Friday, 27 March 2009

The Damned United – another good character role for Michael Sheen

With the new movie about Brian Clough ‘The Damned United’ coming out this weekend I thought I’d write a few words on the actor Michael Sheen who stars as Cloughy! He’s now played some of the most impersonated and well known characters in British sport, TV and politics. Ranging from his well known portrayal of Tony Blair in ‘The Queen’ and as David Frost in ‘Frost/Nixon’ (where was his Oscar?) on the big screen. Michael also had a fantastic part portraying the tragic and complicated life of the loved ‘Carry On’ legend Kenneth Williams in the BBC 4 television drama Fantabulosa!

He seems to have a talent for playing these type of characters without falling into the trap of slipping into a ‘Spitting Image’ style impersonation.

What’s next for Michael, well if there’s ever a film about the life of Simon Pegg he’d be a dead ringer!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

March/April Newsletter

For the latest new and views from the world of creative & marketing recruitment check out the Steve Cooper Recruitment Newsletter.
Click on the thumbnail image to view at full size.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Surviving Recession Guides by the BBC

Just catching up with the news on this rainy lunch time when I came across a couple of great article on the BBC news website.

Firstly there is one for companies, including; general advice, delaying tax payments, how to handle redundancy, securing a bank loan, winning contracts and securing payments from other firms How firms can cope with recession.

Secondly a guide to the help you can get if lose your job. It gives sound practical and guidance about action you can take should if you are made redundant. The articles covers saving, mortgage, redundancy, debt, pensions as well as job hunting. Full guide to where to get help if you lose your job.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Design Week’s 2008 Salary Survey now available

It’s an interesting read and looks like the Regions are fairing better than London. We were asked to submit figures along with other recruiters about 6 weeks ago. You can see by the article that the emphasis for all recruiters is not to look to the past but to the future and how clients and candidates can get the best out of the economic downturn.

Here are a few brief comments on current times.

- It is more of a client lead market place – we are aiming for a fair salary for skills

- There is increase in both quantity and quality of candidates – ideal time to recruit high quality candidates.

- Candidates should take time to prepare CV’s & portfolios – first impressions count

- Digital is in demand as ever increasing business is moved online.

- Freelance – we’ve not seen a turn around yet but believe it will, to counteract consolidation.

To read the full article and see the salary survey for 2008

Ann Downs

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Hot Wyred!

Well here I am (that’s me on the left), aching, but happy after my 5k run on Sunday through the Wyre Forest nr. Kidderminster in a not too disgraceful time of 32mins 14secs. The run was organised on behalf of the British Heart Foundation I’m glad to report that I made it without the aid of oxygen or resuscitation, although I have to admit that with the last third of the run being all uphill (which no-one told me about beforehand) I did start to hallucinate to the point that everything seemed to be in slow motion and I swear I could hear the theme from ‘Chariots of Fire’ as I crossed the finishing line. I must say, thanks to my running mate Simon, we made a fine sight as we cut through the swathe of runners at the beginning - only for the swathe to cut back about ten minutes later. Seriously it was a good morning’s run and heroically (or stupidly) we’ve vowed to do it again very soon, so watch this space. I’m sure you’ll agree the photo portrays our lion-hearted ‘cry God for Harry’ determination to finish – before we collapsed exhausted over the line minutes later.

Carl Whitehouse

Monday, 16 March 2009

Alfa 8c

I know I bang on about how unreliable my GT is (it's in the shop as write this) but you just have to listen to the sound that the Alfa 8c makes!!
As Jezza said on Top Gear - this car is a piece of art!!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Credit might be crunching but our standards remain high.

During this challenging time for business, it’s tempting for recruitment consultancies to cut corners in an effort to quickly get CVs in front of clients who are looking for staff. Some recruiters may not interview candidates thoroughly, or submit CVs that have only a passing resemblance to the job spec provided by clients. This is done to speed up things or beat other recruiters to the draw. However, we feel that by concentrating on the ‘recruitment process’ and ensuring our candidates are interviewed well by our REC trained staff before we send out CVs, we will continue to give clients the best service possible. With markets contracting, we believe it is more important than ever that we demonstrate our in-depth expertise in understanding and responding fully to the needs of our clients. Carl Whitehouse:

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Branding Consultancy required for Museum of Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool has launched a search for a branding consultant to create a lasting brand identity for the newest icon to appear on the city’s waterfront: the Museum of Liverpool.

The world’s first national museum devoted to a regional city, the £72m Museum of Liverpool is the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for over a century. Expected to attract more than 750,000 visitors a year when it opens in 2010, it will be a free family visitor attraction complete with exceptional learning and community resources.

The successful applicant will support National Museums Liverpool – which currently runs seven venues including the Walker Art Gallery and the International Slavery Museum – in creating and implementing a long-term strategy to successfully raise the profile of the new museum to local, national and international audiences.

Joanna Rowlands, director of marketing and communications for National Museums Liverpool said: “The Museum of Liverpool is the major physical and cultural legacy of the city’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008. We are looking to work with a partner who can help us to communicate the museum’s unique offering to local people and those coming from further afield.

“We will be working with the selected consultant in the lead up to the opening of the museum in 2010 to create an all-encompassing, comprehensive brand and devise a programme to implement that identity over a period of approximately 12 months.”

As a first stage, branding consultancies and agencies are invited to express their interest by responding to the branding brief by 10am on Friday 27 March, after which six companies will be shortlisted to progress to a second stage.

The first stage of the process includes submitting credentials and detailing how you would approach responding to the brief. For further information and to download the brief visit Creative Match

Ann Downs

Monday, 9 March 2009

The first Mac!

Ahhh... I remember the days, squinting at the tiny black and white screen on my state-of-the-art Mac Plus! Check out Steve Jobs as he demos the first Macintosh in 1984!
In 2009 the mac is of course the digital canvas for Designers and Artworkers the world over. For the latest Creative Jobs visit Steve Cooper Recruitment at

The Power of Posters

Being extra creative in the these difficult times is really important when it comes to outdoor advertising. Check out these fantastic outdoor campaigns from the UK and around the world.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

The waiting game...

Ok, we all know that with current market forces being what they are, employers are in the driving seat if they have design and marketing vacancies to fill. But while they have a much expanded candidate base to choose from and the luxury of more time to pick and choose who they would like to see, it’s worth pointing out that this can, in certain circumstances, work against them when a final choice is made.

What do I mean by this? Well, candidates who are in the unfortunate position of being made redundant or whose job is under threat and have been for that first, second or even third interview are willing to be patient for a decision to be made – but for only so long. Employers who find a candidate they really like but who then decide to carry on interviewing ad infinitum ‘just to be sure’ can find that when they eventually come back to their favourite candidate, that person has got fed up and no matter how desperate they are for a job are put off by a delay in being chosen. It sends the wrong message about the company out to other potential candidates too, who may feel that this ‘prolonged procrastination’ is endemic in the way the company treats it’s staff generally.

So although it’s generally thought to be a buyer’s market, once the right person is seen, try to tie up interviews as quickly as possible and make a decision within a reasonably short time afterwards. After all, you might be waiting a lot longer for the right person to come round again.

Carl Whitehouse

Come on lets have some positive reporting about recruitment!

On the Chris Evans Radio 2 Show on Thursday 4th March, during the business section Kevin Green, Chief Executive from the REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) was interviewed about salaries. Although the title of this section was 'How to ask for an increase in your salary' the interview progressed into more ‘doom & gloom’ being reported on unemployment predictions for the future. With Kevin Green informing us that salary levels have dropped the fastest for 11 years and they are 10% lower for those getting new permanent, contract & temporary jobs. Also, that there will be a long slow movement downwards within the UK, with 3 million unemployed by early next year. So when can we look forward to getting back to nearly full employment like we are accustomed to? End of 2011!!!!

OMG!!!! lets all just give up now!!!!!

We are all aware there are less jobs about but here at Steve Cooper Recruitment Ltd we are slowly but steadily recruiting both experienced Creatives and Account Handler types within the Creative & Marketing Sectors. Other sectors of recruitment must be seeing some positives.

As a recruiter within the Creative Sector (4 years with Steve Cooper Recruitment Ltd) with over 15 years recruitment experience, I agree we need to be as realistic as possible with candidates looking for work, but ‘come on’ we need to give unemployed candidates and those looking for new jobs - some hope. I agree with the statement from Kevin Green that for the last 10 years the employees have driven the recruitment process, including salaries and now the power is in the hand of the employer. I am informing our registered candidates of this switch but also reassuring them that as a Professional Recruitment Consultant, with the backing of a Professional Creative Recruitment Agency, that I will be using my expertise to negotiate a positive outcome for them. Good professional Recruitment Agencies should be automatically doing this for their registered candidates.

For employers this is a fantastic time to be growing teams, there is a huge increase of quality/experienced candidates available at the moment. As professional recruiters within the creative sector we’d advise employers to pay the right market value for candidates, to prevent the new employee continue to search to obtain a fair salary.

As the Chris Evans show is a positive, upbeat show I’m sure Chris would be with me when I say…….

Lets all stop looking on the black side and start celebrating the successes!

Ann Downs

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Safari 4 looks cool!!

As an avid Apple fan I'm downloading the Beta version of Apple's new Safari 4! I'll be checking out and reporting back soon :-)  Steve

Creative Match

Check out our Design Jobs & Creative and Marketing jobs on Creative Match

Monday, 2 March 2009

BBC iPlayer Money Programme - James Caan's Jobs

I'd recommend catching up with this programme if you are currently searching for work, under the threat of redundancy or a business trying to survive recession, as there maybe some useful pointers you could pick up.

Last weeks Money Programme concentrated on both sides of recession and redundancy and how to secure a new role and why businesses have to make redundancies.

The programme underlined the need for businesses to offer unique services, a good example of this was the collapse of general store Woolworths - many of whose products could be bought cheaper on line or from other sources. There was some sound advice on how to survive recession for small businesses by holding on to key employees.

There was a good point made, that it is the job not the person that is being made redundant.

Although there was no mention of the Creative/Marketing sector, which is our speciality, there was some good advice about getting your CV to work for you, being proactive, re-training and staying positive through such a difficult time. A couple of people they'd interviewed and advised, had got new jobs during filming and the others were optimistically still searching. I was a little disappointed that the panel of experts didn't appear to be current/recent recruiters, or strapped for cash like the majority of people who are searching for work following redundancy are.

With over 15 years experience as a Recruitment Consultant I have see a huge variety of CV. I think the easiest advice I'd give with regard to your CV is make it clear, to the point and make sure there are no spelling mistakes. As we don't always see our own mistakes, ask someone else to proof read it, both for spelling errors and to make sure it is clear what your previous jobs have entailed. Don't forget your contact details it's surprising the number I've seen without this information.

Generally with surviving the recession and job searching my advice is to be as positive and proactive as possible, which I felt was the message from The Money Programme James Caan's Jobs.

Have a look at our website,, to see details about using our services along with a variety of current Creative & Account Handling vacancies.

Ann Downs

Watchmen - at last a comic book movie for grown-ups!

If like me you've been to see most of the super-hero blockbusters movies with your kids and wanted a bit more, then Watchmen could be the film for you.  

Although the Spiderman, Xmen, Fantastic 4 and Batman films are hugely enjoyable, with the expected over the top CGI effects and tight costumes that you'd never be able to take a pee easily in, they always leave me feeling a bit short changed with it comes to seeing the baddies get their comeuppance!

Watchmen is directed by Zack Snyder who brought us the brilliant 300 and is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore. It takes place in an alternate 1985 teetering on the brink of nuclear Armageddon. The film follows a group of former vigilantes as tensions heighten between the United States and the Soviet Union as an investigation of an apparent conspiracy against them uncovers something even more grandiose and sinister.

Watchmen may be the nastiest blockbuster ever devised! It’s action sequences are pornographically violent. Violence is the major theme of Moore’s book exploring the animalistic thrill of crushing one’s enemies. It luxuriates in snapping bones and literal explosions of gore. It's here that the gulf between comic and movie becomes most clear.

Watchmen is still going to be the ultimate tough sell: there will be those who view the film as a bewildering mishmash of underexplored themes, thinly sketched characters and noisy, excessive violence. They're probably right! any work of popular art which demands prior knowledge must be deemed a failure. And yet, there’s something admirable about the entire enterprise: its ungainly size, its unrelenting weirdness, its willful, challenging intensity. For long term fans however will Watchmen will be a hugely pleasurable experience.

I can't wait!!