Posted April 09, 2018 | Career Advice, Contracting, For Freelancers, Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry | No Comments »

Contracting: Positivity and Motivation

Searching for your next contract? Whether you’re well versed in contracting or you’re looking to find your very first contract, we, at Enigma People, understand just how frustrating the whole job seeking process can be. Securing your next role as soon as possible helps you to reduce downtime between contracts and of course, can provide a more certain financial future. Contractors can go through the job seeking process many times throughout their careers, which can become extremely tiresome. At Enigma People, we believe staying motivated during your search for contract work is truly important.

Read on to discover our advice on being positive and keeping motivated.

Learning Opportunities

As a contractor, it’s easy to lose enthusiasm for networking, writing applications and going to interviews. It’s such a regular occurrence that it can become wearisome, but we like to look at the positives.  Maintaining a positive-mind set throughout your contracting job search is greatly beneficial. Every application, every interview and every networking event should be seen as an opportunity that can make you a stronger candidate. Viewing tasks as opportunities, rather than tedious work, will guarantee a positive mind-set.

Do a little everyday

Contractors should continually be looking for opportunities that will help them to secure future work. Take advantage of social media to make connections, keep your LinkedIn up-to-date and ensure you’re attending networking events regularly. Building up a large network now will help you in your job search later.

Improve yourself

Going to an interview and not securing the job can be really disheartening. Improve your interviewing skills by asking for feedback. Don’t let your interview preparation efforts go to waste; you can gain some valuable information here. Plus, the feedback isn’t always negative, perhaps you were really close to landing the job but the other candidate had a more desired skill. Receiving positive feedback can lift your spirits and not-so positive feedback could just be the motivating factor you need to make a positive change.

Take time for yourself

We know that searching for your next contract can be exhausting, so remember to take time for yourself. Step away from the computer and chill. When you return, you’ll have newfound enthusiasm and, perhaps, a clearer insight into your career objectives.

Remember you’re a winner

Reward yourself for each successful job-seeking task. Sent a few job applications away? Time for a coffee. Had a successful call with a recruiter? Go outside for a change of scenery. Managed to secure an interview? That must call for a pint at the local! Rewarding yourself with mini treats after small wins can make the job-hunting process more satisfying.

Take the pressure off a little

Enigma People Solutions can help. We have built and are continuing to build a deep network of skilled contractors over the last 10+ years. This has allowed us to build a successful service, filling technology contract vacancies for businesses throughout the UK. For more information about our contracting function, why not check out our case study “Contracting – a case of success”. Alternatively, you can submit your CV here.

If you have any questions about Enigma People’s contract recruitment offering, whether you are looking for a contracting vacancy or if you’re looking for a highly skilled contractor, please get in touch and we would love to discuss how we can help you.

 


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,  LinkedIn or Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted April 02, 2018 | Feature Friday, Holidays, Technology Industry | No Comments »

April Fool’s Day 2018: top tech pranks

This weekend saw the return of April Fool’s Day, bringing with it a flood of bad jokes and misguided pranks, but also some really cool concept products. Many major tech companies, including google, got involved with teasing new products, services and concepts that you could quite easily believe. Whilst traditional April Fool’s Day jokes can be somewhat terrible, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite and best tech company pranks of 2018.

 

Lexus and 23andMe

Knowing which car is right for you can be tricky business, but no more! Lexus have teamed up with 23andMe, using your DNA to accurately find out which Lexus is the best for you. Their “Genetic Select” chooses you a vehicle based on your specific chromosomes, matching you with the ‘car of your genes!’.

Google

Google are crowd favourites for tech innovation, which is why people blindly fell for some of its pranks over the weekend. Our favourite prank was Google Cloud Hummus API, their answer to the problematic decision that is picking the best hummus. Google is here to fix this major issue by rolling out a new API that’s based on a ‘quick lick test’.

Nintendo

Pokemon returned to mainstream media last year when Niantic released the hugely successful Pokemon Go app. There were so many downloads of this game that it became outstanding in the mobile gaming world. Nintendo has now said that it will be releasing new cutting-edge 8-bit graphics for it’s augmented reality game. Unfortunately for some users, Nintendo has said that not everyone will be able to play this game due to the really powerful and efficient hardware required.

 

LEGO

LEGO’s fake concept product this year is something that we think should really be more than a concept: a vacuum cleaner that not only picks up your bricks, but also stores them by size and colour. We’re sure anyone who’s ever stepped on a piece of LEGO will attest to this fantastic idea!

Snapchat

Snapchat threw major shade at Facebook, this April Fools’, by creating a filter that makes it look like Russian bots are liking your posts. First reported by The Verge, the new Snapchat filter places a Facebook UI on top of your picture with Cryllic script-looking text, which is an apparent dig towards Facebook, and the news that tens of thousands of bots, with links to the Russian government, were used on Facebook to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Honda

If cars have sensors for avoiding collisions, why don’t pedestrians who are distracted by their mobile phones? Cue the Sixth Sense app from Honda. It has “sidewalk departure warning” that will alert you when you’re close to veering off the pavement, pretty smart. The ultimate feature has to be the “personal avoidance system” though, which lets you know of people you don’t want to bump into and reroutes you. An ideal app for recluses!


Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,  LinkedIn or Facebook  to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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Posted March 26, 2018 | Career Advice, Recruitment Advice, Recruitment Industry, Uncategorized | No Comments »

How to write an agency brief

We recently stumbled across this article, written by Bryan Garvie, “How to write an agency brief – and get the campaign you want”, first published by BIG Partnership. Bryan discusses the importance of a good brief and getting agency relationships off to a good start – a message that we really endorse. We believe that many of Bryan’s 12 steps, found in the article below, can be applied to briefing your recruitment partner too and so we really wanted to share it with you.


BIG Partnership Director, Bryan Garvie, reveals his 12 steps to get the results you need from your agency.


“I’ve been in this game for a little while now, so I like to think I’ve seen most of what agency life has to throw at you. What doesn’t seem to change though is, ironically, the inconsistency with which businesses brief their agencies.

I’ve seen everything from “We need some communications support, how much will it cost?” through to campaign briefs which cover so much ground that it’s impossible to work out what’s actually required.

Of course, some businesses have experienced marketing teams which write brilliant briefs – but it ain’t a given by any stretch. And a good agency brief is one of the most important things for a successful campaign; whether that’s for PR, marketing, web design, advertising – or all of the above.

Giving your agency the right brief sets, very clearly, the expectation of what you, as a client, want to achieve by engaging an agency. The benefit is that you should get a better response from the agencies you ask to pitch, which makes your life a lot easier and means the ultimate campaign has a better chance of delivering the results you need.

So here’s how it should go.

 

1. Make sure you REALLY want an agency

Something about the type of people attracted to agency work means they will pour their life and soul into their response to your brief. I mean to the point of absolute, life-consuming obsession.

Research, analysis, late nights, brainstorms, internal briefings of other departments, pitch rehearsal, existential crisis (“ohgodohgodohgod what if I’ve missed the ENTIRE POINT”), the lot.

Then after the pitch, maybe you decide you’ll just wait another year. Or you’ll get your in-house person to do it. Or your sales admin (always good for the professional pride, that one). Or you’ve changed your mind altogether.

Way, way uncool.

Before you ask agencies to pour hours upon hours into showing you how good they are, make sure you’re positive that you have the time and resource to work effectively with an agency, and that you genuinely value the contribution the right partner can make.

Some agencies actually charge for the pitch process, just to make sure you’re serious.

 

2. Be absolutely unequivocal about what you want

Need more sales? Put that in the agency brief. Make it clear what level of additional sales you want, and how you’ll measure that – for examples, is it a percentage increase? A financial figure? Net profit? Is that something an agency can genuinely influence? Give the agency every chance to understand how success will be judged and they’ll start thinking about the problem correctly.

That’ll also give you a good place to start when selecting your agency shortlist. Some are specialists in certain areas, and they’re the people you want to speak to.

If you simply want to raise the profile of your organisation, say that. Outline clearly why this is important – maybe that’s because you think it will increase sales. If that’s the case, go back a couple of paragraphs and read that again. If it’s for another reason, make it clear what that is and you’ll get a better response.

There are a ton of other valid objectives too (behavioural change, reputation protection, lead generation etc), but ensure that they’re aligned to your business objectives. Which brings us nicely to…

 

3. Align your communications, marketing and business objectives

There’s no point at all in asking your agency to drive sales if your sales strategy is built around relationships and long-term pre-orders. Having said that, we once had a client who wanted ‘to be in the papers’, by which I assumed she meant ‘we want to sell this product’. Turns out the product was sold many times over for the next several years, and she just wanted the goodwill that some public exposure would generate. Fair enough – at least I knew the business background behind the brief.

If you still think of marketing as a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than a valuable tool which can improve your business then you’re missing a trick. It can be the one thing which makes your business absolutely fly. When briefing an agency, start by looking at your business objectives. By the time you get to your agency brief, you should be able to draw a straight line between the two.

 

4. Provide a budget with your brief

I was recently told: “I hate it when an agency asks me for a budget, it really puts me off.” Look, you wouldn’t go and buy a car, or a house or anything else in the world without having an idea of how much you’re able to spend on it. It’s the reason you don’t walk into a Porsche dealership with enough budget for a Ford Fiesta.

For the avoidance of doubt: reputable agencies don’t want a budget because they’re thinking about how comprehensively they can rinse you for cash. They want a budget because they want to know what level of resource they can commit to your campaign if they’re successful. End of.

Providing a budget means you’ll get realistic proposals back. There’s no benefit to anyone – least of all you as the client – of having the budget for a Fiesta then having three people offer you a test drive in a new 911.

 

5. Clarify your priority audiences

“Who are you selling to?”

“Everyone, lol.”

OK, I get this. No-one wants to turn away business. But if you’re selling a premium product into a consumer audience, it’s unlikely that you’ll be targeting people whose household budgets are really stretched.

Similarly, if you’re a B2B organisation, chances are there’s a particular role or profession which is the primary decision maker when it comes to purchasing your product or service.

The more closely you can define the audience which really matters to you, the more accurate and effective your campaign will be. That’s not to say you should exclude all others, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a hierarchy of audience importance.

By doing this, your agency has a chance to go and do some research into that audience, allowing them to develop campaign ideas which really work.

 

6. Include useful background

Context is always important. That can be as simple as the history and heritage of the business, the background of the founders or senior team, or your short-term ambitions for growth. Agencies are looking for the colour that makes you stand out from your competitors, and that can come from the subtlest of nuances. We don’t need a 40-page document detailing your views on the impact of Brexit, but some germane information about the business helps bring the objectives to life.

 

7. Highlight any no-nos

I genuinely had a client once who’d been asked by a previous agency if he would climb up a tree for a photo idea. Turns out he wasn’t crazy about the suggestion.

Yes, agencies love to be creative. We love to show off. Generally speaking, we have pretty good judgement about what’ll work for your business or brand, and what might be a bit too out there. But if there’s anything you absolutely won’t do, put it in the brief.

That doesn’t have to be that you have a horse phobia so the Lone Ranger video idea is off the cards. It might just be that you’ve tried something before and it really didn’t work. Whatever it is, neither of us wants to see that lovingly-crafted proposal fall apart five minutes into the pitch because we’ve stumbled onto a fatal clanger.

 

8. Keep your shortlist short

Do you really want to sit through eight pitches? Or read eight detailed proposals? And the eight sets of questions (and follow-up questions) which you’ll have to answer before that?

Find three, maybe four, agencies you think have the chops to answer your brief well, and go with that. If you’ve done your homework, you should get the answer you need.

If you have too many agencies on the pitch list, you’ll find some of them won’t bother participating – with the best will in the world, we don’t want to commit loads of time to something with crazy long odds. And we’ll think you’re just mining for ideas anyway.

 

9. Set realistic timescales

A good proposal takes good time. Of course, you want things to get moving asap, and we don’t want to drag it out any longer than necessary either. But give us a couple of weeks, at least. Please. We do have other stuff to do as well. You’ll get a better response, I promise.

 

10. Provide feedback

OK, you don’t have to do this one. It’s your call, after all. But it’s jolly helpful for unsuccessful agencies to get some constructive feedback on why they didn’t win. If you’re providing feedback, specifics are always good – that genuinely helps the agency for their next pitch and only the most arrogant divas will take it personally. We will be absolutely gutted, though, and will convince ourselves you’ve made a terrible decision.

 

11. Trust your gut

So you sat through three pitches, and you reckon one of the agencies just nudged it. But, god, that one guy came across like a total jackass. But it was a great pitch. But he was a tool.

Successful agency/client relationships are built on more than just great campaigns. Over the course of a contract, you’ll spend loads of time meeting and talking to your agency people, and if they’re not the sort of people you’d meet for a drink, do you really want to work with them?

If you reckon you can endure it because you’re 100% convinced they can make a massive difference, fair enough. But maybe you speak to the agency boss and say you want someone else to work on that account. Or maybe you need to set clear parameters of the kind of behaviour you expect before you make the final appointment, and what’ll happen if the line is crossed. Either way, don’t be bounced into the wrong decision if you have a niggling doubt about personalities.

Similarly, if you’re being promised the moon on a stick, dig a little deeper to discover the veracity of wild claims about results. You know the saying about things sounding too good to be true? That.

 

12. Trust your agency

After all of that, you’ve hired the right agency and you’re excited about getting started. You should expect the agency to take the lead in getting this moving; perhaps an initial strategy day before the final plan is submitted and agreed. Once you’ve agreed the plan, refined any objectives etc, set KPIs and ways of working, and let your agency get on with it. Micro-managing every little step will slow things down and get in the way of a successful campaign. Agree how and when the agency will update you on progress, how the sign-off process will work and so on, and get cracking. A good agency will inform you of any hiccups, but you’ll know if things aren’t going well.

Wow. That was a bit longer than I was planning, but hopefully it shows the importance of a good brief and getting your agency relationship off to a good start. Bottom line is we want to do a great job so we feel proud of our work, and so you pat us on the back and ask us to do more work for you – it’s in all of our interests for the relationship to work really well.”

 


 

Enigma People is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in digital, electronics and software in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on 0141 332 4422.

Follow us on Twitter,twitter  LinkedIn LinkedInor Facebook Facebook Enigma People Solutions to keep up to date with our latest news and vacancies.

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