! Recently joining Purple as Head of Internal Recruitment and Training. Matthew is in the process of recruiting the next generation of super star consultants using his no nonsense, firm but fair approach, guiding them through all of the different tools and tricks to become a top billing recruitment consultant.
A very brief career history…
Having worked my way up to management in retail at an early age, I developed an entrepreneurial flair and have run my own businesses. I fell into sales and have sold pretty much everything at some point, which led to me being contacted by a recruitment agency back in the early 2000’s…since then I have spent 7+ year in recruitment at a senior level, both internally and agency, as well as media and events sales management. Eventually my career followed a natural path into recruitment and sales training. I have always been ambitious and had a keen interest in business .
Creative suits both my personality and interests. I am a thinker, and always look at alternative solutions and methods. I also like to engage with creative types, which suits my character and sense of humour, so both clients and candidates and colleagues keep me interested and motivated, which in turn suits my role at Purple.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like socialising and I’m partial to a drop of red wine. I’m also a food addict, so I love to experience new foods, restaurants and dabble in experimental cooking. Around that I like going to the gym and weight lifting.
3 items you would take on a desert island! A Nokia 3310 so I can play snake, suntan lotion, a pillow! You can’t beat a nice pillow!
The fog seems to have lifted on the UK and the economy is now enjoying a positive shift with an impressive 2.5% growth in 2014. Permanent starting salaries are on the rise and with this hiring intentions from businesses are increasing across perm and freelance which has led to increased confidence for employers. This is supported in a statement from REC which found that 59% of employers were predicting that they will end 2014 with a larger headcount.
With this growth, comes concern. The challenge is, can the supply of talented staff and skill sets meet the demand?
The Digital sector has seen its own specific uplift in recent years with countless start-ups as well as growth for smaller agencies establishing their niche in this busy market. Development economies survey for O2 found that 745,000 workers with digital skills will be required by 2017. An estimate 182,000 of these roles will require the current generation of ‘digital savvy youngsters’. The CEO of Telefonica, Ronan Dunne commented “As digital natives, young people possess valuable skills that will be the future fuel of our economy, but not enough is being done to harness them.”
So how can we harness these millennials or digital natives – there is much to be said for understanding them as a generation, they have different needs, different interests and a very different work ethic. They put a strong emphasis on work life balance and culture, CSR as opposed to cash benefits. But before we consider how to retain this talented generation – how do we - us as recruiters, and you as agencies – attract them?
With digital consuming every aspect of our lives and workplace, we must look to technology to plan approach. Every business feeling the pressure to undergo a digital transformation and it seems businesses that do, are instantly able to connect more closely with customers, become more innovative and as a result, become more successful.
With regards to recruitment, the striking reality is that technology and social media platforms in particular, have taken a lead role in the hiring processes, enabling companies to engage with candidates throughout the process, as well as allowing candidates to screen potential employers by their social media presence.
Mobile and more specifically the smartphone has revolutionized the way we communicate, to the extent that many of us feel incapable of surviving without one. It has also affected the way companies communicate with customers, in our instance – with candidates. With such a technology savvy talent pool – that digital agency are looking to attract – it means agencies need to work harder than ever to beat competition and to secure the elite talent.
However, just when we become comfortable with one technology – a new era of gadgets arrives and we all have to adapt the way were work and communicate. Recent developments in wearable Tech are seeing Apple unveil its watch and Google’s android wear steaming into the mainstream – what does this mean for us, brands and agencies? While these gadgets allow us to become more invested in the internet and social, it means a whole new design language that needs to be learnt as well as the need to redefine the user experience.
So once we have created a strong line of communication with the digital natives, how do you get them to want to come and work with you?
As a digital agency, what is your recruitment brand? Your job is to help get your clients brand into the public eye and increase their, but what about your Agency? Who is shaping how your business appears to outsiders, what makes you an employer of choice? Why would someone want to work with you? I mentioned earlier about the package that you offer – benefits and culture which is important but you must spend some time working on your recruitment brand in order to pull in the talent.
In the meantime, while the digital natives are filtering into our workplace – many businesses are looking to up skill their current workforce. The government have announced an £18.4m investment in July of this year into a project led by Cisco to help train people up with the skills needed to allow the digital economy to progress. Alongside this many employers are planning to invest in the development of apprenticeships, conversion courses and graduate training programmes helping to upskill and retain the current employees we have.
Looking forward, it is clear that businesses need to adapt to the every changing technologies and market and as the top Digital Agencies in the UK people will look to you to lead the way.The traditional skillsets required are being transformed and roles now need scientific minds as well as those who can create, and while up skilling is necessary you must focus on ways to harvest the next generation of talent as they are the key to unlock the digital future.
Week 8, Purple chat to Isabel Serval, Head of Creative Communications at Jelly London.
Jelly London service the global market with creative content across all platforms. They represent the cream of the crop of illustrators and animators in the UK and around the globe.
Isabel is a Creative copywriter and content strategist with a knack for voice and tone and brand development. Also very fond digital, tech, mobile and user experience design.
What does an average day look like to you?
A bit befuddled in the morning (with Life, London transport and everything), fabulous come lunch time (one of my favourite things) and more creative throughout the afternoon. That’s when I get most of my writing done. Let’s not forget about the evening: a great time of day in which I’m very often out and about attending work-related events where I socialise with the people who make the creative industry move and often learn a bit on the way too.
What career path lead to your current role?
I’m a creative person, hence rubbish at sticking to paths. I’m a creative copywriter who started as a freelance journalist covering a wide array of topics, worked all over the place as a digital and print copywriter, as a translator, an editor, a social media manager, an English tutor and an ESL teacher – at times all at once. At the core of all this lies that I’m a creative writer. I’ve made versatility my strength and that’s what I need most in my current role at jelly London.
What has been the biggest struggle in your career?
Making choices. The choice of being freelance versus permanent, of working client side or agency, of working for a big brand you find ethically questionable because they pay well. Those choices are tricky and sometimes sticky.
What is your favourite thing about your role?
My favourite thing about being head of creative communications for jelly London is that I write about very talented artists and the beautiful work they create – and also that I own and get to develop jelly’s voice and tone throughout all our communications. It’s a constantly inspired environment to work in.
What advice would you give to a younger self?
Grow within a permanent role first, go freelance later. It’s easier than the other way around.