Making it in Design


Working in Design or any creative sector is an enviable career, nothing will compare to the feeling of self-achievement when your sketches come to life or working in an invigorating environment with creatives who share the same passion.

Fashion design is often perceived as glamorous, whilst this is some-what true this is just the surface of being a designer, there are many more layers to consider.

Working Hours:

As a designer you’ll be expected to work long hours, a 9 to 5 in this line of work is unheard of. Your work load will be driven by sign offs and send outs, working to tough deadlines and the possibility of your customer or buying team making last minute changes.

A huge perk is having the option to travel, these might be long days and early start; to get the best priced flight you will depart at the crack of dawn! You’ll also find that you never actually switch off, you’ll be consumed by your work, always keeping your eyes peeled for new inspiration on the market. This is natural when you have a real passion for what you do.

Salary:

It is important to remember you are entering this industry for your love of design, not necessarily for the financial reward. Whilst design is certainly not poorly paid, it’s not always the most lucrative route in the fashion industry. Paid travel and clothing discounts are a huge benefit, but be aware that it is unlikely you’ll earn the big bucks until you senior level, but with hard work and dedication you’ll   get there!


Sketching & CAD: 

If you’re an Illustrator look for roles that utilise these skills, such as greeting cards or homewares, when you move into fashion, the chances of being able to paint and draw will be slim. You will work predominantly on CAD for speed and accuracy. Even as a print designer for apparel, you will be largely CAD based, and your more creative elements will become a hobby.

You will also need to make sure your CAD skills are up to date, software changes and evolves so rapidly that you will need to be constantly aware of new tools and innovations. Although your company may not upgrade as often, you should still ensure your knowledge is current, otherwise you will find your skills are quickly outdated.

As well as CAD, you will be required to use a varied amount of computer software on a daily basis, such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint,  internal systems and databases specific to the company you are working for. If you are a technophobe, perhaps this is not the route for you.

Public Speaking:

As we all know fashion can be a cut-throat industry, you won’t always be told how amazing your work is so prepare yourself for some criticism. Don’t let this dampen your spirit, take on those criticisms and turn them into positives, always be excited and talk passionately about your creations. You are the ambassador of your own work, give it life and make others excited too.


Fear is a normal part of public speaking, some find it a walk in the park whilst it doesn’t come naturally to others. It would be great if we could let our work speak for itself, but being able to present confidently is a great skill to have as a designer, as you’ll be presenting regularly in front of clients and buying teams. It is easier said than done, at first you’ll feel nervous, your palms will sweat, your stomach will be in knots but just like anything the more you do it the better you’ll become.

You don’t have to be the most out-going extroverted character to come across well in your presentations, prepare, be yourself and connect with your audience.

It Takes All Sorts:

You will meet all sorts of people on your journey of being a designer, from the most flamboyant sparkly characters, to a barefoot maiden. You will be surprised sometimes by how the skill and passion of a person, differs from their image and soon realise fashion has no image.

Not all streetwear is designed by a heavily tattooed skater, and not all girls wear is by the sweetest of sweet. Our love of product isn’t always our personal preference, in fact, it’s better when it isn’t as it means you’re able to have a more of an objective view of the task in hand.

You do need to be comfortable in very diverse environments, be able to build relationship with all different types of people in all walks of life. And that’s just in your own office, then you have to consider the culture differences across the world in your suppliers. You need to be open minded, and able to adapt.

No two days are the same for a designer, it’s a varied and challenging role, but it’s very rewarding, when you see your work in store, online, in magazines, maybe even TV, it makes it all worthwhile.

If you’re keen to make it as a designer, please visit our website www.peoplemarketing.co.uk for all of our latest design opportunities.

 By Kathryn Barksby
 Senior Fashion Recruitment Consultant

Email: k.barksby@peoplemarketing.co.uk
Direct Line: 0330 335 0986

The Rise of the Robots


If you have been recruiting for your business recently you may have found that hiring the right people is hard work, and you are not alone.

We are all finding it more difficult to identify and attract talented people within the Fashion industry and then persuade them to make a career move to a new employer, despite there being valid career or experience enhancement reasons for them doing so.

There’s a general feeling in the industry at the moment that recruiting is tough, and here’s why…

Unemployment is at the lowest level for over 40 years…

  • According to the ONS the unemployment figure fell to just 4% in July 2018, obviously this is a national figure across all sectors but it does go some way towards explaining why the immediately available talent pool has all but dried up.

 

Applications have dried up…

  • Again across all sectors, Adzuna reported that the average number of applicants per job advertised is just 0.38 which means nearly 2 in 3 jobs advertised aren’t even getting a response.

We are certainly seeing this in Fashion, where online job adverts, even on traditional industry specific sites, are poor and sometime yield no applicants at all. It also seems to substantiate what we have all been thinking in recent years that the majority of candidates now adopt a “come get me” attitude to job hunting, rather than actively applying for jobs.

Movement is sluggish…

  • Looking at our own salary survey over the last 3 years it is clear that there has been little movement in salaries on like for like roles. Maybe this tells us more about the lack of mobility of talent in the industry, rather than the state of the market, although history does tell us that after a constant 12 month period of a skills shortage salary’s start to creep up. This is mainly because employers are desperate to fill a gap and use cash to incentivise people to join them, the ripple effect of this is surprisingly rapid when it starts and probably one we should keep a close eye on – If you haven’t already got one let me know and I will send you a copy of People Marketing Fashion Recruitment -2018 Salary Survey.

 

The rise of the Robots…

  • Obviously nothing ever stands still, and roles change – new skills and jobs are emerging all the time and according to the Bank of England’s Chief Economist last year, 15 Million UK jobs will be replaced by Robots. I’m not sure that is the case for the fashion industry but we have seen a skills shift in some areas. For instance according to Adzuna in July 2018 retail job vacancies were down by over 21%  year on year which was almost a mirror image of the figure in increased job vacancies within Digital or Online Marketer roles.

 

So you are right in thinking recruitment is tough. To recruit talent to grow your businesses we all have to change the way we recruit and here’s what you can do:

  • Reduce reliance on traditional advertising methods and replace it with networking and referrals.
  • Engage with niche recruitment businesses that understand exactly what you are looking for and know where to find them,
  • Most importantly when you find new staff members, make sure you keep them, Employee Engagement is becoming more and more important, this reminded me of a really useful piece we put together last year on the subject, follow the link for a few FREE tips on how to get it right from the start; https://www.peoplemarketing.co.uk/news-and-blog/successful-on-boarding-your-new-recruit/ .

As ever, if there is anything we can help with, be it advice on recruiting, retaining staff or help growing your team then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Doug Jameson
Managing Director

Contact Details:
Email: 
d.jameson@peoplemarketing.co.uk
Tel: 0330 335 0190

Being Aware of Your Digital Footprint: The Watchful Eye of the Recruiter


There is no doubt that social media has revolutionised the fashion and retailing industry, the concept of Fashion Blogging and Influencing as a career no longer seems bizarre.

In today’s digital world, building a strong online presence through social media can be the gateway to the success of your fashion career and increasing your chances of being recognised for your work. Brands have also noticed the benefits of using the social platforms for boosting exposure, networking and as a vital tool to their hiring process.

Over the years, the act of physically handing over your CV has rapidly decreased, as a high majority of employers are now receiving online applications. This has encouraged searching for candidates via the internet to put a face to the name and find out more to ensure they will be the best representation of their business. After scrolling through your feed a recruiter can make a decision about you within 30 seconds, so if you’re feeling deflated and can’t understand why you keep receiving a generic “We regret to inform you” email, it may be to do with your content.

Clearly, this is not new advice but think carefully when posting, liking or sharing across your socials as this could obstruct the next steps in your future if you’re sending the wrong message. Political rants on Twitter, reposting offensive memes or sharing photos from the fancy dress nights at University may not be as amusing to the employer as they are to your peers. Your digital footprint is called a footprint for a reason, this is an online trail that follows you every step of the way recording your activity as soon as you log on.

Here are a few key pointers to ensure you’re stepping in the right direction and only the best version of yourself is visible online.

1. Have a go at Googling yourself

First things first, have a go at doing a Google search on yourself, this will allow you to see the information recruiters can access about you. Ask yourself – Am I displaying a positive image? Would I employ myself? Additionally, investigate what family and friends may have posted about you on their pages, as it is likely that their data will also be attached to your name.

2. Protect your privacy

As we have evolved with technology, many of us use our social media accounts as a diary to document personal memories in order to stay connected with family and friends, however we tend to over share information that should remain private. Utilise your privacy settings, they’re there for a good reason, customise your settings for only friends to see specific things that you post.

3. Separate your accounts

You could separate your accounts, of course we like our candidates to stand out from the crowd but for the right reasons. If necessary have an account for your social life and your professional life especially if you’re in the process of building your own brand or increasing your network as you may attract the wrong audience.

4. Are you Linked In?

Linked In is a business-focused platform for making great connections and growing your network. It is one of the key platforms recruiters use when searching for candidates, you could say that it is Facebook for the professionals, as they are pretty much viewing an online version of your CV. More often than not, your Linked In profile will be one of the first links a recruiter can see when doing a Google search, they will see your display picture, employment history, education and achievements if you choose to display them. Ensure your profile looks clean, this means thinking about whether your display picture is appropriate, if you have any gaps in your employment and if you are connected to the right people.


Stay aware of your digital footprint at all times by following these simple steps as it will never leave you.

When you have taken action and your socials are squeaky clean! Make sure you register with us at peoplemarketing.co.uk so we can start finding the perfect fashion role for you! 🙂

Janay Josephs

Business Support Coordinator

Academia Meets Industry; My Summer Internship


It is no secret that graduates will be entering the job market at a particularly challenging time, with slow economic recovery and increasing competition the need to make your CV Stand out is now more necessary than ever.

Many university students will inevitably realise that the combination of both academic success and relevant industry experience are equally prized by employers, making this the most common recipe for success for recent university graduates aiming to land their dream job.

With final year projects and examinations drawing to a close and graduation on the horizon, it is only natural to start planning for post University life and entering the world of work. As a third year Marketing student at De Montfort University I was looking for a new challenge. I was eager to put the skills and academia that I have learnt throughout my three years of study into practice. Relevant industry experience that would facilitate greater exposure to the fundamentals of Marketing in industry was what I knew I wanted to build upon, making my CV all the more appealing whilst standing out amongst the competition.

I was successful in achieving a summer internship as a Marketing and Business Support Associate at People Marketing Fashion Recruitment. Interning at People Marketing Recruitment was a valuable experience that has facilitated a greater understanding of Marketing for businesses. I was given a number of marketing and business projects spanning from a competitor analysis right through to blog writing. I really enjoyed coming up with recommendations on social media activities and suggesting creative effective ways to improve the company website. This to me was particularly fascinating as at university I had studied these areas so it was exciting to put what I had learnt into practice whilst learning new skills along the way!

Working alongside a small team gave me a greater insight into the company culture and the roles necessary for a business to operate on a daily basis. I also gained a greater concept of time management throughout my internship whether it was waking up early in the morning for the commute or preparing in adequate time for project deadlines. I have developed more confidence in presenting ideas, findings and recommendations, which will be extremely valuable in the world of work!

My time at People Marketing has facilitated wider learning in a real life business, which will be well accompanied by my Marketing Degree!

If you too are considering gaining extra experience through an industry placement or internship go for it! I would highly recommend gaining such experience.


Dianne Broomfield-Carter: Marketing and Business Support Intern

CV Tips


Putting together a CV is a time consuming process and depending on who you speak to you will get completely different advice. Some people advocate for adding a photo to your CV – others say absolutely don’t do this! At the end of the day these things can come down to a matter of opinion- however there are some things that should be observed to help your CV stand out. So here are some of our tips to add to the mix.

Consistent General Formats

The main layout of a CV is:

Name & Personal Contact Details

Personal Statement

Employment

Education

Achievements & Skills

Interests

References

This format can vary slightly – a graduate may choose to put education above employment as this may be the more relevant experience, you might put some skills under your personal statement to highlight them. But as a general rule this is a good format to follow.

Put down your experience in date order with your most recent employment first. A good standard layout is:

Month Year – Month Year

Company

Job Title

This is a clear and easy layout to follow for the reader.

A Neat and Tidy Finish

Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter/hiring manager receiving 100+ applications for a role; unfortunately you cannot possible read each CV back to back – so how do you make your CV stand out? Probably not how you think… make sure your CV is neat and tidy, not too busy and easy to read! This way a hiring manager can easily spot the key factors they are looking for in a new recruit. The last thing you want is to spend days putting together a highly creative CV to be automatically disregarded due to the creativity and not the experience you have. If you are a designer send a portfolio across with your CV to show your skills in this area.

The Nit Picking…

Here are a few tips we have found from experience can trip people up….

Capital Letters

EXPERIENCE or EXPEREINCE …The problem with capital letters is they aren’t picked up in spell check. As they appear different from your usual view it can easily be missed! The amount of times key words in a CV such as heading , job titles…and yes even candidate names have been spelt wrong is too many to count!

 

 Stick with a format

When you started writing your CV 10 years ago (or last week!) you may have started with a particular format. For example – employment dates of January 2009 – December 2009 but as time has gone on and you have updated your new roles this changes to Jan 10 to Mar 16…

It is worth keeping this in mind when you update your CV to maintain a consistent format.

This rule also applies for writing in past and present tense. When adding a new role onto your CV it is always worth going back and making sure your previous roles are not in present tense.

Use Bullet Points

Bullet points draw attention to key facts and make a CV easy to scan for the more important qualities and achievements. It makes your CV more readable – therefore easier to grab the attention of the hiring manager.

Contact details are a must!

In our digital age it is becoming more and more common to not add contacts details to CV – this is a big mistake – if you are not easily contactable from your CV you may again be overlooked for a role.

Particularly if you are sending your CV to agencies make sure your address is on the CV. When agencies receive new roles they will do a search for people within a certain distance of the company location. If we don’t have your address you can be missed from these searches.

Spelling & Grammar

Get someone to check this for you. It is harder to spot your own mistakes in text becauseyou know what you are trying to portray so ask a friend to do this for you.

We spend hours trying to perfect our CV’s to make ourselves stand out from the crowd – the most important thing to remember is to make sure it isn’t the little things that are pulling you down. Your CV should not be created to how you like it but to how a hiring manager or recruiter will like it.

Now your CV is perfected, get in touch!

Send your CV to us here and we can help you find your dream role. https://www.peoplemarketing.co.uk/sendus-your-cv

 

 

 

 

Grace Mitchell: Business Support Coordinator

Working Abroad…. The Scariest and Most Rewarding Things I Have Ever Done


Leaving my job, family and friends in the UK to work in Belgium was daunting, agonising beforehand over whether I was doing the right thing. Five years on (with the benefit of hindsight) it was a great experience both professionally and personally which provided me with new experiences as well as gaining life-long friends.

 

If you are considering relocating overseas here are some tips and considerations that might help you make that move.   

 

Moving abroad was, in all honesty, much simpler than I expected. Always having been in the back of my mind, and at a point in my life where the lack of ties and the need for a new challenge sent my job search wandering further afield.

The move was all I could have hoped for, other than a couple of days early on, when the confines of  the business apartment got me down, the language had me foxed, and my inability to find milk pushed me to the edge of reason.

The opportunity helped me to be more confident, strong and open-minded, and was also great fun. It was by far one of the best experiences of my life.

 

You are a hoarder… When you start to put your life in order ahead of the big move, the most insignificant realisation is that you own too much stuff! Only when you need to pack your life into 2 suitcases do you truly realise how much stuff you have and how little of it is meaningful and even less useful!

You will vow,  in this moment to stop saving half used cosmetics that didn’t suit your skin type,  boxes for electricals you will never return, shoes that never really fit and faulty phone chargers; you won’t, you will do it all again in your new place in your new country, you will buy more junk to remind you of home, you will save items that made you smile and your will surround yourself with things to make you feel more settled, but, be happy in the knowledge you had a good de-clutter, and you are not about to drown in your belongings!

 

Be open to possibilities…

Landing in a new town/city will really push you to the edge of your comfort zone, you will need to step outside to find new friends, a new home, new hobbies, new everything! It’s not easy but little by little it will all come together, don’t rush it, you can’t expect to duplicate your friends network and routine in a new city overnight, make the most of small wins; a new route home from work that saves you 30 min, discovering the Doctors surgery in your road, and having a coffee with the couple in the business flat opposite yours, all major steps in making yourself at home, and you should praise yourself for every step.

 

I’ll pick up the language…

You will quickly learn you accent is a great icebreaker, people will be keen to chat and learn more about you and your situation as soon as then know you are not a local. This is a great way to make friends but what you will find is this gives you less and less opportunity to practice your local language skills, you will find many people are more than happy to talk in English if they can, and they also want to practice, they learnt at school and hone their language skills with TV and Film, but very rarely get to talk to real English people!

This does make your life easier, but you will still need that evening class.

 

Who are you running from?

You will definitely meet people, home and away, that just can’t understand why you would do such a thing, pack up your life and move to a whole new country? They assume you must have issues, you must be running away from something or someone. Some people will consider it brave and wondrous, and others will just think you are out of your mind. Deal with it, be proud you are doing this for the incredible lifestyle experience you will get and the opportunities for your career, not everyone will think this is a good idea!

 

Home sickness works in mysterious ways

There are some home comforts that just can’t be substituted, and weirdly, whilst you can easily talk to the people you miss from home, Skype with a T-bag just isn’t going to help.

You will learn to travel very light when you visit, so you can fill your cases with shopping, for me this would be T-bags, Biscuits, Squash and Sausages…

Some things you just don’t appreciate until you leave, most importantly, how good our supermarkets are!

 

You’ll change.

You will become more open minded, more able to problem solve, you will have more confidence in yourself and your ability to get things done, you will work it out!

You will discover new hobbies and passions, you will learn new skills, these may or may not be languages – you will live without Coronation Street (and when you visit you won’t have a clue what’s happening)

Your relationships will also change, you will have some people in your life who you appreciate more because you see them less, and others that will just fade away. Be prepared that not everyone who promised to visit will, some of your closest friends will let you down. But you will also find, that the bond with your best friends becomes stronger, you can go without seeing each other for a year or more, and catch up like you never missed a beat. Be thankful for this, you can’t learn how powerful this is until you have been apart.

Enjoy Every Moment.

It’s an amazing opportunity to challenge yourself, but remember to never let a situation override your excitement and your enjoyment, you may never get an opportunity like this again, and you can’t imagine where this could lead, nothing is un-solvable so sit back and be sure you are enjoying every moment.

I am left with a further desire to travel, to push myself, to experience new things, but also with a million happy memories, and a pride in myself for having the guts to go ahead with it all!

 

Kathryn Barksby: Senior Fashion Recruitment Consultant

Engaging with Millennials


Millennials (those who reached adulthood in the early 21st century) are an essential part of the Fashion Industry workforce and an exciting pool of talent – particularly for their sought-after advanced digital skills. Understanding their needs, values and career aspirations is vital to connect with and retain this generation of talent.

Below is the People Marketing guide to understanding this complex and demanding section of the workforce.

Engaging with Millennials

The Millennial generation will make up almost 75% of the workforce by 2020, already beginning to dominate, we need to look to new ways to engage with this generation, to make sure they are in a position,to take over from the retiring generation. To do this, we need to, as an industry, understand what drives this tech savvy generation and what they expect from us. Failing to attract and retain this generation only results in further skills shortages and gaps in business.

Who Are Millennials

This is the first generation, raised with tech at their fingertips. They have faced difficult economic situations as they entered the working world, yet despite this, are optimistic, and see the world as a network of possible opportunities.

What is unique to this generation is the limitless life choices available to them and therefore, greater opportunity to carve out their own unique life path. This often means we label them indecisive, but in truth, they are searching for that unique opportunity to make a difference.They believe in their own ability, not wanting to work their way up a corporate ladder, they need the opportunity to make leaps, to take a gamble, and are looking for employers who are willing to do the same.

How Do They Buy?

The traditional milestones in life, buying a house, getting married, starting a family, are not as available to this generation as they have been in the past, this means the spending habits are different. It’s important to understand how and why this generation buy and what brand and lifestyle aspirations they have. This generation are spending, but you need to deserve their business and win their loyalty.

How to Engage

Given the vastness of the internet, the multiple digital options available, and this generations ability to navigate it, the millennials will search for the most engaging and quality experiences. If your content doesn’t capture the interest in the first few seconds, you have lost them.

One of the most important factors is how the engagement makes them feel, it’s all about the experience and not the end result. They expect considered and relevant content, but more important is the presentation and the ease of navigation. They don’t expect to be sold to, they expect to be involved and informed, they want to know your story and that you understand their passion and lifestyle, that you know what drives them and what makes them happy.

One of the biggest challenges in this era, is the speed in which the users engage, looking at the advances in communications over the years, we now live in a society where news breaks on social media, long before the major news channels can report to us. The Millennial generation expects instant engagement in all areas of life.

Social Media

Your social media needs to reflect your story, your calendar and the subjects close to your heart, this generation feels much closer to the decision makers and influencers that matter to them. The digital world makes everyone seems accessible, they will view you as an equal and you need to communicate back as such.

Recent successes in social media marketing have been in live streaming, video and moving image, this makes you relatable, it makes you real, and it makes your brand and business feel more relevant.

Social media is also used much more today to enable fast and efficient customer service, 24 hours a day, your customer expects answers on their time, not in standard office hours. Largely, out of hours service is essential to win the trust and commitment of this customer.

Recruiting the Millennials

This generation are unique, their aspirations and priorities change regularly but their core values remain the same; happiness, dedication, learning and sharing.

To attract this generation, you must be open and honest, giving clarity on exactly where they fit in your structure from the outset. The more value they can see in your business, the more commitment and engagement you will get in return.

Speed again is a key factor, once a candidate puts themselves on the job market, they expect instant engagement and they will favour the businesses that communicate best. Your position

may be the best fit for them, but they will adapt their wants and needs to fit a company which offers them a better recruitment experience. Yes it’s a candidate driven market, and any delay will run the risk of good candidates getting snapped up elsewhere, but long waits for feedback and general lack of communication is damaging to the process and the candidate will feel they may not be the best fit for your organisation, it’s all about the journey and the experience.

This generation doesn’t feel the need to search for and apply for jobs, they understand the digital world well enough, they expect relevant roles to be delivered to them. They will apply for roles via a mobile device, where their profile exists and it’s a fast and one click process. They prefer to communicate via SMS and IM which is at their fingertips. They will however, take the time to research your business and how well the organisation reflects their values, they also expect, that you will do your research on them.

Retaining the Millennials

Having grown up during a recession, this generation may have made some compromises on their career path, this doesn’t mean they are any less ambitious, they have just taken a different path.

They still expect to be rewarded for the work they do, they want to climb the career ladder but they are also very aware of the work life balance and

any opportunities for flexible working. This generation values personal needs, as much as financial gains and they expect their career path to be sympathetic to both elements.

They will make quick moves and take short contracts, we see this more and more, this is not a commitment issue or a reflection on the candidates’ ability, this is a common trait

amongst this generation who see the world as a network of possibilities. They don’t view the diversity of experiences as damaging, more enriching and fulfilling, every move giving them wider choices and options for the future.

This generation requires constant communication and appraisal, if for a moment they are made to feel undervalued, they will jump ship. But it’s worth noting, this does not always mean they are looking for financial rewards, remember this is a generation driven by their core values, sharing and learning are important to them, to be making a difference.

If you can offer this exchange as well as a flexible approach giving them the work life balance previous generations were unable to command, then you will get not only the commitment and loyalty of the millennials, you will get the best from them.

 

 

 

Kathryn Barksby: Senior Fashion Recruitment Consultant

Get Yourself Some Work Experience



With a few years of hard study under your belt, the mad rush of University deadlines and graduation fast approaching everyone’s concern turns to landing the perfect job – but take a step back – you first need to land the interview.

With graduating classes from around the country on the lookout for their dream job the biggest question is: how do you make your application stand out?

The answer is quite simple: Internships and Experience. Once in the real world it becomes apparent that an A* on paper shows you can work hard but does it show you are a good employee? How does the knowledge you have gained in the classroom translate to the workplace?

Unfortunately it doesn’t. The term ‘you need experience to get experience’ seems to be one of major concern to graduates and those just starting out in the job market. What better way to gain this experience than through a placement or internship, enabling you to gain first hand exposure to the working world – in your desired field.

Internships are not all about getting people coffee.

Internships expose you to new people in a professional capacity; build effective communication skills; encourage personal development and time management; develop the ability to complete professional tasks and meet deadlines; provides the opportunity to build professional connections and most importantly it is an opportunity for you to showcase your talents, commitment and value as a potential employee.

View an internship as an audition.

Employers are much more likely to hire someone with internships and work experience.

An internship is the best way for both sides to test if a working relationship is possible. It offers the opportunity to transition into full times roles whether within the company or elsewhere. It can provide you with recommendation letters and introductions; helps you enhance your CV and creates the building blocks necessary to find your path to a successful career.

Whether you are in your first year and still considering a placement year or in your final year and wondering whether you should complete some work experience before applying for full times roles – our advice is:

Go for it and make yourself stand out from the crowd!

 

 

Grace Mitchell: Business Support Coordinator

Changing Fashions – The new challenges in Fashion Recruitment in 2018


Change is an inherent part of fashion but the last 18 months has seen such radical shifts within the sector, notably within recruitment, that employers may be forgiven for once, for being behind the times.  In this blog we look at the trends that are influencing the movement of skilled staff within the fashion world and we will offer advice to employers to help them recruit the talented staff that will set them apart from their competitors.

Here at People Marketing, whilst we have experienced a drop in European assignments we have also seen an increase in demand for staff within sourcing offices particularly in China, Hong Kong and Bangladesh as clients look to strengthen their sourcing offer in a competitive market.  It is also worth noting that some employees from the EU have taken the referendum vote as a signal to return to their homeland, exacerbating pre-existing skill shortages.

The drop in consumer confidence caused by uncertainty in the economy has translated into a challenging retail environment for the clothing sector. Clearly, innovative, commercial design is the key to success, and we are seeing retailers move back to buying led structures therefore the design function is being pushed back to the supply chain. This creates exciting opportunities within suppliers, subsequently, we have seen an increase in Designers who are open to a move from brands and retailers to more creative, hands on roles in the supply chain.

UK manufacturing has been reportedly bolstered by the drop in the value of Sterling, and we have seen an increase in demand for production staff in the UK. More notable however has been the increase in demand for experienced export sales staff as companies seek to capitalise on new opportunities overseas.

Our Friends in the North

The area of fast fashion online retail has exploded as consumers both within the UK and overseas chase high fashion at low prices with the convenience of online ordering. Brands and suppliers are also using ecommerce as a route to market, leading to a growing demand for ecommerce skills including Retail Merchandising, Marketing and Social Media.

There is a war on talent in the North West, fast fashion retailers are competing to secure the best experienced candidates, pushing up the salaries on offer.

The challenge is to tempt candidates away from their current employer, keeping in mind counter offers are rife, and offer a package that is more attractive that the competition.

We have also seen an increase of companies looking to attract talent from London with candidates being open to relocation to escape the rising cost of living in the capital. This may include flexible working hours or a relocation budget.

Swipe Right? 

Are changes in candidate behaviour preventing you from finding your perfect match?

At one time you could post your job advert in a relevant publication and wait for quality applications to flow in. Paper adverts are just about dead and candidates no longer use a single jobsite to search for jobs, application rates are dropping. As an employer you are unlikely to receive a sufficient range of applicants from a single source and so it is vital to use a combination of methods.

It has become increasingly important to engage with ‘passive’ job seekers in order to find suitable candidates. Candidates often adopt a ‘come and get me’ attitude, meaning many may not even see, let alone apply, to a job advert. This is where an established specialist agency can help through actively contacting potential candidates, talking through your vacancies, and explaining why it could be a good career move for them.

LinkedIn is undeniably a valuable networking tool, but it is in no way a quick fix, it is true that the tech savvy candidates will chat openly via the IM function, but for the wider LinkedIn community, this can be a lengthy process. Many candidates will steer away from the additional ‘noise’ until they need you, and you will find a number of dormant or duplicate accounts, LinkedIn is a great tool in your armoury, but should not be regarded as the answer to your prayers.

Last year we sourced candidates from 35 different platforms compared to 22 in 2016, these included career fairs, job alerts, CV Clinics, social media, and our favourite one: recommendations, this allows us to give our clients a wider spread of candidates than they are likely to achieve themselves.

Flexible Friends

The speed of recruitment has increased notably with good candidates fielding multiple job offers and being snapped up by companies able to move quickly. As an unwanted side-effect we have seen an increase in the number of candidates pulling out of interviews, accepting an attractive job offer rather than exploring other options first. It is increasingly important to understand your candidates’ motivation for looking for a new role and to stay close to them during the recruitment process.

Candidates still look at the salary and benefits package on offer but other factors are also important. One of the big drivers has been the desire of candidates to work more flexibly. Reducing the daily commute is particularly attractive, as is the opportunity to work around childcare constraints or improve work-life balance. Can you offer flexibility in the roles you are seeking to fill?

Where to turn?

At People Marketing we are adapting to the changing face of fashion recruitment and our expert consultants are here to help you find your perfect candidate. Though fashions and trends are continually changing, what remains unchanged is the need to have the right people around you to take your business forward. Call us and let us be your guide.

 

How a Positive Candidate Experience Can Enhance Your Brand


Recruitment is rarely considered to be a marketing activity, but establishing a strong company brand is all about building reputation and trust and this extends to the interaction with your applicants and the available talent pool whenever you recruit.

Candidates applying for roles within your company are likely to be supporters of your brand. If they have a less than positive candidate experience they may be left with a negative impression of your brand, and you may lose them as a loyal consumer. Possibly worse, they may choose to share their opinions to a large audience on and off-line.

 

What people say about your company is the very foundation of your brand. Your HR team should be your brand ambassadors, and all interaction with potential employees throughout the recruitment process should reflect your brand values.

Every time that you advertise a new opening, you are inviting a sample of the available talent pool to experience your brand on a very personal level. Not all of them will be right for your vacancy, however if dealt with correctly, this should not discourage them from working for you in the future.

In this digital age applicants are likely to already be connected to you through their network of friends, co-workers, social and business groups, and they have the opportunity to speak about their experience to the outside world, in either a positive or negative way.

Follow our guide to promoting a positive candidate experience and ensure the review they provide to the outside world remains positive.

1.Carefully worded job adverts

Ensure the language and tone of the advert reflects the culture of the organisation and with all written communication, use your standard format and font.

Carefully construct the job description so it accurately describes the role and includes all the essential and desirable skills. It is frustrating for a candidate to be rejected later in the process for the absence of a skill or experience that was not included in the original job description.

Provide access to clear and concise information about the role, the opportunity and the Company so applicants can make an informed decision about whether to apply for your role.

2.Acknowledge receipt of their application

 

If a candidate has taken the effort to apply for your role it is only polite to acknowledge receipt. A standard response is acceptable, thanking them for their interest in your opportunity, and giving an overview of the selection process and likely timescales. Providing links to your company brochure, corporate video and any other marketing material that can help strengthen the ‘why work for us’ proposition can be helpful.

3.Interviewing

If you want to interview a candidate move quickly to arrange a date. Recruitment at present is very fast moving, and if you do not prioritise this activity you risk losing good candidates who may mistake your delay for reticence.

When inviting a candidate to interview ensure all details are confirmed in writing to avoid any misunderstandings. Prepare ahead of time so you are familiar with the content of their CV and profile. In the actual interview be on time, be courteous, and allow time for the candidate to answer questions. Offering a tour of the business or interviewing in a showroom displaying product (rather than in a dull office) can help excite the candidate. Remember an interview is a two-way process and is as much about the candidate deciding whether the opportunity is right for them, as you determining whether they are right for your role.

4.Make a timely Decision

Respect the fact that the candidate has taken the time out of their busy work life to come to an interview with you and it is only fair to give them a decision within the discussed timeline.

 

If you are still considering your options don’t leave the candidate in suspense. Let them know they are still being considered but you have other qualified candidates.

Be aware that in this time of candidate shortages we are seeing a lot of companies losing out to competitors who have a swift recruitment process and move quickly to make an offer to strong candidates.  Act quickly to ensure you secure the right person for your role.

5.Rejection

Delivering bad news to a candidate who really wants the job is never easy.  Rejecting candidates is probably the most uncomfortable part of the recruitment process, but it is essential to do it right.

Candidates seek closure, so it is of huge importance to reject unsuccessful candidates and provide constructive feedback so they can take something positive away from the experience.

Using a specialist Recruitment Agency may make the rejection less stressful for you (as the recruiter will be skilled at delivering the bad news on your behalf); however this does not mean you don’t need to give detailed feedback.  The candidate has a right to expect proper feedback, and the recruiter will need the information to deal effectively with the applicant and also to accurately determine your requirements to find the right person for your role.

6.Give Constructive Feedback

Make your feedback constructive and personalised. Start with the positives before tackling areas that may have let them down. Be honest – in these cases most candidates will b

e aware of where they may have struggled, and remember there is a difference between being ho

nest and being blunt. By being honest you are benefiting the candidate in ways they can improve for next time.

7.Making a Job Offer to the successful candidate

If you are looking to make an offer move fast. In this competitive market good candidates are often fielding multiple offers meaning you can lose a good candidate through inactivity.

Decide on a realistic salary – whilst money is not everything, a low offer can demoralise a good candidate and make them feel they have been undervalued.  If you are using a Recruitment Agency discuss the package so they can sense-check the offer before putting it to the candidate.

Always speak to the candidate to make the offer rather than sending a letter or email. This allows you to sell the benefits of the role and the organisation and also to sense their reaction. Be enthusiastic and explain why you feel they would be a good addition to the team.  Often clients feel that the candidate should be ‘grateful’ for a job offer and then are surprised when the offer is rejected. Good candidates are always in demand and they have options.

Follow up with confirmation of the offer in writing.

Finally…

The fair and proper treatment of all candidate, irrespective of whether they are right for your role helps you to maintain a flow of prospective employees and in this time of skills-shortage that can only be a good thing.