Every December, there are two certainties:
1. Ridiculous prices for everyday items.
For example, £165 for a Tom Ford candle. I kid you not. I love A Single Man , and I am forever hoping that momentary blurred vision is in fact failing eyesight so that I might be allowed to buy a pair of his glasses. I can't wait to see his latest film (the name escapes me) but I draw the line at paying £165 for the rich scents of leather and oud. What even is oud? And most importantly, who does Stylist magazine think their audience is to afford such a luxury. Last time I checked, copies of Stylist were left on underground tube seats and buses, not chauffeur driven Rollers.
2. You receive a Christmas card email from a recruitment company.
Make that ten recruitment companies. I've been behind some of these for the last few years (belated apologies) and have sometimes wondered what the point is. This has been reinforced by a handful of unsubscribes or abusive replies asking why we have the time to send a christmas card email but one of our consultants didn't get back to them about a job they enquired about some time during the year.
In truth, I think most people just delete them as soon as they see Happy Christmas in the subject line or the tip of the tree in the image. Some won't see the tree at all as they're using Outlook and the images won't download until they add the company to the safe sender list (which they won't).
So what's the point?
Well, there are some good cards. For example, an Oxford-based recruitment company called Millar Cameron which has a strong African presence sends a Christmas email that describes their charitable donations and raises awareness about the cause. Hemming Robeson sent a nice looking one this year too.
This sadly is the exception rather than the norm. Most are bad, containing gaudy looking - sometimes flashing - christmas trees that probably resemble however the CEO of the company has his or her tree at home. I used to work at a recruitment firm which sent frozen salmon to key clients on Christmas day, which I always thought was a bit fire and brimstone.
I for one would much rather read about an Amazon Echo being gifted to a blind person at Christmas than be thanked for my non-existent 'support' during the year. I support Wycombe Wanderers FC and Liverpool, no one else.
There's a good saying that if you're not cynical then you're not paying attention, and those that subscribe to this viewpoint might also think that the whole Christmas card campaign was simply a data cleansing exercise. You might think that too, but I couldn't possibly comment.
Please do share any interesting e-xmas cards (if that's even the right name) that you've received - perhaps we can start an annual awards?
Unless you’re still recovering from your company’s Christmas drinks party, you’ll have heard about something called GDPR, which will change the way all data is held across Europe.
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and will implement a new set of data standards which all companies that store the data of European citizens have to adhere to.
By implementing GDPR, the European Union aims to strengthen the control individuals have over their personal data whilst closing any loopholes - simultaneously increasing the obligations companies have towards protecting the personal data of European citizens.
GDPR brings a completely new set of challenges for the recruitment industry - there is a lot of uncertainty about how companies can ensure they become GDPR compliant by May 2018.
Exactly no-one within the EU has thought for a second how this will affect our wonderful recruitment industry, so here is MMA’s regularly updated guide of what we know at present.
To talk now about how Magdalen Marketing Agency (MMA) can help with your recruitment business’ GDPR protection, call 01865 57 59 61 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Will the UK adhere to GDPR despite Brexit?
It seems like escaping the EU’s grasp won’t be that easy. The GDPR goes live in May 2018 and the UK will still be part of the EU at that time, requiring the UK’s organisations to become GDPR compliant. However, if the UK will still adopt the GDPR post-Brexit will be dependant on the UK’s relationship with the EU. If the UK remains a member of the EEA after Brexit, then UK companies might encounter some minor challenges when choosing their declaring their ‘main establishment’ as required by the GDPR. Other than that, the same regulations will continue to apply post-Brexit. On the other hand, if the UK leaves the EEA post-Brexit, then the GDPR will no longer apply in the UK. This means that transferring data from EU member states will be illegal without additional layers of security such as consent or contracts. In this scenario, the UK might seek an adequacy decision from the EU, granting it prerogatives similar to GDPR. If there’s no adequacy decision set in place by the time the UK leaves the EU and EEA, it could mean organisations will have to set up safeguards as a temporary solution.2. Will organisations still be able to collect and process personal data?
Yes, but the legal bases used to justify collecting and processing personal data will change. The new regulation requires companies to be transparent and inform individuals when and why their data is being collected, processed or transferred. If the individual’s informal agreement would suffice until this point, the new regulation requires companies to obtain strict, distinguishable, consent from individuals. Separate consent must be provided by the individual for different processing activities. For example, if a candidate has forwarded his personal information for a vacancy, his data must not be used for unrelated purposes.
3.Will companies still be able to share data with other parties?
Sharing data with other parties will be heavily regulated. A GDPR-compliant data sharing agreement will be required If your company shares data with third parties, such as payroll or umbrella companies. Additionally, the policies on using data from job boards will need to be carefully reviewed.
4. Do I need to amend existing contracts?
Contracts with all those whom you share data will have to be reviewed and possibly amended to ensure they meet GDPR requirements. This might trigger debates related to candidate ownership, so it is best to open the discussion before the EU’s deadline.
5.What about third parties managing data on my behalf?
Data processors who handle personal data on behalf of other companies will be directly responsible for their own GDPR compliance while managing data for their clients, and they might risk additional sanctions for noncompliance. Under the current legislation, these data processors have very few obligations.
6. Will my organisation have to implement additional layers of security?
GDPR also requires companies to implement a specific level of security which must be considered appropriate to the risk. This includes measures such as: the ability to measure the resilience of data processing systems; the ability to restore data in event of an incident; processes to regularly test and evaluate the effectiveness of security measures.
7.What if I am operating internationally?
Companies operating internationally would have to determine the lead data protection supervisory authority. If your company is processing data originating from multiple countries, you should analyse where you company is making most of the processing activities and this will help you identify the lead supervisory authority.
8. Will I still be able to filter candidates automatically?
GDPR won’t ban automated data processing, but it will require companies to increase the level of security which they use to handle data. If automated systems are used to filter candidates on bases such as grades or qualifications, then the candidate's consent must be obtained.
9. Will I need to change anything about the way I’m processing data?
Companies which have automated their data processes must implement the technical measures to ensure any factors leading to skewed data, errors or inaccuracies are reduced to a minimum.
10. Is there any change regarding data containing sensitive information about candidates?
If the decision to employ a candidate is based on sensitive information such as ethnicity or sexual orientation, then the candidate’s explicit consent is required in order to be GDPR compliant. Additionally, companies should not use automated processing software to filter out candidates based on sensitive personal information as this would be considered unlawful discrimination.
11. Would executive search firms have to make changes to their process?
Executive search firms and their in-house teams will have to become GDPR compliant if they operate within the EU, they process personal data of candidates which are EU citizens, or store personal information in databases or spreadsheets.
12. Do I need to be able to provide evidence of consent being granted by candidates?
Companies will be required to keep track and provide evidence that consent has been granted, if required. Under the new legislation, consent is defined as offering individuals the ability to positively opt-in. Pre-ticked boxed, silence or inactivity isn’t considered adequate consent under the GDPR. Companies must also ensure a transparent opt-out option is readily available. Additionally, consent must be a clear or affirmative action; freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.
13. Do I have to proactively inform individuals about their new rights granted by the GDPR?
Organisations will have to inform individuals of their rights to withdraw consent and be forgotten at any time. Furthermore, individuals must be made aware of their rights to have access to their personal data and be informed about changes made to it.
14. Would existing consent still be valid under the new regulation?
Organisations will be required to update existing consents to check if they comply with the GDPR. If not, new consent must be obtained from the individual.
15. Can I still send a speculative CV to a potential client?
If the candidate has provided consent for the recruiter to share his information with a third party for this purpose, then yes. However, from what we know until this point, consent would have to be obtained from the candidate if the potential client wants to use his personal information and process his application.
16. Can my website still auto-send jobs to registered candidates?
If candidates opted in for this after signing up, then yes. The system that is in place right now would still work (i.e candidates opt in for jobs in the sectors they’re interested in). If candidates have provided consent for Agribusiness/Construction jobs only, then recruiters should be able to send automatic updates with new jobs.
18. Can I mass email a job to candidates from our database?
If the job is from a sector the candidate has provided their consent for, then recruiters should still be allowed to send out a job to all the candidates matching the criterias. Emailing it to all candidates your database might be considered a breach of the GDPR. Or just spam.
To ask us a GDPR question, please use the comment box below and we’ll get right back to you.To talk about how Magdalen Marketing Agency (MMA) can help with your recruitment business’ GDPR protection, call 01865 57 59 61 or email email@example.com
Okay, we admit it we’ve cheated a bit here. This advert first came out in April last year, but we don’t care because we LOVE it.
It’s fun, weird and doesn’t make sense, add in music that repeats over and over in your head all day and there you have it, the recipe for perfect craziness.
The idea that there are little factories of fun inside every sweet is great, again we have no idea who comes up with these bizarre adverts but we live for them. I'd chose having a sweet life if I could.
At the end of the day, it just makes you happy and who doesn’t love that feel good factor!
Here’s the ad:
Drumroll please...this month the title of worst advert goes to The Great British Bake Off, which brings great sadness to the office.
Long gone are the days of clean cut Mary Berry and the infamous GBBO tent, having been replaced with quite frankly some scary talking pastries. It’s all just a bit creepy. With an eery song playing in the background and grumpy looking dough sighing along, it just doesn’t do it for us. Do we all stand together in dislike?
Although we understand the idea of the concept, all different types of baking uniting together and so on, it’s not patriotically British for which Bake Off is known. Whether you love it or hate it this is definitely an advert that will get you talking, even if its voicing your heartbreak that Mel and Sue are no more.
Just to add:
1. Why does the soufflé look like it has had one too many vinos and is spewing its guts up?
2. Are there two bread women getting a golden tan in the oven? What are they?
Or do we just hate it because Mel and Sue are no more?
Here’s the ad:
It’s a question that literally no one has asked me, but just in case you’re super bored in the slow news summer (!) holidays, here’s where we are at MMA:
Everyone seems to be talking about Bond Adapt at the moment. 2 or 3 firms are considering it, 2 or 3 firms are moving to it, and 1 firm last week says it keeps crashing their Outlook and are moving away from it. Recruitment databases are a funny thing. Exactly zero of our c25 clients like their database.
The only firm that used to like their database did so because it was Russian tech from the 70s (Cardbox) and was just nailed on for what it needed after decades of tailoring. We started telling people it was the only one that a client was happy with, although we didn’t recommend it as you probably need an old Amstrad to fire it up. The moment we started regaling this anecdote we get a call the next week from the MD: Guys, we’re moving away from Cardbox, what do you recommend?
Our advice is to make the most of what you’ve got before you move away. We’re currently working with clients on RDB, Bullhorn, Bond, Invenius, Profile, Filefinder, Firefish, so we know that sometimes you have to ask for what others have before you get given it. If you just phone up and tell them a problem you either get a no or a big quote.
On the non-specific side, we recommend Capsule, thanks to Steve of Melber Flinn. We use it here and it does the job, and is only £8 per month per license.
Of course, the mecca is to have your database on the back of your website. It something we’re working on here - to create an integrated website and database product. This time next year…
In order to deliver to our best potential for the new clients coming on board, we’ve had to hire three new team members recently:
Enrikas - Senior Web Developer
Phil Nyatanga - Head of SEO
Rhiannon Davies - Head of Social Media
This motley trio have joined our current rabble of:
Chelsea Battle - Head of eMarketing
Raquel Fernandez - Head of Graphic Design
Shena Searle - Data & Research Manager
Tom Pegler - Head of Web Development
Eduard Chilcos - Head of PPC Advertising
Thomas Bridge - Head of Hot Beverage Production
We’re also looking at three more hires in the coming weeks (PR, web and marketing), so we may have to get a bigger kettle.
It's all about Instagram
We picked up a FTSE 250 client off Linkedin a few weeks ago, so social media works. Sometimes though, it can get a bit depressing doing an update, and unless you’re a screaming narcissist talking about whether to go to the office on a sunday or blowing smoke on a colleague, getting very few likes / comments.Enter Instagram. We’ve been doing it for us for a few weeks (thanks to Rhiannon Davies) and have got more followers on Instagram in days than we have on Linkedin in almost a year. Now, whether anything converts is another matter, although we did have one lead from someone asking for our business deets. We weren’t sure if he wanted to sell to us or vice versa - but show me someone who says they don’t like a new follower or like on a major social media platform, and I’ll show you a liar.
As ever, if you think you might have something MMA can help with, please do call the office on 01865 688 777. You can also email
Our promise is this: if we’re not right, we won’t waste your time telling you we are, and ultimately disappointing you. Instead, we’ll point you in the right direction to a firm better than us at that particular requirement.
Thomas Bridge is the Head of Hot Beverage Production at MMA
It’s an age old question: if you absolutely had to choose your favourite child, which one would she be?
And just like deep down everyone know’s who’d get their parental vote, so it is for the king and queen of luxurious white goods: the dishwasher and tumble dryer.
It’s the great debate sweeping the nation, and it’s finally hit Nuneham Courtenay in deepest darkest Oxfordshire!
So, if you had to choose just one from dishwasher and tumble dryer, which you you choose?
Just like the blue / gold dress situation, it’s divided us right down the line, with both sides provoking impassioned defences (and attacks).
Here’s what we have to say - we’ve also asked some of our friends from the recruitment sector!
Tell us what you think - use the comment box below!
Chelsea Battle, Head of eMarketing / Social Secretary
“I’ve never been a user of tumble dryers, so the dishwasher definitely gets my vote! Living in a shared house can get really messy and throwing everything in the dishwasher can help avoid a lot of arguments! I’m also scared that a tumble dryer would shrink my clothes.”
The score: Dishwasher 1 - 0 Tumble Dryer
Rhiannon, Head of Social Media
"Let's be honest who wants to wash dirty dishes? So much effort when you can just put it in the dishwasher. At least with clothes all you have to do is hang them up rather than getting your hands dirty. Also why would I want to risk washing my fresh coat of fake tan off? No thank you.”
The score: Dishwasher 2 - 0 Tumble Dryer
Raquel Fernandes, Head of Graphic Design, Brand & Logo
“I really like washing up and find it rather therapeutic! Bit of thinking time or Netflix on the iPad. Having said that, I also like having the laundry out because it makes the whole place smell lovely. I could honestly live without both. Hmmmmm. I'm going to bin the dishwasher and keep the tumble dryer. Washing up is cheaper than professional therapy and tumble dried clothes require less ironing (now that is something I would easily eradicate from life!).”
The score: Dishwasher 2 - 1 Tumble Dryer
Shena Searle, Head of Data & Research / Company Gardener / Tom’s mum
"Do you know, I have never had a dishwasher in any of the houses I have lived at. However, when Tom was young we had a tumble dryer in the utility room and it was a godsend - he was a very messy little boy.”
The score: Dishwasher 2 - 2 Tumble Dryer
Richard Searle, Chief MMA Handyman / Shena’s husband / Tom’s stepdad
“Whatever Shena has said, I agree wholeheartedly with, because I want an easy life.”
The score: Dishwasher 2 - 3 Tumble Dryer
Enrikas, Lead Web Developer
“You can wash dishes by hand but cannot do anything about wet clothes except for sitting idly by, waiting for the clothes to dry. If time is a constriction then the dishwasher would be the ideal choice, however washing the dishes does not take up a huge amount of time. If a situation were to arise where there is a mountain of dishes to wash and a mountain of clothes to dry, having a tumble dryer would allow you to deal with both of them, however without it, you would need to wait for the clothes to dry. This can be a hinderance to those who have limited living space and are forced to dry their clothes indoors, constricting the space to move about even more”
The score: Dishwasher 2 - 4 Tumble Dryer
Phil, Head of SEO / Office DJ
“I mean, is this even a question? Dishwasher all day everyday! Think about it, you would use a dishwasher EVERYDAY instead of once or twice per week with a tumble dryer. I’d much rather sit down and have the dishwasher do all the work and not get my hands all wet a soapy. Plus, you can always use a washing line or clothes horse, easy!”
The score: Dishwasher 3 - 4 Tumble Dryer
Tom Pegler, Senior Web Developer
“Washing dishes takes little to no time as long as they’re done as soon as you’re finished with them. Living in a flat means that drying clothes can take hours. When I can only really get washing and ironing done on the weekend, I can’t spend the entire weekend waiting for clothes to dry. Tumble Dryer wins it for me.”
The score: Dishwasher 3 - 5 Tumble Dryer
Eduard Chilcos, Head of PPC & Advertising / Resident Robot
“Nods in agreement after listening to Tom Pegler. Has nothing to add.”
The score: Dishwasher 3 - 6 Tumble Dryer
Rob Jessel, Head of PR
“I am very fond of my dishwasher - usually very efficient. However she is less good at washing & drying my clothes - I never seem to have clean socks.”
The score: Dishwasher 4 - 6 Tumble Dryer
Ryan Dawson, Company Mascot
“I hate suds... washing plates with cold slimed food in just isn't for me. Standing there washing away my previous night’s dinner as I couldn't be bothered to do it last night along with today's dishes is such a chore! I end up getting my t-shirt soaked in old bean juice so then I have to change that! Just load up that dishwasher and see you later! I'm off down the pub.”
The score: Dishwasher 5 - 6 Tumble Dryer
Thomas Bridge, Founder / Head of Hot Beverage Production
“For me, this is a no-brainer and anyone who thinks differently is clearly insane. Tumble dryer all day long. I actually quite like washing up - a bit like ironing, hoovering or a decent run; you get some good thinking done on the job and then the endorphins kick in and make you feel great afterwards - you can’t buy that kind of happiness! I also think it takes longer to load and unload the dishwasher than we all think, and half the time I seem to have to wash bits up anyway that the dishwasher missed. I live in a flat with no outside space so I need the TD to keep me clothed in dry garments. Sorry DW, but it’s a no from me. Let the tumble see the dryer.”
The score: Dishwasher 5 - 7 Tumble Dryer
Friends of MMA:
Jo Hodge, Marketing Manager, TPP
"It’s no contest. I’m a young mum of three - I do have a tumble dryer which I think I’ve used three times. Each and every time, things come out smaller than they went in (& it's definitely not me using it incorrectly!) The dishwasher on the other hand, I simply cannot live without. It’s used a minimum twice a day for things like sterilising baby bottles and other glamorous tasks. You can stick clothes on a line - one thing I’ve learned about baby bottles is that they don’t clean themselves & with double the amount (with twins) I definitely don't have time for that!"
The score: Dishwasher 6 - 7 Tumble Dryer
Russell, Head of Finance, TPP
"Don’t get me started. I think the TDs are absolutely right - it’s got to be tumble dryer."
The score: Dishwasher 6 - 8 Tumble Dryer
Brittany Seabrook, Norman Broadbent Interim Management
"This is a tough one but will have to go with Dishwasher! I hate doing the dishes after cooking for hours!"
The score: Dishwasher 7 - 8 Tumble Dryer
Amy Witchalls, Research Associate and Executive Assistant - Princedale Partners
“DISHWASHER ALL DAY ERRYDAY. I’m a lazy slob and there’s nothing worse than washing dishes. I don’t mind having a clothes horse because it makes my flat smell like clean washing.”
The score: Dishwasher 8 - 8 Tumble Dryer
Conor O’Callaghan, CEO , Millar Cameron
“I have no opinion, please refer the question to my domestic staff.”
The score: Dishwasher 8 - 8 Tumble Dryer
Lisa Gills, Associate Director, DNA Recruit
“The dishwasher has my vote. I’d escape the constant battle of dry hands and breaking nails, ridiculously clean crockery and sparkling glassware….it's turning me on just thinking about it.
Tumbledryers are a waste of energy as well as space. Hang your sheets and towels in the garden on the washing line, never air your clean pants in public! The cost to run one of those bad buys outweighs the benefits in my book.”
The score: Dishwasher 9 - 8 Tumble Dryer
Nubia Coleman, Marketing and Sales Support Executive, IDPP
“Hahahahha very good debate! I really do not like dishwashers , but I know they can save a lot of water and this is good for the planet!”
The score: Dishwasher 10 - 8 Tumble Dryer
Bev Battle the first, Chelsea’s Mum
“The Tumble Dryer wins it for me. It's no problem to do the washing up but if you want to get your bedding or your towels dry in the winter it would be much more beneficial - but that's just me.”
The score: Dishwasher 10 - 9 Tumble Dryer
The Final Result!
Cor blimey guv’nor the dishwasher has only gone and won it, by a gnat’s wing.Dishwasher 10 - 9 Tumble Dryer
Enrikas originates from Lithuania but moved to the UK at the age of eight, spending his teen years growing up in the mighty Bedford.
Having always had an interest in computers from a very young age, Enrikas choose to study Computing as an A level, furthering his knowledge on the subject through studying it as a degree at Northampton University.
Rik enjoys the logical thinking aspect of computing and programming as well as the satisfaction of when a project is finally working and fully functional, all of this tech business goes straight over our heads though!
Outside of work, Rik enjoys keeping fit by going to the gym, swimming and playing basketball. He’s also a big fan of films and reading whenever he gets the chance to.
Rik is excited to be blessing us with his amazing computing skills and cannot wait to get to get started!
MMA is delighted to announce that Phil Nyatanga has joined our small but perfectly formed team here at MMA!
Phil will be working alongside Head of Content Eduard Chilcos and Head of Marketing Chelsea Battle in the MMA marketing department, working with various clients at this exciting time in the business' growth.
Recently graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a 2:1 in Business and Marketing management, Phil will assist with all client needs and offer a fresh perspective and new solutions to problems, putting the theoretical side of marketing into practice.
After spending 12 months client-side as a marketing support executive at Microsoft, the thrilling and diverse nature of agency work at MMA is what prompted the change and enticed Phil most.
Outside of work, sports (Football and F1) are amongst Phil’s other passions, whether it’s playing, watching or just keeping active.
Music is also another major interest of his, especially RnB and Hip Hop! To this end, Phil's dad named him after Phil Collins, and named his brother Collins.
MMA are delighted and excited to announce we have a new member joining our team!
She's called Rhiannon Davies and has just started with us after completing her Masters degree in Branding and Advertising at Nottingham Trent University.
Rhiannon grew up in the small seaside town, Weymouth, which is part of the stunning Jurassic Coastline. She has a great sporting background and has competed in National swimming and Biathlon events back in her glory sporting days!
Rhiannon chose to switch country life for a taste of the city and attended University in Nottingham, where she also gained a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Management. After completing her degree she decided to step away from the fashion industry and chose to do her Masters without specialising in a specific sector.
Having studied marketing in a variety of different sectors over her four years at university she is excited to take on her new role as a Marketing Executive for us and get cracking!