Gaming in Recruitment

The recruitment process is one that is always going to be at the cutting edge of the latest tech and methods. With businesses and recruitment companies all trying to find the best and quickest method to find that perfect candidate, it comes as no surprise that there are those now trying to involve gaming into the process to try and attract a younger candidate into a role.

Small games have become a popular way to test a candidate’s ability, games such as Starship Comet, which take less than half an hour, can be used to test a candidate’s problem solving skills and give an insight into how the candidate may react to given situations.

Virtual reality games similar to the Sims have also become a popular method of attracting and testing candidates. These games often can take a lot longer than half an hour but can be used to not only test a candidate’s ability but to generate interest in that business sector or jo
b role. Marriott International Inc. is a great example of this, having created a game where the player plays the role of a hotel kitchen manager. This role would be difficult to generate interest in for those of a younger generation, however with the help of these sim games gamingbeing available on popular social media platforms like Facebook they have attracted great attention.

The use of such methods to generate interest in specific business fields or roles has proven popular in schools and universities. Often these games will have links in them allowing the candidate to leave the game and go to the businesses career page or a page where they can learn more about the field and the businesses involved.

Publicity wise these games are a great way to deliver a positive image and message for the business. If the main aim of the game is to ensure that the customers receive the best care possible this will reflect the business that has created it.

The idea of simply getting all candidates to play a quick game and give the role to the candidate who achieved the highest score seems brilliant and very time saving however at the end of the day this is just another method of collecting data and should be used while taking into account other proven methods such as face to face interviews and the usual psychometric assessments. Here at Digital State, we strive to stay at the forefront of recruiting methods to ensure that we always deliver the highest calibre recruits.

Should Recruitment Be More Like… Speed Dating?

If you are currently looking for a new job, then there is a good chance that you have become frustrated with the whole process at some point or another. So what if there were a different way of finding a digital marketing job?

How about using the speed dating model?


So instead of spending hours preening and traveling for only one interview at a job you’re not 100% sure about, rather there’s a whole host of employers waiting to meet you? Or rather than that awkward hour and a half long interview, you meet 4 different people from the same organisation for 5 minutes. This would mean that you get to make more first impressions and can answer the specific questions of the interviewer.

While not a mainstream method (yet), these events do take place and offer a convenient solution to the first stages of interviewing. The multiple organisation models are probably going to remain most appropriate in areas such as graduate recruitment; where a wider range of potential niches can be offered to the same demographic. In terms of Digital marketing recruitment, perhaps these events could be held in specific niches such as UX design or PPC management roles. Giving both parties a way to informally chat and get to know each other.

A speed dating model may be beneficial if there are a large number of applicants applying for the same role and may be a good way to size up the competition and save on travelling however; I imagine in reality it would be more than a little daunting to say the least! Rushing through an interview means that you could potentially miss out on great opportunities to sell yourself. Perhaps the old way of interviewing really isn’t that bad? Having the chance to discuss what the role has to offer and what you can offer the company at a natural speed can only really be a good thing.

For an alternative, but a lot simpler way to make great progress in your hunt to find a digital marketing job, contact the team here at Digital State Recruitment. With our fingers on the pulse of the digital industry, we are ideally placed to find the right role for you.

Getting a New Digital Marketing Job After Being Fired

Being fired from any role can be tough but it’s important to remember that you’re not the first nor will you be the last person that it happens to. In some of the more volatile industries it can even be seen as a rite of passage. In any event it is natural to feel upset and or angry about the situation. So the first step before looking at any digital marketing job is to take time and deal with these emotions. Heading straight into a job search and desperately applying for every job out there without renovating your cv or researching roles will generally not lead to productive applications. While networking is the golden ticket of recruitment, if you approach your contacts without a clear purpose (or worse in anger at your former employer), you are more likely to burn bridges than land a great reference or digital marketing recruitment lead.

So having taken the time to deal with your emotions, you now need to decide what you want to do with your future. This could be the opportunity, that you were previously too afraid to take, for a total change in career direction. So make some decisions about your course, then apply for jobs and sign up with a recruitment agency that is specific to the industry you are applying for. A tip for filling the gap of being unemployed in the digital sector is to take on some freelance work. This allows you to fill your cv with a legitimate activity after your departure from employment, softening the impact and making you look proactive.

So now you have landed an interview for your ideal digital marketing job, you need to plan what to say about the end of your former employment. In terms of language (both at this point and within your cv) try and avoid negative words such as sacked or fired. Try instead let go or simply left the company. Our advice is to keep the explanation short and factual, placing the emphasis on demonstrating that you have moved on. A great way to do this is to move the conversation from that point to what the role taught you and if possible relate this positive message into the role that you are applying for.

The final thoughts from the team at Digital State Recruitment are to retain both professionalism and dignity throughout the search for a new job. It might feel good to vent about your former employer, but it just makes you look petty. Also, be prepared for rejection. Every job search has its fair share and in the instance of being let go, it can be hard to remember to keep perspective.

How to Write a Compelling Cover Letter for Social Media Jobs

When applying for any digital marketing job it is important to have a compelling cover letter. This is especially true when you think that the average application is only given on average 30 seconds of attention on first receipt. When it comes to applications for social media jobs, the ability to grab attention and say what needs to be said in a short space is somewhat of a prerequisite.

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So here are five tips to make sure your cover letter hits the spot:

Answer the question – Why you?
This is after all the purpose of your application, to secure the job! So this is the fundamental question that should be incorporated in to every element of your letter.

Keep It Structured
Remember that the application is to a company and as such falls into the business correspondence requirements. So keep it to the point and with a clear structure. Using a five paragraph model should be enough to get your point across.
1. Short opening – outlining the purpose of letter
2. Answer the “why you?” question
3. Highlight the pertinent parts of your CV that match the job spec and the company
4. Make clear your interest in the company and the role.
5. Close in a polite and concise manner. Perhaps express interest in an interview or include when you are free to commence work.

Use Your Own Words
While it might be tempting to pop online and use a template for your cover letter, in reality it will only make your application appear like everyone else’s. Take the time to write your own and don’t be afraid to show a little of yourself in the process! While referencing your addiction to Game of Thrones, may be a step too far, there are plenty of ways to incorporate a sense of yourself in your application.

Research the Company
In the structure section above, we noted that paragraph 4 should be to make it clear that you are interested in both the company and the social media jobs. The best (and simplest) way to do this is to take the time to research the company. Details such as their latest campaigns, company ethos and where they stand in the market can help you convey that you are already bought in.

The key thing to remember with cover letters is that it’s the content that really counts. That said a poorly formatted application will not do you any favours. So we would recommend that you aim for a simple but well put together letter, using a simple font and nothing fancy. For applications to larger companies, CVs and letters can often be collated in the first instance by software. By submitting your documents in a word processed format (rather than pdf) you can increase the success rate of this process. This means your data will be more complete and accessible than your competitors

If you are looking for social media jobs or any roles in digital marketing, why not get in touch with the team here at Digital State Recruitment? We can offer advice on your application and help you to tailor your job search.

Tips to Building a Good Relationship With Your Recruiter And How it Can Put You Ahead

Getting ahead in the field of digital marketing recruitment is getting harder and harder; there are a large number of skilled people out there trying to find their dream job and the only thing that is separating them in front of most employers is a CV. With this in mind it is of no surprise that a large number of people are turning to recruiters to try and get that extra bit of help in securing them a new position. Below are a few tips on how to build a good relationship with your recruiter and in turn benefit from a recruiter that knows you better and can help find you the role best suited for yourself.

Be Honest

This may seem simple however being truthful with your recruiter about what your aspirations are and what your background experience is will help the recruiter find you the position that is best for you, they will have a lot of experience in helping people move forward with their career.

Be Determined

If you have taken the time to sign up for a recruiter then you should be determined to find a new role, if you are not really interested then in turn the recruiter will not be too interested and when that dream position becomes available the recruiter will find a determined candidate a far better choice to put forward to the employer.

Keep in Touch

Your digital marketing recruitment team will be actively trying to find you a new role that is best for you and this may involve lots of one of questions for example how far are you willing to travel, This will involve emails, texts and phone calls. If you reply to your recruiter straight away it will show that you are active while at the same time help the recruiter match you for jobs straight away.

Be Well Prepared

The more information you find about the market you would like to enter or the career you would like to achieve the more the recruiter can narrow their search to try and find the job that is ideal for yourself. This can save the recruiter a lot of time while at the same time speed up the job search for yourself.

The above tips will hopefully help you to build a good relationship with your digital marketing recruitment team and in turn enjoy the benefits of having a recruiter that knows you as an individual and what your personal dream role is.

Getting a New Digital Marketing Job After a Career Break

There are many reasons for taking a career break, but how do you find a digital marketing job when you decide to return to work?

One of the first steps is to assess your reasons for going back to work. Are you ready to return to the work place, looking for a different challenge or simply in need of the salary? If it’s purely for financial reasons, it could be a good idea to sign up with a recruitment agency and give temporary roles ago. That way you can generate cash, while still retaining a greater degree of freedom and gaining experience in a range of digital roles.

Whether you choose to opt for temp or perm positions, employers will be looking for evidence that you have continued to develop your skills and kept up to date with the industry. So take time to read up on the news in your digital marketing field, so you can hold your own at interview.

If you have spent your career break travelling or otherwise relaxing, one of the key challenges that many encounter is the shift back into working patterns. To give yourself a head start, a tip is to start with the routine as early as the job hunting process. In other words, treat finding work like a job in itself. Set yourself office hours and ensure that you stick to them. Not only will this put you in the work mind-set, it will allow you to be fully involved in your job hunt. A great example of this, is being able to liaise with recruiters within business hours thus allowing your timescales to be aligned with theirs and also potential employers.

That said, when you embark on navigating the world of finding a digital marketing job you need to remember to keep a degree of balance in your life. While employers are looking to hire staff who fit their skills requirements, they are also looking to find people who fit their company. This is where experiences from your career break can really work in your favour, as they make you stand out from the pack.

If you are looking to find a job in the digital marketing sector after a career break and would like help in tailoring your cv or sourcing jobs, contact a member of our recruitment team.

Search Recruitment Replace or Retain?

A number of articles and research quote wide ranging figures for the cost associated with recruitment of new employees, these can appear contradictory or confusing.  So what costs should you consider when looking at the real cost associated with engaging a new employee, and why should you consider them in your search recruitment strategy?


  • Identify the need for the new employee

Is this a new role?  Has HR worked with Finance to ensure the fit into the business’ strategic plan?  Has the departmental manager worked with HR to ensure a robust job specification and considered the training and development needs?

So what costs are involved at this stage?  Some may say none as there has been no invoice for this work and thus no cash leaving the business.  However the work is being carried out as in house and time still equates to a cost (hours spent x cost of employment cost).  It may be that some of the people involved can have their work charged to customer contracts (direct operations for example), therefore the time spent on recruitment matters is an opportunity lost for the revenue stream.

This time spent in the initial stages should ensure that the right person is engaged thus minimising training costs and increasing retention.

In considering someone new is needed HR can also help identify any internal staff with the right skill sets and development potential which would eliminate any external recruitment costs such as newspaper and internet advertising as well as use of search recruitment agents.

  • Identify the impact on other team members

Whether a new team member is already within the organisation or is an external recruit there is an impact on the other team members.  Areas to consider are pay rates/ benefits and comparable pay, training needs of the whole team, and team morale.

If a new team member is a replacement for someone who has left consideration needs to be given to why that person left and the impact on the team.  Someone who has left under negative circumstances could mean that the morale and therefore productivity of the whole team is low which creates issues in meeting customer deliverables and could affect the quality of the product.  This therefore creates costs to the business of client invoicing not being made on time and product signoff/returns issues both of which are usually significant business KPI’s.

It is important for HR and Finance to work together to look at the pay and benefit rates of the business to ensure financial viability and equal treatment for all (especially given recent statistics on the gender pay gap).

Costs of training are important within all organisations and are often an area cut by Finance when budget reviews are taking place, therefore HR must ensure that a robust personal development plan process is in place so that economies of scale can be obtained when looking at training providers to ensure the best cost for the business (and least cash leaving it!).

When a new person joins a team there will be a need for in house training and taking someone away from their day job whilst the training takes place

  • Retaining staff

Consider what you need to do to retain your existing staff, pay and benefits packages?  Training? Development opportunities? And work with HR to develop objectives to fit with your strategic plans.

  • Recruitment process

Within the recruitment process whether you choose to advertise and sort CV’s yourself or whether you choose to partner with a search recruitment agent, time spent is critical.  Consideration needs to be given to sorting CV’s, setting up, preparing for, and attending interviews.  Then providing feedback and making job offers.  Consider how much of this time would be saved (or not) if you were to retain existing staff and replace internally.  But contrast this with how much you pay a search recruitment agent and how much of this time they could save for advertising, sorting CV’s, interview set ups, and providing first interviews.

The Maths

Time spent in identifying the need for replacement staff x cost of employment rate of staff investigating this

  1. Time spent in reviewing plans and job specifications x cost of employment rate of staff investigating this
  2. Time lost on client contracts x charging rate whilst recruitment process takes place
  3. Costs of poor quality through low morale
  4. Costs of external training of new staff
  5. Costs of internal training of new staff x cost of employment rate of staff providing the training (and staff being trained)
  6. Costs of new salary and benefits
  7. Costs of new salary and benefits identified as needed within this process
  8. External Job Advertising and Agency fees
  9. Internal time savings through using an agency

Equals cost of new employment

 Time spent in identifying the needs of staff x cost of employment rate of staff investigating this

  1. Costs of poor quality through low morale
  2. Costs of external training for staff
  3. Costs of internal training of staff x cost of employment rate of staff providing the training (and staff being trained)
  4. Costs of new salary and benefits packages

Equals cost of retention

How Using Power Words Can Help Your Search Marketing CV

Regardless of if you are looking for PPC manager jobs, search marketing careers or the wider scope of digital marketing recruitment in general, they all have one thing in common. The requirement to have a well put together CV. While you may feel that you spend more time on your cover letter, as you adjust it to each role (if you don’t, you should be doing) it is often the case that recruiters look primarily at the CV. Your CV acts as a summary of your working history, giving insight to whether your past experience and skills will successfully translate into the offered role.

For more help on general CV writing guidance click here, you will find a range of hints and tips. In addition to that information you may also want to consider the inclusion of power words in your search marketing CV. As the search industry is developing, search marketing and PPC manager roles are becoming more hotly contested. As such, recruiters will read dozens of CV’s for each role, many with similar experience and skill sets. So how do you make yours stand out from the crowd?

power words

When seeking CV writing advice many people seek out the same sites (think job boards) and use templates or write the CV using the standard tropes and clichés, such as “I’m a great team player” or “a highly dedicated individual”. As such these assertions lose their appeal to recruiters early in the process. To remedy this why not try to avoid the old clichés and instead incorporate power words naturally throughout your CV. The table above, features a hundred example of power words. The idea being that you are enhancing your previous skills and experiences in an indirect way. Take for example “I worked within the team to develop a new system” in contrast to “I collaborated with my team in order to create an enhanced system”. The use of power word enables the same statement to sound more positive.
For more information about CV writing or search marketing/ ppc manager jobs or any other roles on our site why not contact our team? Or upload your newly power word infused speculative CV for consideration for any applicable roles as they come up.

Are You an Employer of Choice in Digital Marketing Recruitment?

With the tightening of the labour market in the digital marketing sectors, recruitment can seem like an uphill battle. As such the concept of Employer Branding is coming to the fore, as companies look to attract and retain the best candidates. In a Harvard Business Review, the research supports the statement that the workforce is no longer driven simply by financial return. Rather candidates are looking to work for companies that share their social values. This can be in the form of work-life balance or actively contributing to the wider world i.e through charity. This is where the concept of types of employment can come into play (Higgs, 2014). In the theory, there are four types of employer:

• Employer of Cash – High financial returns in form of salary or bonuses but the company culture of the company is perceived as un-supportive to the employees.

• Employer of Culture – Low financial returns however, the company culture supports the employee and their values.

• Employer of Churn – Offers neither strong financial returns nor culture. These roles are often short term or formed in a loose labour market.

• Employer of Choice – High financial returns and high company culture.

Attaining the status of employer of choice means that applicants can expect to join a company that mirrors their social values and be well compensated for their work. This in turn can engender future loyalty to the company and further bolster the perception of the company to future applicants.

Becoming an employer of choice in the digital marketing sectors can be a tough task, as the best proposition can change from role to role. Take for example a search marketing company who is looking to place both a medium weight web designer and also an experienced PPC manager. The web designer may feel that having the latest technology and continued access to development programmes are key to their career development whereas, the senior PPC manager may feel that a higher degree autonomy and flexible working patterns are the key. As such crafting your employer brand to encompass your company’s core values and ensuring that your individual job packages are competitive could be the key. For help crafting your employer brand or employment packages contact a member of the team at Digital State Recruitment.

The Benefits of Soft Skills in Marketing Roles

While putting together you’re CV and preparing for your interview for marketing roles that you are looking to land, it can be easy to focus solely on your main points. For example if you are looking to land a place as a UI Designer in Manchester, then touting you’re impeccable Java and PHP coding skills may seem to be the obvious focus. But in a largely overqualified candidate market, making a conscious effort to showcase your soft skills could be the move that ultimately makes you stand out from the crowd.

Soft skills in marketing roles are generally transferable and are therefore, appealing in a range of positions. These skills include demonstrating commitment, ability to deal with change, good communicative abilities and problem solving skills. Having a variety of these skills can also indicate a degree of versatility and an ability to learn, which are attractive in a market as diverse as digital marketing in Manchester and the North West. To go back to the UI designer example, having the additional soft skills of communication and superb problem solving skills, could improve your chance of success, as well as your Java and PHP coding skills.

While over-confidently stating your soft skills or slipping into clichés on your CV (team player, anyone?), maybe isn’t the best way forward. Reviewing your experiences and being able to summarize events or projects that latently demonstrate these skills is a good idea. If you haven’t previously worked in a professional role that you are looking to interview in and feel that you may lack these skills, then taking part in a volunteer program could be a good way to learn them. In many volunteering positions, it can be a great way to learn that you can work with others, commit to a project and work to imposed deadlines, all while helping a worthwhile cause. Any time spent developing your soft skill sets, should be seen as an investment into your career.

If you are looking for advice on how to prepare your CV for marketing roles in Manchester, why not contact a member of our team? They can help you maximize your potential and ensure that you truly stand out of the crowd.