Category Archives: Hiring

The Talent War: 3 Tips for Job Candidates

So, hiring managers know how to navigate competition for the best candidates, but what about the hirees? What’s to be done when you’re fortunate enough to be the rope in a multiple-company tug-of-war? First things first, pat yourself on the back – this situation is not an easy feat.

1. Don’t burn any future bridges. When a company offers you a position, it’s like the business version of “I love you.” They’ve exposed themselves, they’ve said they want you, they’re just waiting for you to say it back. Even though it might seem like the interview process, a brief professional courtship, isn’t enough to form a real attachment to this company, you owe them a prompt response. If you think you’ll be hearing back from another company in a day or two, tell this company you need more time. Anything less (not responding for a few days, for example) appears unprofessional. This industry is all about networking and you never know who might be a solid resource in the future.

2. Know what you want. If both jobs sound appealing, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Is there a commute (will you need to buy a transit pass – more $)? How long is the commute? It seems like secondary information, but the average American spends ten hours a week commuting. If travel time is something that will make you miserable, acknowledge that. As for the job, are you willing to sacrifice a more stable work environment for contract work on a big brand’s hot project, or would you rather give up a creatively stimulating position so that you have steady benefits?  Know yourself, or be prepared to figure it out once it’s down to the wire.

Boston Commuting Time

Commuting times for the Boston area. Dark purple = 60 min. (source)

3. Don’t be afraid to leverage. You should be wary of how much information you divulge, but it can be beneficial to let a company know you either have another offer or you’re waiting to hear from another company so you can weigh your options. Be polite about it, and don’t let on that either company is your first choice. Chances are they’ll understand your need for more time. Desirable candidates are, well, desirable, and companies know it’s usually worth putting in the extra effort to nail down a new employee.

Good luck! I know you’ll make the right choice. Just play your cards right.

The Talent War: 3 tips for employers on the hunt for top talent

As we’ve touched on recently, the landscape of the creative industry is in a constant state of motion. As jobs become available, candidates must adapt to the changing views of employers, all while employers are struggling to do the same. We have a saying around CM Access: “When you’re good, you’re gone.”

Talent wars and counter-offers are commonplace, but how  should they be navigated? Hiring is a game for both sides, and this week we’ll focus on how an employer should play it.


(credit: Mikey Burton & Mike Pierce)

  1. Don’t sit on a candidate. If they’re “perfect” for the position, they are probably perfect for a few other companies as well. If you offer a candidate the job, and they don’t respond right away, or skirt around an answer, state a deadline. Say you’re willing to give them some time, but you’ll need an answer by ____. You could lose other talented candidates by putting all your eggs in one potentially-perfect-employee basket.
  2. Be flexible. If you’re replacing a recently-departed employee, don’t pigeon-hole yourself by seeking a replacement to fill those exact shoes. Sure, you’ll still need to be able to walk in these shoes, but if you’ve lost a sneaker, don’t be afraid to consider what a sandal could do for your company. Just because a candidate hasn’t perfected one aspect of the To Hire laundry list doesn’t mean they can’t. Being more open-minded than a competing company can better your chances of winning.
  3. Give a sneak peek. Sometimes it’s hard to look past what’s right in front of your face. Sure, your company probably has a plethora of great projects, but to this candidate, the here and now is what will stick in their mind. Give them a taste of what they’d be working on, throw them a bone, and you’ll pique their interest. If they’re deciding between you and another company, it could come down to the project they’d be working on, so by golly give them a good one, eh?

Catching Up With Kristin (Pt. 2)

Hmm, where’d we leave off? Oh, right. Creative industry unemployment is looking up, digital, video, and mobile jobs are in demand, and we started delving into the world of acquiring and retaining employees.

So, alright. It seems like opinions about the value of creative departments have been changing a little bit lately. Any thoughts on that?

Creative departments often look for the perfect, all-knowing candidate. A superman of creative skills, if you will. Though their intentions are in the right place, a shift is starting to occur where directors are realizing the professional value of developing the needed skills within their current employees, rather than spending excessive amounts of time seeking candidates that have all the necessary skills. They’re starting to consider the solution of maintaining a steady, solid staff, and supplementing it with more specialty-experienced contractors.

Does that mean the market of employable creatives is shifting towards contract-work?

Yeah! We’re actually finding that the recession has steered a lot of companies and creatives towards more contractual work. Since the economy has begun to recover, a little over half of all new roles have been contract roles. 40% of in-house agency Creative Directors plan to hire freelancers this year as well. Perhaps the best part is that it’s given these directors the opportunity to hire temp-to-perm. 75% of my clients grow their creative department this way.

With a decent percentage of agencies and companies competing for freelancers, what advice would you give them to ensure they’re getting the cream of the crop?

Simply put: compete. Put forth the best, most interesting work and the freelancers you attract will reflect that. Treat your contractors like a full-time member of your team, give them opportunities to develop their skills, and be honest and up front about setting expectations. Also, be open to hiring for aptitude and culture over hard and fast skills. People that are both adaptable to your company culture and capable of learning quickly will be valuable members of your team, even if they don’t fulfill your grocery list of technical skills.

We will be checking in with our lady-in-the-know regularly from now on, so stay tuned!

Catching Up with Kristin (Pt. 1)

I recently caught up with Kristin Zwickau, our director here at CM Access, and picked her brain about hiring new employees and the state of the creative industry today.

 A quick video from Kristin! 

So, I know the topic of the moment is unemployment. What are we looking at, as far as creative jobs go? Are we in the clear yet?

You know, it seems like we’re well on our way, especially our industry here in Massachusetts. Experts claim the natural rate of unemployment won’t drop below 5.6%. That being said, the nationwide unemployment rate of 7.7% is a bit higher than the natural rate, for recession-related reasons, but Massachusetts seems to be nearing the light at the end of the tunnel, at 6.5%. Even better is that the U.S. creative industry as a whole has a 4.1% unemployment rate. Mobile and interactive, specifically, is at 0.0%. ZERO percent! 


What sort of jobs are in high demand?

The industry demand is for digital, video, and mobile jobs. Digital marketing is also an area that’s experiencing high growth, along with target/lead generation marketing. Corporations realize that in order to compete in today’s market, they have to go digital. 

I know one of the issues with creative employees is that monotony makes them antsy, so job switching is prevalent. On one hand, this provides a company with fresh talent, but sometimes adjusting to a new person can be a bit challenging. Do you see this as an issue?

No, I really don’t. Generally, creative departments have a set number of seats that are full-time employees and then a percentage of staff that are contract. This allows the company to focus on, challenge, and retain top talent, while still bringing in fresh ideas from the outside. It’s also a way for the creative director to fill his or her pipeline with viable future talent to hire full-time, should a position become available.

That being said, it is definitely in a company’s best interest to invest themselves in their employees. They say the successful manager of the future will be one that knows how to retain and attract top talent. So, it’s no longer about just getting the best people, but the challenge is in determining how to keep them interested and active in your company.

What’s the best way to do that?

It’s a cycle, and employee engagement is key. Keep your current employees satisfied by allowing them to grow while they’re working for you. Give them opportunities to socialize and learn new skills– make them feel like it’s a real give-and-take relationship from both sides. The overarching idea of having supportive management is probably the simplest way to break it down. 

Part 2 of our chat is coming up next week!

Career Home Run…

baseball and glove closeup

Springtime is a great time for baseball in Boston, and we can help get you back in the game with a career hit you’ll love.  So batter up and check out this week’s featured Hot Jobs

This is your career!  Just get your portfolio on deck, and connect with us to learn more about these and other creative opportunities for both temporary and long-term placement!




A New Day…

CalendarIf you fell prey to an office prank or believed that YouTube was shutting down, you’ll probably agree that April Fool’s Day can get old.

All kidding aside, it’s a great time to get serious about your job search.  So say “hello” to a new day and check out our latest Hot Jobs

Connect with our Career Advocates to learn more about these and other creative career opportunities for both temporary and long-term placement.


Put a Little Spring in Your Job Search…


Ah…Spring! A new season is a new opportunity to spring your job search into action and we have what you’re looking for with this week’s featured Hot Jobs

We work with the best clients who are seeking talented creative, interactive and marketing pros for temporary and permanent roles, so connect with our Career Advocates to learn more about this season’s job opportunities!


Survey Says: Digital is on the Rise!


How are companies spending marketing dollars in 2013?

Gartner, an international information technology research and advisory company, surveyed over 200 marketers from US-based companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue to understand how they are allocating their budgets and which activities are contributing to their success.

Key Findings:

  • 6%  growth in marketing budgets expected in 2013
  • $25  million dollars are spent on digital marketing for every $1 billion in revenue with a 9% increase in 2013
  • 12.5% of digital marketing budgets are allocated to digital advertising, followed closely by content creation and management
  • Up to 50% of all digital marketing activities are outsourced
  • 40%+  confirm these top three keys to marketing success: digital advertising, social marketing, and corporate website

Which types of digital marketing technology will increase investment in 2013?

Digital Marketing

Image via

What’s that mean for you? Good news:  As digital budgets and efforts rise, so does hiring and demand for digital marketing professionals, so now is a great time to take stock of your expertise to ensure your digital skill set is strong.

Ready for your next digital gig?

Time is On Your Side…

TimeWho says you can’t make up for lost time?  If you’re seeking a new creative, marketing or interactive career, we’ve put together some great Hot Jobs right here, right now…

Time is on your side today, and we’re ready to connect to learn more about you and get your career moving!


Money Can’t Buy Happiness…

SmileyLike most of us, you probably didn’t make this year’s list of the “World’s Youngest Billionaires” as recently published by Forbes.

But fortune and fame aside, we have a list that you’ll really love – this week’s featured Hot Jobs

They say money can’t buy happiness, but a great career can.  So what are you waiting for?  Connect with our career experts today to learn more about these and other creative, marketing and interactive jobs!