How was it for you?
2021 showed the resilience of many industries, but particularly in our world of design, brand, innovative thinking.
It was the year we collectively rolled up our sleeves and decided not only to return to normal, but get better, pivot if necessary and keep going.
As it draws to a close, the Gabriele team have looked back at the year and acknowledged both our successes and challenges. Here’s what our consultants had to say about 2021 and the lessons we’ll carry with us into the new year.
1. Our industry is tougher than we thought
A pat on the back is in order, for freelancers, agencies, their employees, and I guess us too. When it comes to agility and resilience our industry has led the way this year and it’s been a pleasure watching our clients bounce back and our candidates step boldly into their dream roles after an unstable year.
In 2021 agencies continued adapting and producing work more innovative and purposeful than ever before.
The big positive is, agencies are busy! So busy that currently, the demand for talent is outweighing the supply and this has caused a bottleneck for many studios and agencies, as they can’t get new team members in fast enough! We don’t see this changing in the coming months. But we are bracing ourselves for a flurry of activity as we settle into the new year!
2. Remote work can actually work
Working from home, full time, part-time or none of the time is a common conversation amongst both our clients and candidates, says Karina Beasley, Gabriele Managing Director. There are still differences in opinion as some companies just aren’t keen on working apart and want people in every day whilst others are more open to suggestions. The candidates we speak to are equally as divided. Essentially it boils down to how you work and the type of environment you thrive in.
In 2022, a challenge for agencies will be finding talent who hold a similar vision for work structure as they do.
For top tier talent, it isn’t just salary that’s important, it’s a flexible work model. If you are an agency that prefers onsite working, create a work environment that is welcoming, inclusive and looks good. Give employees an incentive to come in. If you are fully remote, make maintaining connection and collaboration a priority in 2022; to attract the attention of great candidates – and retain the ones you already have.
Gabriele’s work structure is a hybrid of both –that is just what works for us. Katie Straker became our first remote hire mid-year when she joined as Creative Consultant, and Roxi Dodkins also returned to Gabriele as Operation Manager this year, after maternity leave. She says remote working helped her ease into work life again. “Returning to Gabriele and being part of our great team again is a big highlight of my year”.
Our team currently operate across 2 countries, 2 counties and several London postcodes. If a team member decides to move country, it will be a case of readjusting not rehiring.
3. Make time for Mindfulness – it's important
In 2021, Our Client Services, Strategy and Marketing Consultant Nadina Grad combined work and her recent certifications by hosting her first Gabriele Talks… event - a much-attended self-hypnosis webinar.
“I was really pleased with that event as it was slightly left-field for a recruitment agency to host. But it worked and our network of agency owners appreciated the chance to pause” says Kandice Menzie, Gabriele’s Social Media & Marketing Manager. “That feeling of ‘wtf’ we all experienced in 2020 helped normalise discussing our emotions. We wanted to keep that going this year and plan to continue stressing the importance of a healthy work/life balance in 2022 too!”
4. Celebrate your wins (even the small ones)
It’s been a tough year for absolutely everyone, so applaud your team members for their perseverance. Like we’ve done here at Gabriele, take time to collectively acknowledge your agencies wins, no matter how small.
Never underestimate how much a simple ‘thank you' from your senior matters.
Doing so helps cultivate joy and job satisfaction - which in turn boosts staff morale and productivity.
So what is Gabriele’s biggest win? Karina believes its growth. “Both financial, mindset and in terms of growing teams – our own and those of our agency clients.”
Growth just might be everyone’s theme for 2021. The year has brought us many opportunities to rethink how we gather inspiration, collaborate creativity and do business that it's unlikely any of us are closing the year in the same way we entered it.
We should all take a breather and feel somewhat reassured that whatever 2022 brings, we all have the strength and skill to take it on. The future is looking good, so cheers to an even brighter 2022. Happy New Year to you all.