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Get Them Talking

October 27th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Digital, Employers, Everyone

I had the pleasure of attending the Yammer On Tour conference with the Co-Founder of Dylan Julian yesterday. We’ve been using Yammer for a few months in the office and have become complete evangelists of the product.

So what exactly is Yammer I hear you cry? Well put simply their pitch is…

It’s a great tool for getting your employees and colleagues off email and offering them a far more fluid way to communicate, share ideas, update teams on projects and facilitate group discussions without a mile long email trail.

Now I’m not here to pitch Yammer necessarily (although it is excellent) but address the importance for companies to start communicating in a different way and embrace the social revolution that is going on all around us.

As I mentioned, we’ve been using Yammer here at Dylan for a while now and have found it’s an excellent way to speed up the conversations that happen within the office. All sorts of things get shared through Yammer and with it being set up on social media principles i.e. with a main feed and then private messaging, you can keep up with what’s going on in the company without actually having to engage in conversation.

Now Dylan is a small business (with big ambitions) and many larger businesses will look upon a tool like this with fear and trepidation over the loss of control. The reality is many (if not all) of your employees are on social applications such as Facebook and Twitter everyday, so why would you want to miss out on this shared knowledge by ignoring this fact?

The social revolution is here and the benefits of embracing this will only be realised once you take the leap to integrate it into how your organisation communicates.

…And if you’re still not convinced you can read the Forrester Report which looks at the total economic impact of using an Enterprise Social Network. In terms of ROI the results speak for themselves

#dylantalks Why The HR Director is The New Marketing Director

September 30th, 2011   By   Filed Under: #dylantalks

This was Toms war cry as he stepped onto the stage at our latest Dylan Thought Leadership Event. The same can be said of companies approach to what they spend their money on within the business to motivate their employees. It’s not enough to just have a great looking brand. If the company isn’t as authentic on the inside as it is on the outside then inevitably recruitment and retention will be a problem.

There is no coincidence that everybody wants to work at Innocent, Google, Facebook, and Virgin Atlantic. The correlation here is they all live their brand values inside and out and they’re all fantastic at marketing their company ethos as well as their products and services. They intrinsically understand that if you get your employees excited and passionate about the company that they work for then they become complete advocates…hell, almost evangelical about ‘their’ company. Look at Apple, Steve Jobs has basically created a new religion.  (more…)

Why We Are Proud To Be Sponsoring The Best Newcomer Award At The Next Marketing and Advertising Recruitment Awards

August 17th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone

Dylan was created 4 years ago as a reaction to the status quo. Created by entrepreneurs, not recruiters, who were tired of the usual recruitment hyperbole and wanted to offer clients a different proposition to the ‘same old, same old’.

Every industry needs new rock star talent and innovation to be the force behind the creative destruction of industry norms. Innovation can come from companies continually adapting but it so often comes from the new kids on the block who want to, and can, do things differently. Better.

This is why we are delighted to be sponsoring the Best Newcomer award at the next Marketing and Advertising Recruitment Awards. To give praise to, shine a light on and encourage the best newcomer to our industry.

We were nominated for a few awards too, not this one though of course, and we’re all smiles about making the finalists in 5 categories (including Best Recruitment Website for this site!).  That also includes Best Recruitment Consultant for our very own Ant and Recruitment Boss of the Year for Phil and Julian.

You can find out more about the MARA awards on their website

A look into Google+ and the Growing Social Network Battle between Google and Facebook

August 5th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone

What is it?
Google+ launched on 28th June and is their 4th attempt at ‘cracking social’. Of course, social networks are popping up all over the place and whilst some quickly become obsolete (anyone remember Hi5, Ping!?) others, like this, are worth taking note of. Google+ took just two weeks to hit 10 million users globally, with many more trying to get invites to become beta users. Having failed with Wave and Buzz, this time, their focus is on a smarter, more intuitive interface with the ability to segment your friends, followers and any other group you want to create.


Running Around Luxembourg

June 21st, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone

Its taken me a while to get around to writing this (lets just put it down to extreme fatigue!) but last weekend I ran (and completed I might add) the Luxembourg half marathon. Yes that’s right all 21.1km’s of it.

You’ll see two photos accompanying this blog entry. One taken towards the beginning of the race and the other less flattering shot taken during the last few kilometres. Despite letting my vanity get the better of me I decided it best to show both sides to prove it wasn’t just a walk in the park.

The Luxembourg half marathon is by no means the easiest choice of half marathons so to all those reading this and thinking they fancy giving it a go my advice would be..Stop think again! However, If you like running up hills then go for it. If you like a nice flat jog then keep looking. For me though its becoming a bit of a family tradition. I can think of better ways to bond with your other half’s family but this year I came first in our group so I enjoyed it immensely!

Anyway onto the details and the bit you really want to know. I finished in 1hr 47mins, a very respectable time I feel. A minute slower than last year but my theory is every year I age I drop a minute…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Whilst I’m on the subject of physical exertion for ‘fun’. I thought this would be an opportune moment to plug the triathlon a few of us at Dylan are taking part in on the 1st July. Its an epic 750m swim, followed by a 20km bike ride and capped off with a gentle 5 km run.

We’d appreciate any support you can give so feel free to come down and cheer us on.

Wish us luck.

The 5 Biggest Hiring Mistakes.

June 15th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Employers, Everyone

We have all experienced the negative affect of a bad hire. Bringing on new employees is one of the most crucial parts of running any business yet many businesses are guilty of repeating the same mistakes over again and expecting the results to be different.

Here are 5 fundamental mistakes to avoid…

Talented@Talent Photos

June 2nd, 2011   By   Filed Under: Talented@Talent

From the Mash Field to Office Glory – Part 1

February 8th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Over the next few weeks, we are going to feature some real Mash Success Stories.

The spotlight turns to 5 Top Mashers who – after representing us brilliantly in the field on multiple campaigns – are now displaying their talents and skills here at Dylan Towers – either with us at Dylan London or with our Sister Company – Mash.

Each of our featured Mashers are fantastic evidence of where you can get with hard work, professionalism and no little fun…

Today’s featured Masher is the one and only Seb.

“Whilst at Uni I worked for Mash in the field. I started as a BA working on L’Oreal in-store delighting the females of the North with the fragrance of Ralph Lauren.. Throughout my time I worked on Armani, BlueSquare, Eat Natural, Cadburys, Lindt Chocolate, Ray Ban with the pinnacle of my Mash career running the Tic Tac campaign across the North East of England. The Orange van and Hawaiian shorts were a big hit!


Dylan Hold Their First Quarterly Forum

November 26th, 2010   By   Filed Under: Employers, The Forum

Dylan held the first of a new quarterly forum last month in an intimate setting at Soho House. All in all it was a great success and the guest speakers Marcus and Fiona gave everyone food for thought.

The forum is a confidential environment where senior HR management can discussthe ins and outs of set topics. Subjects covered on Wednesday 27th October include the following:


• Building pitch teams

• Aligning company values with client values OR ideally picking clients with similar values to your organisation and how this can increase your win ratio

• Internal values . Do your staff know who they are? Do you recruit according to your company’s values?

• Retaining staff and keeping them motivated and challenged within their role

• Do senior/board level staff understand the challenges of HR?

One handy tip that Marcus and Fiona gave us, was an online test which could really help any of you working within TV, radio, press, posters and all the other communication media. The Diagonal Thinking Self-assessment is an online tool, designed to aid recruitment into the advertising and communication industries. It tests the hypothesis that the most successful individuals working in the business are both Linear and Lateral Thinkers – they think ‘diagonally’.

Dylan is aiming to host the next forum in late January and we’re hoping to have a guest speaker from a psychometric testing firm to come along and share some of their expertise. They provide a range of assessments that create an environment of understanding to enable you to deliver success in your company. Their assessments provide insight on the key areas that reflect what people are capable of, what motivates them and their core strengths.

If you are interested in joining us for the January forum, please email either Phil ( or Shaz ( and let us know.

Building company culture

October 25th, 2010   By   Filed Under: Everyone

People spend a lot of time talking about “company culture” in Silicon Valley. What does it take to create the right kind of culture? How can you maintain that culture? Do you need a mission statement? Should you have a mascot? At first blush it sounds like a bunch of mushy-gushy nonsense. But every great company I’ve had the good fortune to work with has maintained a strong, independent, identifiable culture. And that culture has served to unify and energize the company and its employees.

One thing that is certain, no two company cultures are the same. Even successive companies built by the same people, like children born of the same parents, come out a little bit different. Some companies are playful and fun. Their employees jam in bands together, wear bright colored company clothing, model for corporate brochures. Other companies are intense and driven. Their employees appreciate complete transparency, celebrate each increase in conversion, work after dinner on Friday nights. No one culture is better than another. Whatever motivates, energizes and inspires your employees to build a big company over the long run, is just the culture you are looking for.

So what does it take to build a strong culture? That’s a tough question. And one that is rarely tackled systematically. Tony Hsieh takes on the topic in his new book “Delivering Happiness,” in which he gives a great account of the many things that he did to make Zappos’ corporate culture flourish. And in a recent talk given by Scott Weiss, former CEO of IronPort, he enumerated the many things that he did maintain a strong and unified culture at IronPort. Scott is a widely respected leader and CEO, and one need look no further than his list to understand why — Scott suggests the following 20 rules of thumb while building a company for 0 to 250 employees:

Interview every new employee (until 50 then interview everyone that will manage others)

Spend 30 minutes per week on Mondays talking to new employees as part of their first day. Stop by their desk within a month to see how things are going.

Have lunch with every employee (After 50 you can take 2 out at a time) and get to know them not only by name but some details about them.

Hold at least one all hands meeting (at least two execs should speak, not just you) every quarter

Go over the real board slides after every board meeting – let everyone know what was discussed.

At every meeting with all employees, you must set aside 30 minutes for questions and press for no fewer than 5.

An email (or internal blog) to all after every customer trip, conference attended or major news from a competitor e.g. notes from the road

Personally roll out the values, strategy, and history of the company during a comprehensive employee orientation within the first 90 days.

Attend every company function, event and party as though you are the host

Review every significant communication to ALL and ask your team to review yours before it goes out.

Give a performance review to your direct reports at least twice per year, spending no less than 5 hours preparing each person’s review and at least an hour giving it. Get 360 feedback in person.

Set annual and quarterly goals (between 2-5 is about right although I prefer three) as a company as well as each individual employee.

Promote mainly from within and always based solely on performance.

Personally roll out the performance review process to everyone – you are the lead speaker, not human resources.

Emphasize “speaking up” as a value every time you get the chance (e.g. interviews, evaluations, all hands, employee orientation and lunches)

Follow the rules e.g. fly coach, park in the back lot, have a modest office

Constantly demonstrate that no task or chore is beneath you. E.g. Fill the coke machine, clean up after a group lunch, pack a box, and carry the heavy crap.

When a team has to work a weekend, you need to be there too – even if it’s just to stop by and buy them a meal to show your appreciation.

When something really goes wrong, you need to take all the blame.

When something really goes right, you need to give all the credit away.

I couldn’t agree more with Scott’s suggestions. Company culture starts from the top and can only thrive if it is promoted and supported at every cross-road. But, it is also a ton of work. When I suggest to Scott that it was a huge time commitment to deliver on all of these recommendations, Scott responded, “it was very time intensive but totally worth it… I firmly believe that if you want to have a culture where employees contribute broadly to solving problems outside of their area, it starts with the CEO being approachable/authentic and someone who pays attention to the people ecosystem. Employees then need to be current on what the companies problems are and then constantly encouraged to help solve them.”

Great advice all around. Creating the right company culture is hard but invaluable. My thanks to Scott for sharing his thoughts on the topic.