Category Archives: Management

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.

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(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! 

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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!

CM Access is growing!


We’re excited to introduce the newest members of our growing team: Kevin Barry and David Fernandez. Joining us as Account Executives, both Kevin and David are strong believers in the CM Access philosophy that great work comes from great relationships. They’re looking forward to working with you to find the perfect fit for your creative, marketing and interactive needs.

Kevin Barry
Kevin_barryKevin is a driven sales professional whose upbeat, positive personality draws you in. Building relationships is his specialty and he’s excited to put his talent to work connecting clients with just the right candidates. Kevin is passionate about growing his clients’ businesses and has eight years of experience working with professionals at all levels. Kevin has a B.S. in Marketing.

Not just business, it’s personal… I play golf, hockey and fish, and enjoy cooking something weird I’ve never eaten before. A fun fact about me is that I’m the only person I know who has never been pulled over while driving a car. Must be luck!

 David Fernandez 
david_fernandezDavid’s rapport building and passion for the arts make him a perfect fit for the CM Access team. His interest in recruitment began in college while working in Alumni Relations, where he honed his outreach and relationship building skills. During a stint in an art gallery, David developed his eye for creativity. When David experienced the “CM Access difference” during his own job hunt, he knew that it was the perfect place to put his skills and interests to use, helping clients and talent succeed. David has a B.S. in Philosophy and History.

Not just business, it’s personal… I’m interested in many things including the arts, philosophy and sports. I’m an avid basketball and tennis player, and full time supporter of Detroit sports. Go Pistons!

Yahoo! and the Telecommuting Debate


Today - Season 62It’s no surprise that many are taking notice and reacting strongly to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s new ban against telecommuting. Her decision is largely against the growing tide of companies embracing flexible work schedules in their policies. Mayer’s argument? According to a leaked copy of a Yahoo memo from its head of Human Resources, Jackie Reses, “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”

Creative professionals are often ideal candidates to work from home, so this debate really got us thinking. Would teams collaborate more effectively and produce better, fresher ideas if they were physically together? Well, there’s support that’s not the case.  NBC News’ John Schoen reports: By focusing more on measuring how well employees are doing their job, and worrying less about where the work gets done, companies with flexible work policies are seeing productivity go up, according to human resources experts.

In a Forbes article, “4 Reasons Marissa Mayer’s No-At-Home-Work Policy Is an Epic Fail,” Peter Cohan points out that Yahoo employees are feeling demoralized. Demoralized employees aren’t likely to give their all, and we’d bet Yahoo is going to see an exodus of unhappy workers on the look-out for a company that supports them both professionally and personally.

We’d love your input: Does your creativity spike when physically surrounded by other creatives? Where do you feel you get the most work done? How important is working from home to you?

Let us know! Unlike Yahoo!’s recent tones, we value what our employees have to say.

Talent Spotlight! – Kelly, Integrated Project Manager


Kelly_bwMotivated by challenge and highly ambitious, Kelly W. is an Integrated Project Manager who finds both strategic and tactical work satisfying. She discovered her love of digital and interactive while researching a website relaunch in her first job, and has looked forward to being a part of that evolving space ever since. In various Integrated Project Manager roles, Kelly has had a hand in everything from Print, Out-of-Home, Television, Radio, Non-Traditional (POP, R&D, Station Domination), In-Branch Merchandise & Internal Branding, Branded Campaigns and Conceptual Projects. She thrives in a team that is enthusiastic and driven towards success.

Jeanine Chandler, Lead Career Advocate, knows she can rely on Kelly to get the job done and recommends her to all of CM Access’s clients. Kelly recently completed a CMA assignment as an Interactive Project Manager for a travel and lifestyle marketing agency that works with premier brands. Detail oriented and personable, she managed web banners, helped with digital resourcing, kept the team on track with deadlines and priority changes, garnered client feedback and conceived, developed and delivered a dynamic status Filemaker database for resource tracking. Jeanine received excellent feedback on Kelly’s work.

Kelly finds freelance and project based work very satisfying, as it allows opportunities to grow her skill set while providing flexibility. She’s looking to make a contribution to an assignment that is both strategic and tactical. Are you ready to benefit from Kelly’s project management skills? Give CM Access a call today: 800-330-4110.

Meet the Team – Kristen Ritter


With six years of experience in the marketing industry, a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and MBA in Marketing, Kristen is an industry savvy professional. While new to staffing and recruitment, the transition has been seamless thanks to Kristen’s passion for problem solving, client satisfaction and networking. Her zeal for marketing doesn’t stop when she leaves the office, she works on building her personal brand through a number of social channels and is  on top of the latest trends and technologies. Kristen is eager to put her experience and expertise to use, and help lead the Interactive business at CM Access.

Kristen loves running, getting together with friends and family, as well as traveling and exploring new cultures. She’s been to 13 countries and is planning on crossing off three more in 2013!

Connect with Kristen on LinkedIn now….and follow her on Twitter!

We hope you enjoyed meeting the entire CM Access team. Did you miss someone? Check them out now- Kristin M., Ryan, Diana, Jason, Lisa, Amie, Jeanine and Adrienne.

Meet the Team – Ryan Krivonick


Ryan is a new edition to the CM Access team, bringing fresh passion for the staffing and recruitment industry. He was drawn to the profession by the intrinsic value of helping people find jobs and is eager to make a positive difference in the lives of CM Access talent.  He appreciates their drive to be successful and the ability to create impressive pieces. Ryan values the boutique approach of CM Access, he loves getting to know talent on a first name basis and sharing successes with the entire CMA team.

In his spare time, Ryan can be found playing with his new puppy (Buddy), biking and playing tennis. He also enjoys spending time with friends and traveling.

Connect with Ryan here! Don’t miss out on the rest of the team: Kristin, Jeanine, Diana, Lisa, Jason, Adrienne and Amie.

Meet the Team – Kristin Motta Zwickau


Kristin is passionate about people. As Director of CM Access, she loves leading her team’s success, as well as that of clients and candidates. Committed to what’s best for the people she works with, no one is treated as a commodity. Kristin is fascinated by learning about the twists and turns in people’s career paths, leading them to where they are today.

Kristin embraces a customized, personal approach to building partnerships. She began her career in sales as an account executive for a boutique graphic arts representation agency. Her dedication to providing top-notch service to clients built the company’s reputation and doubled its revenue and size during her tenure. In 1996 Kristin’s entrepreneurial drive led her to co-found CM Access with Inga Wennik (then Wennik&Motta). Kristin attributes her drive to a career in sales, which shaped her carpe diem attitude toward business. Her approach to sales, which she applies to running a business, is the belief that, “The greatest risk is not acting on your hunches and failing to follow your dreams.”

Joulé Inc., a specialized, regional staffing organization, purchased the firm in 2003, providing the resources needed for growth. Kristin was a recipient of Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Award” in 2001 and is a graduate of Bentley College with a B.S. in Marketing.

Kristin enjoys spending time skiing and hiking with her family and in a quiet moment she also enjoys a good fiction book.

Check out more of the team: Amie, Jeanine, Jason, Lisa, Adrienne, Diana,