Allister Burns Luciano Marucco
As the Zulu Bravo team expands both in London and across APAC, I wanted to introduce the two newest members of the London team who are both working across our growing sectors of the business!
Allister Burns is our Development and Tech specialist. Allister started his recruitment career working for Premier Group where he gained invaluable experience working with prestigious agencies and brands, building strong relationships within the space. Allister also spent time working at Incendiary Blue where he managed key clients and a team of Developers.
Allister is our resident Geordie, a keen surfer and surfing instructor (although we don’t really have the weather for it in the UK)!
Allister would be happy to help with any Developer/ Tech vacancies you may have:
firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 240 2618
Luciano Marucco has joined as our Creative recruitment specialist! Luciano has over 5 years of recruitment experience in both Barcelona and London. Luciano has joined us from Major Players where he specialised in the Digital Creative space, working with a range of agencies, publishers and brands. Luciano also has experience working at Adecco, Hays and Haztek International.
Luciano is a culture fiend who loves attending live music gigs, exploring London and visiting exhibitions, as well as a keen Real Madrid fan!
Luciano would be happy to help with any Creative positions you may be recruiting for:
Luciano@zulubravomedia.com 0207 240 2618
In the job marketplace, there are two sides to the roles played by recruitment agencies – working on behalf of the candidate (the job-seeker) and the client (the employer). Whichever category you fall into, there are benefits to be made by using an agency to help you find that perfect job, or perfect team member for your vacancy.
For the client
- A long-standing member of staff hands in their notice, and suddenly you have the unenviable task of finding a replacement, often within a 4 week timescale, to fill that position. Realistically, do you know where to start? How long will it take? How much will it cost in terms of designing an advertisement, booking it into the local paper, posting it on job boards on the internet, how do you go about short-listing? Arranging interviews?Suddenly you have a list as long as Oxford Street to take care of.
- All of these challenges can be dealt with on your behalf by simply picking up the phone and speaking to a recruitment agency, leaving you to carry on with your substantive job at the same time.
- In many cases, an agency will carry out a visit to your company. Their experience in the job marketplace will quickly give them a sense of the culture you work in, what types of person would fit into your existing team and also get to know as much about your company as they possibly can to help them find the right candidate for you.
- An agency will also have its own list of pre-registered candidates, with whom they will have built a rapport, know their strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and job needs.
- Using their experience, the agency will begin a candidate search for you, matching the candidates’ skillset against the requirements of your vacancy. Once a short-list of potential candidates has been drawn up they will send you the CVs for interview recommendations, and carry out pre-interview screening for you.
- By using a recruitment agency to fill your vacancy you will save time at the outset in terms of designing and placing the job ad, potentially re-running the ad if the applicants aren’t suitable, sifting the good candidates from the time wasters and arranging the interviews. You will also avoid the job nobody likes to do – post-interview feedback – as the agency will also carry this out on your behalf.
- At the point of offering the job, the agency will liaise between you and the successful candidate until an offer of employment has been accepted.
For The Candidate
- You’ve decided it’s time for a change, so you buy the local newspaper and begin to trawl through pages of job ads – and not a single vacancy attracts your eye. This cycle can continue for weeks, dragging you down, wondering whether you will ever find that new job you are so keen to land.
- Invest time in your job search by making an appointment with a recruitment agency. Attend the appointment, register and let the agency look for your new job on your behalf.
- In many cases, agencies will have vacancies placed exclusively with them, as they have invested their time in building client relationships with local companies and HR departments.
- Once you’ve registered, the agency will usually assign you to one of their consultants so that a good relationship can be formed. The consultant will get to know you, what your job expectations are, what sort of industry sectors you are interested in and generally find out as much about you as they possibly can.
- Using an agency for your job search will also remove the time element of applying for a job, and potentially missing closing dates if you have a hectic lifestyle.
- Once you have managed to secure an interview with a potential new employer, the agency will brief you in depth about the company, the culture, the vacancy and any important factors you need to be aware of for your interview. However, it is always still a good idea to do your own research on the company too, and carry out a dummy run prior to the interview so that you know where they are.
- If you are unsuccessful and don’t get the job, listen to the feedback from the agency. Don’t take it to heart – use it as constructive criticism to draw on and address it before your next interview.
- If you’re offered a job through an agency, it can be easier to negotiate your salary package with the agency acting as the go-between, rather than direct with your new employer.
- So, whichever side of the fence you’re sitting on – Client or Candidate, we’re sure you can see the benefits of engaging the services of a recruitment agency.
July 22nd 2013 was the exact date I joined the Zulu Bravo team. It was an incredible summer and I had taken the step into my first respectable job. I joined the team as a graduate, and with the help of the team, I step-by-step gained a bank of knowledge and experience on how to become a useful consultant.
It’s now March 21st 2014 (10 days to my 24th birthday) and I am a consultant and team member of the Zulu Bravo family, I can now say that I pretty much know the best way to market a candidate, and will show them the steps that will take them to their job! I will talk about this in 4 segments:-
- Social Media (Your Online Presence)
- Tailoring your CV
- Interview stage (1st, 2nd and 3rd interviews)
- Your First Day!
Social Media is the best way to start your search! By saying social media I mean getting yourself a LinkedIn account. Today 90% of employers will type your name into LinkedIn to see if you have a profile, and check your work history from there- therefore before we talk about anything else, log onto a computer or laptop and create a LinkedIn profile! Remember, LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, therefore only put details of roles and jobs that are considered to be relevant to the career path that you are going to take, and give a brief description of your responsibilities.
Secondly, before you send your CV to a recruiter or directly to a company, please please please sort all your social media profiles. Your first step would be to differentiate your professional profiles from your personal ones. For example, if you have pictures, statuses, and comments that a future employer shouldn’t really see, then make it private. If you have a Twitter account that you use between friends and family then again make it private- and if you want, create another account for work purposes.
Lastly, your online presence on media platforms and professional sites will eventually help you network within your industry. Actively keeping up to date with media news sites, popular blogs, journals, and LinkedIn will enable you to be informed and up to date with all the new trends/news/achievements, and this will gradually give you a great insight into the progression, and development of the media industry.
Tailoring your CV for each job needs patience! I know it’s a long process, and at times you will feel like you’re repeating yourself or finding yourself constantly re-editing, BUT in the long run it will potentially be your first initial introduction to a future employer, so make sure it’s done right.
One of the first aspects you should think about is font, spacing and structuring. A few good key points would be to use fonts such as Calibri or Arial, make sure there isn’t too much space between subheadings, lines and words, and lastly research and look at successful CV’s to see how structuring a CV can differ, and choose the one you feel is best for you. (Also do not use capital letters for subheadings, it makes the page look overcrowded and ugly!)
Now, for each role you apply for there will be a specific requirement. Carefully read the job brief and gain an understanding of what the ideal candidate would look like on paper. Generally if I am recruiting for a media agency, and they are looking for an Account Manager, I would ask my candidate to tailor their CV, highlighting their planning/buying experience, the clients that they have worked on, the channels that they have worked across, and other key tasks and objectives that they have performed. Therefore make sure you highlight specific skills on your CV that will directly match their requirements- this can either be done within your summary/profile at the top of your CV, or you can highlight words within your work history so it’s easy for the hiring manager to find.
So… here is a quick checklist to keep in mind and to go through when editing your CV:
- Typos- I know it’s probably the most obvious point to make, but you may be surprised to hear that even senior candidates constantly make mistakes, therefore proof read your CV and let someone else read it too!
- Relevance- this is primarily in parallel with tailoring your CV, however make sure you put the most current role at the top of your work history, and work backwards- and please don’t put jobs that you had at 16 working in the local supermarket, or café, or your glamorous cashier experience you had at 18- no need to put them on your CV… trust me!
- Be concise, clear and to the point- meaning don’t go on and on. No one needs to hear double takes on what you did at the same job, or a long winded explanation as to why you had to take on another task.
- No design, no artwork and no masterpiece- this is not art attack!
- Contact details- make sure you have a number and e-mail address on your CV visible for the recruiter or hiring manager to spot easily.
Interview stage is where the real preparation starts! Before even thinking about the actual interview, you need to have a pre-interview research stage. This means researching the company in depth, and making sure you have got all corners covered for any surprise questions that may arise during the interview.
There are many ways to make preparation notes, and find information regarding the company you will be interviewing with. This is where you can go back to your social media knowledge, and research the company’s current status in the market, and what new projects they are undertaking. You also need to have a good understanding of what the company does as whole, and what their key objectives are as a business- you can find this information on their website. However awareness of clients, competitors, partnerships, and successful campaigns will always be a great way to portray your attentiveness, and it will potentially show them how keen you are about the role.
Another important aspect to consider and research is the company’s culture. Many of my candidates do not realise the importance of culture fit, and at times it could be the only reason for a client not taking a candidate forward. Again go back to the notes that you took at the social media stage and go back to the sites and blogs that you found about the company, and you will find hints about the atmosphere, work ethic, and general communal life within the company.
Now, interview stages can vary; some companies require only one, but others may ask for two or even three or four. However what I want to focus on is first impressions. You should always remember that the initial impression plays a significant part in taking you to the next level. Therefore, make sure you are presentable- this means don’t go in looking like it’s another day at the office, but try and put some effort into the combination of clothing you will be wearing. If you are liaising with a recruiter you have an advantage, as you will have the correct knowledge on what to wear and how to present yourself. However if you have made the wrong decision and didn’t go with a recruiter, well… then you will have to have done more research into the culture and ambiance of the company to predict what to wear- my best advice would be not to look underdressed, but do not look as though you’re about to enter a wedding party!
Next… we all know that the interview stage can be daunting and at times you may forget the most basic information, so make sure you:-
- Check location, time, date, and other instructions that the recruiter might have sent to you.
- Prepare a night before, and do not rush on the day of the interview- keep calm as this will help you to focus.
- Last of all, make sure you arrive to the interview 5-10minutes early, just to give yourself that little bit of time to get yourself together.
At this point as a recruiter I would say all the best and good luck, and please do not forget to give me feedback on the process!
First day is probably the most nerve-racking, daunting, yet exciting moment! As first days can vary from company to company, and from person to person there isn’t much I can go in to. However the best thing to keep in mind is to try and get to know your team. Introduce yourself to everyone, and tell them exactly who you are why you are there.
You can take the first day a little slow, and observe the team and department, and let the team guide you through their day-to-day work load. Once again, make some effort with presentation, and look approachable! Do not wear too much aftershave or perfume, and just be yourself and just try and find the right balance with the team.
Overall, if you take note of the tips and instructions that I have mentioned above, you will definitely get closer and closer to your dream job!
Don’t forget to thank me afterwards my e-mail is email@example.com
To do New Business or to Account Manage: that is the question.
If I asked you what a typical recruitment consultant’s day involves the list would probably include the following: using LinkedIn and any other available sources to proactively approach/annoy potential candidates; calling and trying to establish contact with these candidates; receiving job briefs from Hiring Managers and providing relevant CVs in an attempt to fill these job briefs; arranging interviews; and managing the rest of interview process. You’d be right. However, I have been in the recruitment industry for just over a year now, and whilst all of these actions do form part of my regular responsibilities, there are also other tasks that I am bound to consider in order to do my job effectively and which require more subtle ‘juggling’ than the rest of my role.
Deciding whether to actively seek out New Business which eats in to the time available to you to manage your current client accounts effectively, so that you keep your clients happy, is a difficult decision to make (one that is definitely capable of giving you a bit of a headache). Both are very time-consuming, important, and necessary aspects of the role, and which you focus your attention on is often dictated by the ever-changing needs of the business.
The importance of New Business is, I assume, rather obvious; a Recruitment Agency can only turn a profit by filling roles, and we can only fill roles if we have them to fill in the first place. Whilst there are always regular clients, asking for your help, the amount of roles you have at any one time cannot be controlled nor second-guessed (despite how much we try). Recruiters, therefore, need to be continually chasing New Business, ensuring that there are always roles to work on, and that our ‘pool doesn’t dry up’ so to speak. Finding new business isn’t as easy as picking up the phone and saying ‘Hello, please let me work on your roles…’ (It would be amazing if it was!). It requires some pretty serious prep; knowing about the company, their clients, the types of candidates they would require, not to mention extreme perseverance to ensure you actually speak to the person you need to. But even knowing all that isn’t enough – the real challenge is making your Agency stand out from the rest. And that requires some serious leg work, ingenuity and creativity; although being in the right place at the right time also helps.
On the other side of the coin is looking after the accounts and Clients that you already have. Again this probably seems obvious, but it is something that could easily be overlooked with everything else that suddenly appears on your to-do list. The key here is to keep the client happy and to maintain an effective working relationship. This involves keeping them up to date on the way that resourcing for their roles is progressing, regular catch ups to stay on top of what changes they are going through, and making sure you are aware of any media trends that will affect your ability to fill their roles. When listing it in this format – it doesn’t seem like a lot, but if, as is very common on the agency side, you are working on 50 plus roles, speaking to 50 different hiring managers and numerous internal recruitment teams, you quickly realise that you could spend all day just doing account management. The danger is that the more time you spend looking after your clients, the less time you have for New Business, resourcing for candidates etc… This matters less if you have more roles than you can shake a stick, or candidate, at, but as roles can be filled at any time, it is imperative to keep new business options open.
It is undoubtedly a subtle art to continually balance the two competing needs of New Business and account management but somebody has got to do it! Essentially you have to keep your clients happy and be continually looking for revenue pipelines for the business, alongside all the other day-to-day requirements of the role, and I haven’t even touched on your responsibilities towards your candidates! Being a successful recruitment consultant involves serious forward planning, the ability to be efficient, and most importantly the ability to be adaptable and flexible in response to Business needs. Like I said, a challenge.
And now for my blatant New Business attempt: if you are currently recruiting within the Media Space – Zulu Bravo can help. Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall be more than happy to discuss your business needs!
In October last year I made up my mind to make the jump into recruitment. I had long toyed with the idea but had always stopped short of making the leap.
Before joining Zulu Bravo, I was lucky enough to work at PHD as a planner and spent a very happy 2 and a half years there, working with a fantastic team on some great clients. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and learnt a great deal. However like most people, I wanted to see what else was available to me and so, after a short spell with a digital creative agency, I took the plunge into recruitment.
Some people, not all, thought it was a strange decision. After all it’s an industry full of soulless, money grabbing sharks, all the gear, no idea sorts – at least that’s what the stereotype leads you to believe.
However I didn’t make this move with my eyes closed. I was fully aware of how challenging and competitive the job would be. You get knock backs on a daily basis, so to say you need the perseverance of Rocky in Rocky III (his toughest fight in my humble opinion, probably worthy of a new blog altogether) is an understatement.
There were two main reasons why I wanted to become a recruiter, head-hunter, career consultant, take your pick, they all mean the same thing:
1) Help people find a better job and subsequently making someone’s life a little bit better in the process.
2) Remain in the media sector, because let’s be honest, it’s one of the most exciting, fast moving, innovative and challenging industries going.
Prior to recruitment and as I already pointed out, I was lucky enough to work for some great companies, with awesome people who did brilliant work. However the longer my career went on I always felt I was never truly satisfied with my lot and finally gave into my gut and pursued the recruitment route.
5 months on and I am very much enjoying my start to life at Zulu Bravo. As I always suspected the myths of recruiters being a bunch of mercenary types, wide boy Rickys and tantastic Tania’s has been unequivocally proved to be a load of old tripe. Sure like most industries, you’ll always get a bad egg, but the vast majority of people do it right. To put it simply, they are just good people, trying their best to help other fellow good people find a job that will make them more content. Quite simple really.
If you’re happy with your job then great, but if you think your situation could be a bit better, then by all means get in touch for an informal chat and a Capri-Sun on me.
0207 240 2618
What is Ad Operations anyway?
Be honest, how many of you knew what an ad operations candidate did before you got into media – this also includes those of you who are doing the role now? Actually, how many of you honestly know what they do now? When I first got into the media space, I was told that ad ops candidates put the ads online, simple! Having worked on these roles for the last 2 years and read hundreds of specs it seems like a bit of an understatement compared to what actually goes on. So, I thought it was about time I actually found out. Up to now, I’ve been able to speak about roles to candidates at all levels; however, having never worked in this role myself, I wanted to know more than what was on a spec!
I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with the Ad Operations team at IgnitionOne earlier this month. To be honest, before I went in, I didn’t really know what to expect: was I going to understand anything or was I suddenly going to come out some sort of Sheldon – like ad operations guru?
I began the afternoon with a quick introduction from Derrick Falkner (Head of Ad Operations), who went over the media landscape and where the ad operations role sat within the wider ecosystem. As mentioned previously, I have worked on numerous ad operations roles over the last 2 years and have successfully placed candidates within these positions so would like to think I have a good knowledge of the area. One thing I wanted cleared up was the title situation. I have been presented with specs for Operations Exec/ Managers, Traffickers, Campaign Managers, Ad Operations Execs/ Managers and wanted to know if there was any fundamental differentiating factor that distinguished the titles. Derrick explained that all these titles essentially meant the same thing. A good ad operations candidate needs to be able to do all of the following:
Campaign Management- Devising strategies and trying to get users to convert.
- Using Real Time Bidding to obtain conversions and reduce wastage.
Account Management- Working closely with the sales team and ensuring that the client’s expectations are being managed. Being the technical ‘go to’ person.
Trafficking- Setting up and delivery of campaigns, ensuring they run smoothly as well as optimising.
Analytics- Providing reports on the campaigns and how it has performed.
The Conversion Funnel
Basics done, we then moved on to the technical stuff with diagrams and all! Derrick stressed that if I took anything away from the session it should be this. Below you will see a diagram for The Conversion Funnel- artfully created on Paint by yours truly! ?
The Conversion Funnel is technical term used in e-commerce operations to describe the track a consumer takes through an Internet advertising or search system, navigating an e-commerce website and finally converting to a sale (thank you very much Wikipedia). Essentially, as you move down the funnel, the number of users is reduced, leaving behind those who are more likely to make a conversion eg. buy a product, complete a sign up form etc. The funnel is broken down in to the following stages:
Prospecting- Targeting consumers who are not necessarily aware of the product and introducing them to it. Most probably will not convert straight away, but this prospecting stage is important to add incremental sales further down the line. Large volume of users are targeted.
Lookalike- Targeting users who have displayed similar behaviour to those who have converted in the past.
Context- Again, looking at cookie related behaviour to see any trends forming in the users searches ie. Looking at sites for shoes.
Retargeting- Highly targeted and synced with RTB strategies. At this stage the user is more likely to make a conversion. They may have been on the site previously but didn’t convert, consequently they are retargeted with an ad to encourage them to go back and have a second chance to convert. Volume of users reduced but more targeted at this stage.
So where do the ad ops guys fit in with this? Well, ad operations professionals are present throughout the process by tracking the users and optimising campaigns at each stage to ensure the user converts.
I then sat with the ad operations team, slightly daunting, but I was armed with a good supply of Ben’s Cookies! Fair to say, I won them over!! It was great to see how the team dynamics worked first hand- everyone was really outgoing, friendly and happy. It was definitely far cry from the image of Fry below, but then again it was a Monday and I’m told that Friday’s are usually the day where all hell breaks loose.
I also met with one of the candidates (Chris Blin-Stoyle) who we had placed there last year and it was great to see that he was still very much enjoying his role!
My afternoon at IgnitionOne was extremely useful and definitely helped to develop my knowledge of the operations space. Derrick was extremely helpful in offering some invaluable insight into how he recruits for these role and the advice he would give to anyone looking to move…
Q and A with Derrick Falkner (Ad Operations Director, IgnitionOne)
1. How has ad operations changed over the last 5 years?
Things have moved in a much more analytical direction. Especially in the market we operate in (direct response). The drive for more analytical insights for campaigns is becoming ever more prevalent.
2. How has your criteria for ad ops candidates changed for when you are recruiting?
In direct response to the above, I tend to now look for candidates with analytical experience or maths or related science degrees where analytics formed part of their modules.
3. How will it change in the future?
Great question. RTB is huge nowadays so this is a must have skill for any ad ops candidate and is something I will always look for.
4. What advice would you have for someone who is about to enter a role in ad operations and someone who has 2 years of experience and is potentially looking to move?
For the newbie, I would say go for it. You will learn so much it’s incredible. From adservers, to RTB, to analytics and data insight, video, mobile… the list is endless. Marketers are moving lots of budget to DR campaigns because of the tangible results element these types of campaigns offer (working back to a return on investment).
For the candidate with 2 years’ experience, I would say this is golddust in our industry. Be careful not to rush a move purely on £. There is much more to consider with the most important being ‘how will this move aid me personally with regard to my development’. So in short, seek out other
opportunities if your current role is not giving you what you want but be sure if you do move it’s for the right reasons as highlighted.
What does the future hold?
Having spoken to a number of industry experts, it is clear that the role of an ad operations person has certainly evolved within the industry. A lot of my candidates usually highlight the fact that no one knows that they exist until something is needed or more likely something has gone wrong. However, in an ever changing industry where technology is now the unequivocal core of the media landscape, candidates such as those within ad operations, with the ability to understand and educate on the tech, become pivotal to the success of a business. Consequently, the opportunities for candidates who have developed these skills are extensive: from account management, sales, technical account management, programmatic account management etc. Not only that, the skillset is in high demand across the media ecosystem from premium publishers to agency trading desks and all in between.
So there’s my little take on ad operations. I would love to speak to anyone who would be interested in giving me some more information or interested in discussing new opportunities in further detail. Please feel free to contact me on email@example.com.