Tag Archives: life in tech

Celebrating women in tech and marketing (part four)

Here’s part four of our round-table discussion with some of the female members of the TLA team. (Read parts one, two and three if you missed out).

We close off with the advice our group have for other women who are interested in being part of the tech or marketing industry.

Abigail Hanson, senior quality and compliance executive: “Just go for it. Whatever ‘it’ might be. Don’t let anyone hold you back and only surround yourself with positive, supportive people.”

Alison Eustace, senior quality and compliance executive: “Don’t be intimidated in any way just because you’re part of a largely male dominated field.”

Kathy Fleming, head of quality and compliance: “Believe in yourself, have confidence in your ability and use every opportunity to improve and gain experience.”

Amy Smith, account manager: “Don’t panic if you don’t have a career plan!”

Amara Molloy, graduate PPC executive: “Just go for it! I don’t believe in just settling for something you think you deserve; push yourself beyond that even if you have to work twice as hard or make sacrifices for long-term success it’s worth it. Also, don’t doubt yourself, not everyone knows everything, but it can be easily learned. My Irish side is coming out here but… what’s for you won’t pass you!”

Danielle Smith, developer: “Just go for it. If you have a passion and interest in tech, follow it through. Just have confidence in yourself and be eager to learn. I never thought I’d be a developer; I always thought I’d be a teacher or something. But I’ve always had an interest in IT, so if you’ve got a passion for something then make it happen.”

Emily Abbey, junior project manager: “What I always tell my children – “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. Don’t be afraid to build yourself and others up, but remember to be genuine, gracious and generous as you work your way towards your goals. And, once you’re part of the industry, find a girl gang!”

Shania Corbishley, student placement (developer): “Although still quite male dominant, the industry is becoming more diverse. There are a lot of female devs in the industry. Stick to your dreams. If you want to be involved in tech then do it and don’t let people try put you off.”

Miki Parr, performance analyst: “If you are passionate about something, do it no matter what it is. Use that passion to encourage and enthuse others. It only takes one person to change the status quo… so why not you?”

Rachel Hellon, marketing executive: “Because the industry is so fast-paced, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you first start. My advice would be to get stuck in, don’t panic about keeping up because you’ll get used to the pace and never doubt yourself.”

Shannon Miller, developer: “Speak up when you have an opinion and challenge people on their ideas, try not to feel too intimidated, be open to learning from others in the team and don’t doubt yourself if it’s the job you know you enjoy and want to do and learn then stick with it.”

Irina Ashakhanova, account manager: “Pursue your true passion regardless of the demographics and feel empowered by being the only girl in the room – it is an opportunity to bring something new to the table, rather than a shortcoming.”

It can be daunting starting any new industry, let alone one that has a reputation for being bias towards a certain gender. But there are more and more businesses making big commitments to address that bias or simply create cultures that women can thrive in. To borrow a phrase mentioned a few times above, if it’s what you want, just go for it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this four-part article and found some value in the advice offered above. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles from TLA in the coming weeks celebrating women in tech and marketing. Follow us on LinkedIn to keep tabs on what’s on our mind.

Celebrating women in tech and marketing (part three)

Our latest addition to the Celebrating Women in Tech and Marketing content series explores what TLA’s female stars are passionate about regarding their work and where they go to get inspired and learn.

The tech and marketing industry is well-known for being fast-paced and that’s certainly true of life at TLA. When hiring, we look for people who embrace the changes and opportunities that come with the territory, regardless of the role they’re in.

Work passions

When we asked what our group was most passionate about, senior quality and compliance executive Abigail Hanson was first to comment on “the constant growth in the company,” highlighting that the role she’s been promoted into didn’t exist two months ago and that she’s excited about what “opportunities could present themselves in the future”.

Kathy Fleming, who heads up the quality and compliance team, elaborated on that growth, adding: “I’m excited about the development of systems to enhance what we already do – in particular the way in which we can evolve to become more diverse and provide a service that clients want and that add value.”

While it’s great to hear that the company’s growth matters to them, we decided to dig deeper into things they love about their respective roles. “I’m most passionate about ad analysis,” said Amara Molloy, who joined TLA earlier this summer as a graduate PPC executive.

“I enjoy comparing ad types and determining which ads worked and which didn’t,” she added. “I find it extremely interesting to look and try to understand how the audiences mind works allowing our department to produce more effective campaigns.”

Miki Parr, another recent arrival at TLA, this time in the data insights team, said: “I love reporting. I know that sounds sad, but I get a kick out of seeing the numbers line up. It’s interesting to spot trends and patterns within the data that you may not have spotted if it hadn’t been investigated. The other aspect of my job that I am passionate about is investigative analysis. Having spotted something in the data that doesn’t look quite right, and then delving into the root cause of this.

“Data is the currency of the world now,” she added. “Everyone uses it and uses it differently. Within my profession no two days are ever the same.”

For our placement student Shania Corbishley, who is part of our technical development team, passion comes with “learning new things every day due to the fact that tech is always changing”. She added: “I enjoy problem-solving and pushing myself to improve.”

Fellow developer Danielle Smith, who joined TLA in 2014, said: “I enjoy helping people. It’s rewarding when someone has an issue, or you make a change to a system, that is going to benefit and help their job easier.”

Shannon Miller, another of our long-serving technical developers cited that her passion comes in the form of “contributing to the design and development of new systems, learning how to use new skills and technologies, and creating something that is useful to other people and the company.”

Sources of inspiration and learning

Learning and growth are a big part of our culture. So, where do our group go to seek inspiration and fuel their passions?

For Shania, it’s “seeing other people in the tech industry create amazing things. When I see something mind-blowing it inspires me!”

Amy Smith, one of TLA’s account managers, looks closer to home: “Within the TLA there are people with a wealth of knowledge and amazing skill sets.  If I have a question or need help, I have always found people willing to take the time to share their knowledge.” And that sentiment is echoed by Danielle: “I always like speaking to the other devs in our team. There’s a lot of knowledge within the team and I can learn a lot from them.”

For developers, there are a wide variety of online sources that provide information to help you develop your knowledge and solve a multitude of challenges. For example, Danielle uses Feedly to follow .net blogs and other professional blogs.

Another great source of inspiration and learning are events – including but not limited to Dot Net Liverpool, which was formed by Joshua Duxbury, a member of the TLA technical development team.

Outside of tech, Emily Abbey finds inspiration in a women’s networking group called AllBright. “Being able to connect with other women who ‘get it’ in terms of balancing the many demands on us between work and home life, and who are also brilliant role models and can offer pearls of wisdom has been a lifesaver!”

Kathy, meanwhile, said: “I attend a quarterly data protection networking meetings which is a great forum for sharing good practice with people in similar roles across different sectors.”

If you have a question about anything that’s been discussed as part of our Celebrating Women in Tech and Marketing series, including the events our team attend, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Celebrating women in tech and marketing (part two)

Picking up from part one, in which we discussed preconceptions of the tech and marketing industry and the women who provide inspirational, we turn our attention to the roles our group play at TLA and the routes they took to get here.

Our groups’ time at TLA ranges from a few months to nine years, with various entry points and roles spanning marketing, development, quality control, account management and project delivery.

One of the longest-serving at the round-table was marketing executive Rachel Hellon, who joined on an apprenticeship five years ago. “I was kept on after my apprenticeship and now look after our content teams, covering written content as well as video for our automotive brand Car Keys. The marketing team is fast-paced and results-orientated. Everyone has a clear idea of our respective areas of expertise and work well together to achieve success.”

That first break in any industry can be like standing at the foot of an impossible mountain, but it’s something we feel passionately about helping people secure at TLA. As well as apprenticeships, we provide three- and six-month internships, work with local universities to provide placements and offer graduate and junior roles.

Opportunity to explore and use new tech

“I’ve been with TLA for five years,” said Shannon Miller, who joined shortly after Rachel and became the company’s first female developer. “I started as a placement while at university and came back after my final year as a junior. I’ve since moved up to a mid-level developer, working predominantly on our internal systems.”

One of Shannon’s standout achievements to date has been building the company’s call centre system, which plays a critical role in the way we function as a business. “There’s plenty of opportunity to explore and use new tech, which is a great part of working here. Plus, I like to learn from other people within the company and there’s a lot of intelligence in the room! It’s great to learn from their experiences and ways of working, so that I can keep progressing.”

Danielle Smith has enjoyed a similar journey, having joined as a junior and move through to mid-level as a support developer. In her own words, her role is to “take the pressure off the project team. Any bugs or support from the contact centre, any smaller projects that support the way we work, I help to ensure they run smoothly.”

She added: “The devs at TLA are always helpful. If you ever need support, they’ll come over and offer advice to help you in your role.”

From left to right: Shannon, Kathy, Alison, Danielle, Emily, Abi, Laurie, Amy, Rachel, Amara, Miki and Shania. Not pictured: Irina and Zoe from our London office.

Building a career

Away from development, Amy Smith joined the business nine years ago as a customer service operative, or ‘CSO’ as the role is more commonly referred to within the business. “I eventually moved from the CSO role into the QC team before moving into my position as account manager. That opportunity to move across departments has allowed me to build my career within the business, rather than moving elsewhere.”

Amy ensures the campaigns we bring on from clients are set up correctly in the CRM and coordinates with the development team to make sure the necessary tech work is completed.

Alongside tech and the contact centre, the QC department is one of the biggest functions within the business. They work alongside other departments to ensure the data we process and send to clients is of the highest possible quality to maximise conversion rates. Simply put, if the quality isn’t there, it doesn’t get sent.

Alison Eustace has recently been promoted into the role of senior quality and compliance executive after three years with the business along with fellow QC teammate Abigail Hanson, who has been with us for 18 months.

Commenting on her new role, Alison said: “Our focus is on improving quality from the ground up. All sorts of tasks are involved, from analysing calls to find a quality level to identifying potential issues that need to be addressed. We’re also working with the tech team to trial a new system for how we process data, which will have a positive impact on the way the QC team works.”

Abigail added: “We are currently going through all of our training documents to ensure everything is up to date and putting together a new coaching plan for the CSOs to help them, as well as call scoring and processing leads.”

Embracing change and opportunity

Changes like the ones Alison refers to are part-and-parcel of a tech-led organisation like ours. It’s even reflected in one of our core values – to embrace change and opportunity and as quality manager Laurie Bloor attests, “there’s been a lot of change during my five years with the business, particularly with the way different departments have embraced new technologies”.

But while technology impacts every role and department within the business, there is lots of variety with the types of roles available. QCs and CSOs aren’t tech roles but they have a huge part to play in making a tech company successful – and the same can be said for other functions within the business, including finance and sales.

Our account managers Zoe Hamilton and Irina Ashakhanova, who’ve been with the business for one and two years, respectively, are also from a non-tech background. The point being that you don’t have to be a marketer or coder to build a successful career within the marketing or tech industry.

As junior project manager Emily Abbey concludes: “The industry is changing so rapidly that we don’t really know what technology we’ll be living and working with in our day-to-day lives in the future, being a part of a technology-led business is very exciting.”

Look out for more content as part of our Celebrating Women in Tech and Marketing series over the coming weeks by following TLA on LinkedIn.

Development manager James McDowall discusses his journey to TLA and search for innovative .NET developers

We’re growing. And as a result, we’re recruiting for the very best .NET developers to join us in Liverpool. But what can future employees expect from the city’s fastest-growing tech business?

To answer that question (and more) we’re joined by development manager James McDowall, who arrived at TLA earlier this year from Iceland Foods. He begins our chat by telling us what attracted him to his new role.

 “TLA is a market-leader and a technical innovator. That was obvious right from the outset and I knew it was something I wanted to be part of.”

James’s journey here via the world of frozen foods began with a Computer Science degree at Staffordshire University before roles as a systems developer at Aegon, a contracting position with Alliance & Leicester and five years at Hill Dickinson as a senior IT developer.

The Iceman cometh

At Iceland Foods, where he spent 6 years (most recently as technical architect) James was primarily responsible for leveraging their technology systems and leading a project which added over £1 million to the business in its first year.

“It was a versatile role,” he explains, “I was able to work on many different projects such as HR systems, a supplier financing portal, and labour and schedule planning for the 800+ stores and 26,000 staff that Iceland had at the time.

“Considering the number of technical challenges that we faced, the ability to seamlessly link all the pieces together to deliver a solution that had such a hugely positive impact within its 12 months was a significantly proud moment for me and my career”.

A few months after leaving Iceland, James is in Liverpool heading up our Platform Development team, one of three within TLA alongside Engagement and R&D. His remit covers leading a team of seven junior, mid- and senior-level .NET developers, steering the development life cycle on key projects and working on a major CRM development project.

“My main responsibilities are to apply the right technology fit, and work with my immediate team to deliver the best solutions for the business to further our lead generation activity.

“On a day-to-day basis, they will use bespoke technology to quantify and qualify the leads that come into the business before sending them on to the client.”

Technical innovators

As we continue to grow as a business, James is working with our in-house talent acquisition team to find and appoint .NET developers that have “technical diligence, problem-solving skills, and the ability to articulate technical requirements to non-technical people”.

He believes those new starters will be joining an “innovative, dynamic and progressive” team that “wants to be here and wants to keep improving”.

He cites the studio’s regular ‘brown bag’ lunches as one of the ways, the team push each other to be the best they can be. “One of the developers will give a talk about a subject within IT that they’re passionate about. The talks inspire new solutions, which helps to create a passionate, supportive and collaborative environment.”

James is determined to grow his team with the right people – a vision shared by other departments.

“Anyone considering a role at TLA needs to be prepared for a fast-paced environment where every day brings new challenges and where new technologies are embraced,” he says.

“We don’t just want developers, we want technical innovators with the willingness to strive beyond the norm and help us pioneer industry-shaping technology.”

If you’d like more information on the opportunities within James’s team and across the business, visit our Careers section today.

GDPR in lead generation: meet compliance manager Kathy Fleming

In 2017, we appointed compliance manager Kathy Fleming to lead a comprehensive GDPR programme and ensure compliance with other key regulations. Here we discuss her role, the impact of GDPR in lead generation and her time at TLA.

What can you tell us about your role at TLA?

My role is to oversee all legislation compliance for the business. Naturally, my immediate focus has been on GDPR – making sure we had robust and responsible programme in place that involved the entire business. But I also look after our regulatory activity to ensure we meet the Financial Conduct Authority requirements; plus PECR and Ofcom regulations.

You’ve worked in both the public and private sector, working for companies such as Betfred, Your Housing Group and Barclaycard. How would you say data protection has changed over time and between these industries/sectors?

In the public sector, data protection has traditionally been far more stringent due to the fact that any money they spend comes from the public purse. Legislation has always been taken more seriously with greater levels of accountability. In the private sector, there was always the need to balance the commercial interests of the business against their regulatory commitment. However, GDPR has put far greater emphasis on private sector organisations in accepting that they have to be accountable for their actions.

There has rightly been a lot of focus on GDPR over the last few months. How would you summarise the changes?

In the past, each EU member state had their own legislation regarding data protection; GDPR has introduced consistency across all EU member states. One of the fundamental aspects is about strengthening the rights of individuals because the way in which we use data today is completely different to how we used data twenty years ago. The old legislation was no longer fit for purpose and needed to change.

What impact will Brexit have on the UK’s commitment to GDPR?

None whatsoever. The Information Commissioners Office (the regulator for data protection in this country) has stated that despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the implementation of GDPR will not be postponed or affected. GDPR is an important, comprehensive and thorough piece of legislation applicable across all EU Member states.

What are the significant ways in which GDPR will impact lead generation and marketing?

Any organisation that processes personal data must establish a lawful basis for processing this information. Here at The Lead Agency, we mainly rely upon consent. Under the old legislation, companies were able to rely upon a pre-ticked box which would assume that customers had consented; however, under GDPR this form of consent is not valid. Consent is only valid if it is a proactive indication of a customer’s wishes (i.e. a clear and proactive tick of a box to indicate positive consent or the click of a submit button to confirm that the individual is happy for their personal data to be processed). This is bad news for lead generators that have traditionally focused on low quality and high volumes. But good news for those that focus on high quality, qualified leads.

Is it possible to be a responsible lead generation company?

Absolutely. Lead generation companies tend to have had bad press, but our CEO Anton Hanley wants us to stand out from the rest. We are a quality lead generation company. We create a relationship with consumers that have shown a genuine interest in our clients’ products or services and engage them to ensure they are in-market before giving them the opportunity to connect with our clients. This responsible attitude is one of the main reasons why our transition to GDPR compliance has been smooth and why I believe GDPR is a good thing for the business. We can fully demonstrate our accountability, which can only help us to build trust with our clients.

TLA’s approach to GDPR has received strong praise from automotive specialist ASE Global. What do you believe has been the key to our successful preparation?

Firstly, can I say how delighted we were with ASE’s report and comments. To hear that of the hundreds of companies ASE had assessed or worked with, TLA had by far the most good practice in place was very rewarding after the hard work and commitment of the team. And that was the key – having a commitment from our CEO from the very beginning and a team willing to learn about the new legislation, understand it and then bring ideas for how we could improve our processes. We have used GDPR to become a better organisation.

Which brings us nicely to our final question. How have you found working for TLA so far?

Genuinely great. It is a fast-paced and exciting business with supportive colleagues. Everyone is willing to give up some of their time to help each other. Not to hand-hold but to always be there for support and guidance. Anton’s enthusiasm and drive to make the business as successful as possible radiates throughout the organisation and encourages everyone to be the best we can be.

Visit our News & Views hub to read more about our preparation for GDPR.

Life at The Lead Agency: meet developer Liam Moorcroft

Ever wondered what life is like inside one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies?

Developer Liam Moorcroft joined The Lead Agency in November last year and has made a great start within the business.   Here, Liam explains what drew him to TLA and what excites him about his role in the Engagement team.

What appealed to you about joining TLA?

They offer career progression, which is important to me. There was the potential for opportunities that I’ve never had before and, when I came into meet the team, it was clear that they were willing to help me progress. It was also about being able to gain a position in a bigger company.

And finally, there’s the office. When I came in for the interview, I was blown away by the vast views of Liverpool. I knew immediately I wanted to work here.

What can you tell us about your role?

The development team is split into two teams, the engagement team and the platform team. My team, the engagement team, create all the websites and front-facing sites that customers interact with.

My role varies day-to-day due to new features or add-ons that stakeholders may have asked for. Every few weeks we carry out work to maintain the websites to ensure they’re as user-friendly as possible.

What aspects of your role are you most passionate about?

I think discovering new technology is really important to me and it’s what I enjoy most within my role. As a developer, you can’t stand still- you have to keep up to date with new technology as it is always changing. The team I work with are great and make the projects that we work on even more enjoyable.

What can you tell us about your work that would be of interest to developers who are ready for a new challenge?

I think the technology is the big one – if you’re intrigued and enjoy experimenting with new software and technology and being able to do that on a daily basis, then this is the place for you! I guess that’s what continues to appeal to me about this role – the idea of constantly being involved with new technology, being able to research and explore whilst constantly being challenged to find improvements.

We are always asking ourselves, “how can we make this page faster?”, “how can we make this page more user-friendly?”. We are always trying to think of new and improved ways of making the user’s journey through the site better. If those sorts of challenges excite you, then this sort of role is definitely for you.

What else can you tell us about life at TLA?

I think the office and the aesthetics of it make it a great place to be. We’ve got 360⁰ views of Liverpool from our office floor and it just makes it a really pleasant environment to work in.

The bar is pretty cool too. On a Friday, we have a check-in where we grab a drink and discuss whatwe’ve been working on throughout the week. It’s good to hear about what everyone else is up to in the office as we are normally working within our own smaller teams day-to-day. That’s great because it creates a togetherness and a fun teamworking environment.

What’s it like working with the rest of the team?

What I have found working here is that everyone is super friendly and helpful. As a whole, and within my team, everyone is willing to support each other. The general attitude is that there is no such thing as a dumb question and this really gets the best performance out of you as it encourages us to take on a challenge and not be afraid to make a mistake.

I think that’s what helped me to get off on the front foot when I first started at TLA. I had quite a few gaps in my knowledge and I had to learn a lot quite quickly, but everyone was supportive and patient with me, which has helped me to get to where I am today.

To view our latest developer jobs in Liverpool, visit our careers page.

Meet Antony Neill, The Lead Agency’s new performance manager

New years often bring about new starts for people, which is exactly the case for our newly-appointed performance manager Antony Neill.

Joining us in a brand new role for the business, Antony is looking forward to applying his experience to the business’s performance channels. As a quick introduction, he tells us about where he’s come from and his ambitions for The Lead Agency.

Where have you joined us from and what can you tell us about your last role?

I joined The Lead Agency after four years at Bibby Line Group, where I worked across a number of sectors, including shipping, distribution and technology.

The majority of my time at Bibby was spent in a variety of marketing roles, but my most recent role was as a technical sales manager for a new technology business that Bibby launched, where I was responsible for analysing supply chain operations for retail and manufacturing clients, and designing and deploying RFID-based tracking solutions to help them unlock efficiencies.

What are you most proud of from your career to date?

Achieving promotions at each of my last three employers and helping to build Bibby’s ship management arm into a significant challenger within its market both spring to mind. But my most coveted achievement is probably playing a key part in helping Bibby’s technology business – made up of all of nine people – to land a multi-million pound contract with a top 10 UK retailer, an engagement that lasted more than two whole years and many more working hours!

What attracted you to The Lead Agency and this particular role?

The vibrant brand image, the exciting line of business and the company’s culture and ethos all initially attracted me to The Lead Agency; it seemed to match my own personal way of working, and my short time here so far has proven me right.

The role itself is, to me, an almost perfect storm of everything I’m skilled at – analysing and optimising process-led operations within both a marketing and technology context. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

What will be your main responsibilities and what are you hoping to achieve?

The purpose of my role is to ensure that the internal enquiry processing operation – everything after acquisition from marketing, all the way up to distribution to clients – is running smoothly and efficiently. As part of this, I’ll be working across multiple functions within the business – digital marketing, technology, contact centre, compliance and client relations – to make sure that each stage of the operation is linked seamlessly to the last and to the next.

I’ll also be helping to introduce new systems and platforms to the business to help develop our internal operations even further, which will translate to greater value for clients down the line.

To join Antony at The Lead Agency, visit our Careers page.

Life in tech – Kristian Brown, email marketing manager

Considering a career digital marketing? Our email marketing manager Kristian Brown discusses his role in our Life in Tech series.

What was your route into the industry?

Economics and Business Studies Degree at university followed by voluntary work and then full-time work in a range of marketing positions.

Kristian Brown - The Lead Agency

What do you day-to-day at TLA?

My role involves a mix of reporting, analysis, budget management, working with external suppliers and some more creative tasks like email template building and Photoshop work. It’s also a must that I keep up to date with current and future trends in the email marketing industry, and see how they can be adopted within The Lead Agency campaigns. Compliance and email suppression is also important, along with responding to customer queries.

My job is much more than sending emails. Emails require a lot of data management, building multiple creatives to test to different segments, copywriting, analysis and reporting. I’m constantly striving the make the emails perform as best as possible – testing copy, calls to action, layouts, colours and much more. Then there are the service emails to work on and I also get involved with the landing and thanks pages.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

I’m proud of every email I design! But for me, working in email, it’s the little wins when you test campaigns. Finding what works for your audience and extracting the best possible performance you can from the email, one test at a time.

What change would you like to see in your profession?

Playable videos within email, common email coding concepts, common platform and device support.

What was the last thing that inspired you?

Rapha emails always inspire. Definitely the best designed emails out there.

What are you passionate about?

Simplicity. Don’t over complicate emails. Keep them clear, simple, and they will do the hard work for you.

What’s your favourite thing about working at TLA?

My team – go digital marketing! We work really well together, share the same values and goals.

For more on joining the digital marketing team, take a look at our current vacancies.

Life in tech – Michael Fitzsimmons, head of talent

Next up in our Life in Tech series is Michael Fitzsimmons, our recently appointed head of talent. Michael made the move from a Manchester-based digital recruitment specialist to The Lead Agency last month and is already enjoying life on the 13th floor.

Tell us about your role and what you’ve been appointed to do at The Lead Agency…

I’ve been appointed as head of talent. My job is to manage all recruitment in to the business across our Liverpool HQ, London and New York offices. My objective is to recruit all new hires internally, build a recruitment philosophy and implement a recruitment procedure that is followed for each new hire.

What do you think is The Lead Agency’s biggest appeal for potential recruits?

A major reason for me was the potential growth and career opportunities the company could provide. Meeting my colleagues and seeing the fantastic working environment only convinced me further that this was the place for my future. Has anyone else got a better view in Liverpool?

What roles are you recruiting for?

I’m focused on digital roles covering development, design/UX and digital marketing.

Michael at The Lead AgencyWhat are your immediate priorities?

Like anyone joining a new organisation, I’m learning about the business, how it operates, its processes, its past and future goals. I’m getting to know each of the teams and actively pursuing the best talent to help us fulfil our mission.

What advice would you offer potential candidates?

I would advise people to come to an interview properly prepared, be confident and have good reasons why you want to join The Lead Agency. We are looking for ambitious and driven candidates so make sure you display these qualities when you speak to us.

What do you think Liverpool has to offer people planning a career in digital or tech?

Liverpool’s digital influence is growing and hubs in the Business District and Baltic Triangle are spurring on this growth. You can find tech companies like The Lead Agency who are ready to invest in talent and promote career development. Liverpool is also a great city to live and socialise in with lots of entertainment to keep you busy outside of the office!

What are you passionate about?

Having worked in recruitment for nine years, I am passionate about my industry. I still get a buzz out of finding people a new job.  I think what I am most passionate about and what keeps me interested is the interaction I have with people. I enjoy the social and psychology aspect of the job. I think some are too quick to describe themselves as a ‘people person’; however, I do truly believe I am and it helps me build and manage relationships which results in making good hires.

What type of attributes are you looking for in candidates?

When you are looking for attributes in a candidate there are many that you are hoping to see. If I had to pick five, I would choose – integrity, ambition, drive, creativity and hard-working.

Ready for a move? Check out our latest digital jobs.

Life in tech – Charlotte Smith, junior designer

Following our first Life in Tech Q&A last week, we’ve asked TLA junior designer Charlotte Smith to tell us about her fledgling career in technology.

What was your route into the industry?

I finished my college A-levels and started applying for apprenticeships. The careers advice people who worked in the college helped me find connections. I was introduced to the Liverpool Chamber Training who were able to arrange an interview with The Lead Agency. I joined as a digital apprentice and, after receiving my qualification, was offered a permanent position to join the design and UX team.

Charlotte at TLA

What do you do day-to-day at TLA?

My job varies on a day-to-day basis. One day I’m designing a set of icons for The Study Network (our higher education platform) and the next I’m mocking up landing page wireframes which show the basic layout of how a page will work. I also work closely with the content and marketing team, creating a range of graphics to support their campaigns.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the fact I get to be creative every day. I enjoy the creative freedom I get when I’m assigned any sort of task whether it’s a landing page, ad design or a graphic for the social channels.

I recently attended a great conference called UX Cubed, which took place at Shop Direct’s offices. There was a lot of interesting talks given on the day about user experience within different industries. Events like this are great for building my knowledge and providing ideas I can apply day-to-day.

What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

Prior to joining The Lead Agency, I designed a responsive website from scratch – MyPrizeDraws. This included research, wireframing, image sourcing and icon, logo and brand design. I was really proud of how it turned out although looking back I can definitely spot areas where I could improve the design!

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about exploring design trends and how these things evolve throughout the industry. I’m especially interested to see how virtual reality transforms the way we look at web design and design as a whole.

Fancy joining Charlotte at The Lead Agency? Check out the latest TLA vacancies.