15Sep 2016

Digital Affair’s top recruitment stories and news

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We’re pleased to bring you another round of recruitment stories and news floating around the web. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date!


Australia’s 2016 Best Places to Work list announced

Typically dominated by IT industry companies, Salesforce continued the trend and took out top spot in Great Place To Work’s  2016 top employers list last month. Saleforce’s winning culture is built on the Hawaiian spirit of ‘Ohana’, meaning family. Styker, Atlassian, Mecca Brands and Adobe Systems rounded out the top 5.  The best place to work in the under 100 employees category went to IT/storage and data management business Rackspace.

Read more here or download the full results.


Facebook’s go-to management manual says there’s one thing to look for in job candidates above all else

A 1999 book titled First, Break All The Rules was once considered controversial in the business world, but these days it’s Facebook’s HR Chief Lori Goler’s go-to reference book provided to all new managers. Encouraging the primary focus to be on “talent” when looking at job candidates, the book describes three types of talent (striving, thinking and relating) to look for, with the manager determining which talent is the most desirable for the vacant position. Posted on Business Insider this week, you can read more here.


How companies may benefit from helping introverts to thrive

Jim Collins, a management guru, suggests that the chief executives who stay at the top the longest are those that blend into the background and put their companies above their egos. Workplaces that accommodate extroverted employees over introverts may be further introverting those staff, whereas an all-inclusive model could make for a much more cohesive working environment and allow introverts to thrive. Read last week’s The Economist article here.


What young workers are looking for in future workplaces

Soon, the millennial generation will make up the majority of the workforce; a digital-savvy generation arriving with more technological knowledge than that of their bosses. In order to accommodate this evolution, we should draw on millennials’ experiences, personalities, wants and needs when designing workplaces for the future, providing a flexible workplace to attract and maintain talent. Learn more here.


Comedy duo Hamish and Andy prank man into providing a glowing job reference for someone he’s never met

We definitely don’t condone lying on your CV or in a job interview! But the willingness and flawless improvisation of one man put on the spot by jobseeker “Tim Barnard” last week, a man he’d never met and was unaware was a fictional character, had all of Australia entertained and wishing they were friends with the man now labelled Australia’s Greatest Bloke. Check out the video here.


If you’ve missed any of our past posts or wish to read our next roundup instalment, check out our blog here and follow us on LinkedIn

27Jul 2016

How many table tennis tables does it take to build a successful start-up?

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This month marks our second birthday at Digital Affair! Woop!

Honestly, I still have trouble believing I can write that. This freedom we’ve created for ourselves is so precious, so incredible, we almost don’t want to jinx it by talking out loud. I’ve never felt pride like this and I’ve never felt love for a team like I do for ours. If nothing else, Shereen, Lucy and Lachlan – we’ve created one truly beautiful family.

In keeping with our company philosophy of giving, I want to share some insight into what it took to build a high performing and successful start-up in under 24 months. You can read and hear about our definition of success below, but it stands up in anyone’s book.

Now, there’s plenty of material out there about how easily some people built their business – and I’m sure for a few maybe it was, but for us it wasn’t. It was f*#king hard work.

Forbes tells us that 90% of start-ups fail. Yep. Let sink in whilst you’re considering giving your money to an author or course that tells you it’s as easy as following their ‘simple steps’. That’s a harsh truth, but it could save you a lot of time and money to ask for some honest feedback from someone that isn’t your mum or trying to take your cash. At the very least, be prepared to pivot. We did. 3 times. 

Our story.

I’ll do what they do in the movies and give you the scene at the end and then I thought I’d go back and tell you what it’s taken to build what is arguably a truly unique, recently global, high growth business.

These are our lives now. They look pretty awesome yeah? Well they are, but they came at a cost. Spoiler alert: It’s totally worth it, just look at that smile.
Digital Affair 2 years
Today there is not a week that goes by that we aren’t adding a household name to this community we call friends. I get to come to “work” with my best mates every day. We get to travel around the world, sharing our story and meeting people that want to be the best they can be. We get to make things that have literally never been made before, with people that are actually willing to take risks. We are very happy people.

Like I said, it’s difficult to comprehend, even when you’re in it.

So here’s how we did it.

24 months is both a long and short time in this Startup world. I can still picture walking to my first meeting and yet everything in-between then and now seems too vast to comprehend.

By now you’re like TLDR. So here’s a video to explain the cost of doing business over that time. You wanna do a startup? Ask yourself if this is in your budget and consider that most of these stats are based on just one of our team members…


So, that sh!t blew my mind when I worked it out. It’s scary, but it’s something you need to be aware of. Consider that we are a services business, but if you’re building a product you can at least see what it’s going to cost you to get out and sell said product on top of your development costs. I get now why you guys need investment for things like marketing and sales people.

The detailed story of how we actually built Digital Affair was covered recently by our supporter and good friend Rohit Bhargava in his podcast The Start-up Playbook. It’s a super helpful resource if this topic you’re reading about is interesting to you. You can listen to the interview HERE or below. Honestly, the story Rohit got out of me is more than I could ever hope to write here and represents everything I wanted to share.

We’ve learnt a lot of lessons along the way and we’re happy to share them all if you’d like to get some further insight to help with your own journey, but there are two I have to impart:

Collaborate – our community is crazy supportive. Don’t think you have to do it all alone, there is safety in numbers. Whether you’re in a Slack community or co-working space, put your hand up, ask for help and prepare to be inspired. Collaborating with other Startups has lead us to investments and friendships that have secured the future of our business.

Confide – you’ll start out thinking you’re an island. If you’re a founder, there’s no one to tell you it’s going to be ok. It can be tough to handle alone. Little things seem like big things… until you speak to other founders. You don’t have to put on the same brave face that you show your customers when it comes to talking to your peers. You’ll learn they’re going through all the same growing pains and you have no idea how powerful it is simply knowing that. Chris, you really helped me mate, thank you.

Basically I just wanted to find a way to say thank you to everyone that has helped, supported and partnered with us over the last 2 amazing years. You know who you are and I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for you.

Hot tip. You don’t need a table tennis table, but they’re still fun.

31Mar 2016

Digital Affair’s top recruitment industry stories

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We know we’ve really let the ball slip on this, but don’t worry, Digital Affair’s top  recruitment stories from the recruitment industry are back! We’ve flexed a little on the timeframe, being the first one in a while, so here’s our roundup from around the recruitment industry over the last couple of weeks. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

1. ISIS HR strategy uncovered

Death, destruction and a finely tuned HR function are amongst the key goals of the terror group ISIS, according to recently leaked documents. British operatives have smuggled out a USB stick detailing their recruitment process which includes a 23 question survey. The questionnaire (excerpt pictured) asks new recruits to specify whether they’d prefer to be a fighter or suicide bomber as well as their previous jihad experience and their level of obedience.

A little chilling, but it does highlight the importance of having a robust on-boarding process regardless of your industry. Click here for the full story.

2. Dramatic drop in apprentice numbers

Apprentice numbers in Australia have dropped by a whopping 20 per cent over the past year, leaving huge skill gaps in the expanding Australian economy according to HRM Online’s Amanda Woodard. Despite both major parties blaming each other for cost cutting, Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business of Australia believes that throwing money at the problem won’t help, and that industry associations and employers hold the key to solving the future skills shortage. More here.

3. Aim for a 60-70 per cent success rate – Google

Google would prefer it’s staff to fail sometimes, rather than achieving all their goals, Business Insider reported last week. Whilst this may sound like a bit of an oxymoron from one of the world’s most successful companies, the idea is to encourage employees to think big. “I’m going to set a bunch of hard goals, I’m gonna miss a bunch of them,” is what Google SVP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, wants the attitude to be. He says if an employee achieves all their goals, they’re probably not aiming high enough.

Luckily for staff, their salaries or benefits are not directly related to these targets as it more of an ethos for employees to live by. Read more here.

4. To work for a startup or corporate?

As a startup, Digital Affair has their own opinion on this, however Lyndon Maher gives a number of things to consider when working for one or the other, including the technology used, levels of responsibility and the approach to customers. We’re not sure, but it seems like he’s leaning towards startups… or maybe we’re just biased. Be the judge for yourself here.

5. Amazon creates 1,000 jobs in Manchester

Sorry Liverpool, but it seems that Amazon doesn’t care for seaside living and is opening its ninth fulfilment centre in Manchester as a part of its program to expand UK operations and bring its total workforce in the Kingdom to 14,500. It is currently recruiting for a range of positions including operations managers to engineers, HR and IT roles to associates. More here.

09Mar 2016

Advertising via Google? It’s about to get a lot more expensive…

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It’s sad reality of the business of the internet that in order for us to enjoy the plethora of content available ‘for free’ online, we’re going to have to deal with ads. Google had previously lead the way in online advertising offering many different PPC options for marketers including Adwords, Google Shopping and their AdSense Display Network. Using a combination of all three methods is usually recommended for most e-commerce campaigns however that is all about to change.

With Social Networks having more users than most countries have citizens, their closed ecosystems offer advertisers even more options.  You can sponsor Facebook ads, LinkedIn posts and even Tweets. So Google now has many more competitors for your advertising dollars and what do they do? Instead of offering new methods of advertising, Google have decided to remove a whole section of ads displayed in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

There are a few elements included in the changes to desktop results:

  1. No text ads will be served on the right rail of the search results on desktop.
  2. Google will serve four text ads instead of three in the mainline area above the organic listings for more “highly commercial queries”.
  3. Three text ads will show at the bottom of the SERPs.
  4. The total number of text ads that can appear on a SERP will shrink from as many as 11 to a maximum of seven.

So in short, demand for ads is ever increasing and Google has just reduced supply. This, in basic economic theory, should push the cost per click significantly higher. It appears as though Google has tried to soften this blow slightly by adding one more position for a paid ad at the top of the page (increasing the number to four) meaning increased visibility for the fourth ad, however removing the ads from the right sidebar and adding three ads to the end of organic search results represent a significant loss of visibility for those advertisers outside of the top three.

What does this actually mean? It’s bad news for the middle sized advertisers as the removal of ads from the right sidebar and addition of ads at the bottom of organic results means severely reduced visibility for those who aren’t willing to pay overs for the top four spots. This also means that your SEO efforts will have to pick up the slack if you’re not in a position to enter into a bidding war with your competition. A quick, “highly-commercial” search renders only one organic result above the fold, four ads at the top of results and a knowledge pane for Google Shopping ads.


So moving forward, what can we do?  At Digital Affair we value data and encourage the use of multi-channel marketing that works together to achieve a business goal. Step one is to conduct a thorough review of your Adwords Campaigns, taking into account your Average Position over all of your ads. If the average is higher than three, you may need to either adjust your Bid Strategy or allocate some time to researching your target keywords to really ascertain their value. If a targeted keyword isn’t generating at least a 300% ROI then we suggest adding that keyword to your Organic SEO efforts.

Another aspect to investigate is whether or not your CPC fluctuates based on the time of day. Many of our clients were running ads 24/7 with little or no conversions occurring overnight. Stopping these ads freed up almost $400 of extra budget per week that we were then able to allocate to our highest performing keywords at the most critical times of day to ensure that one of the top four spots was ours.

Understanding Google’s motives here goes a long way to ensuring that your PPC campaign adjusts to these changes before your competitors. Google is all about their users. Having an entire page of ads lead to a poor user experience and an oversupply of ad space was leading to a drop in the quality of ads. Ever since quality score has affected your CPC (vs your actual bid), higher quality, more relevant ads have been given priority. In this case, what Google is attempting to achieve is a cleaner Results Page with less ads that are more relevant to the search query.

So to conclude, Adwords will be getting more expensive but should (if done properly) convert at a higher rate and generate higher quality traffic to your site. SEO will play a more significant role in your Marketing Strategy as PPC becomes prohibitively expensive and advertisers start to trim their PPC exposure. I, for one, welcome these changes as it’s very rare that I actually click on ads anyway, however as a marketer and consultant, I am worried that these changes may lead to significant overspending in PPC by the big players causing the middle tier of businesses to seek alternate methods or risk losing significant market share.


We’ll continue to monitor changes in Adwords activity online and report back with real data and some tips and tricks over the coming weeks to ensure your Campaigns are performing at maximum capacity.

01Dec 2015

Top news and stories from the recruitment industry last week

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Here are Digital Affair’s top stories and news from around the recruitment industry last week. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn to stay up to date!

1. Survey shows what employers think of candidate’s social media activity

Spelling and grammar errors, photos of drinking and selfies were among the social media activities that recruiters view negatively when scouring the social media profiles of potential hires according to Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Survey of over 1,400 employers. Participation in local and national organisations is viewed favourably along with discussion of current events and personal presentation. Unsurprisingly reference to marijuana use is viewed unfavourably by 75 per cent of recruiters. View all the results here.

2. Woolworths employee jailed for workplace bullying

An employee from a Woolworths store in Moe was sentenced to six months jail last week after pleading guilty to charges of stalking in relation to bullying between 2010 – 2013. The charges came from two former colleagues who were systematically bullied during in this time; one was even told “if you were a bloke I would’ve had your head smashed in by now because nobody likes you.” Needless to say, play nice at work. More details here.

3. Deloitte CFO survey shows a less-defined role and career path for finance leaders

CFOs are branching out into a wider range of fields such as business strategy and enterprise reisk and, as a result, are taking more flexible paths to the top according to Deloitte’s CFO Signals survey, released last week. The survey asked CFOs what challenges they faced within their team and over 70 per cent cited a lack of consultative, partnering, analytical and technical skills as a concern. Deloitte consultants said that hiring and training finance professionals to have business partnering skills should be a priority in order to support future CFOs. Read more on the findings here.

4. Top entrepreneur reveals how he builds great culture

Having a workforce that can work from wherever they want is a key element to building great company culture according to Mitchell Harper, the founder and CEO of PeopleSpark and co-founder of BigCommerce, among others. He doesn’t hire anyone from his city let alone rent an office and has built his company on trust, respect and openness. His team gets together once every six months and then get back to doing their jobs from their chosen locations, using Google Hangouts and Slack to stay in touch. Read more about his philosophy here.

5. Four Wall Street recruiters discuss top trends for the next year

Last week Business Insider asked four top Wall Street recruiters to comment on hiring trends for 2015 as well as their thoughts on the industry in 2016. Focussing primarily on banks, some of the key points raised were that companies are either hiring for specific senior roles or junior-level professionals and that the industry is being divided into the haves and have nots, i.e. banks that are performing well and are hiring to take new opportunities and others that have been struggling and are looking to mix things up with some new talent. To see more of what each had to say, click here.


If you missed a week or want more stories like these, check out our blog here and follow us on LinkedIn so you never miss a thing.

24Nov 2015

Top news from the recruitment industry last week

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Here are our top stories from around the recruitment industry last week. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn so you don’t miss a post!

1. 2000 top influencers and entrepreneurs partied on a cruise boat for Summit At Sea

A whole bunch of the world’s most influential people, including Uber’s CEO and the chairman of Google, got together for a four day cruise last week for Summit At Sea to share insights and help inform a community of young entrepreneurs. There was live music, Q&As, workshops, water slides and pool parties. Edward Snowden (pictured) even phoned in for a Google Hangout with the crowd! Best cruise ever. See a bunch of photos and read more here.

2. Wage growth at lowest point in 18 years

Australian wage growth has been on a steady decline recently and has reached its lowest point in almost two decades. In the year to September wage growth was at 2.1 per cent, matching the Reserve Bank’s inflation rate and meaning the buying power of wages has frozen. Beyond the obvious problems for the working population, low wage growth presents issues for government revenue by slowing income from tax. More here.

3. Programmer automates many elements of his job

Genius, lazy or both? Either way it’s hard to not be impressed by this programmer who wrote scripts that automate many mundane tasks, including emailing his boss if he’s not coming in, messaging his wife when he is working late and even emailing standard responses to clients who have simple issues. Most impressively he managed to hack the coffee machine to make him a latte in the exact amount of time it takes him to walk to the machine from his desk. We say genius! Read more here.

4. IT company focuses on ‘onshore outsourcing’ to gain competitive advantage

Outsourcing offshore to cut costs has long been standard procedure, however American IT managed services company Bell Techlogix is looking to shake that up. The company focuses on offering outsourcing options ‘onshore’, saying that customer satisfaction and quality of service are giving its clients a competitive advantage. The company’s president says that people are at the core of their offering and by focussing on lean operation they can provide high quality talent at relatively low costs. Find out more here.

5. Tinder CEO makes everyone uncomfortable right before going public

Tinder’s CEO Sean Rad bumbled through a very uncomfortable interview on the night before his parent company’s IPO. Among other things he discussed turning down advances from a supermodel and doing background research to bring up dirt on a journalist who wrote an unfavourable article about Tinder. Most awkwardly though he tried to explain his interest in women who are intellectual rather than attractive and when thinking of the term for getting turned on by intelligent discussion, he offered “sodomy”. Whoops. Read more here.

Missed a week? Head over to our Latest News page to see all our past stories.