At Tru Talent we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?


This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you. 

We had a chat with Hayley O’Shea the Marketing Manager at Talbot Heath School, we picked up on a few things, about starting a career in a new industry and how the marketing world has changed in her eyes.


Tru Talent: What is your name and your role?

Hayley: Hayley O’Shea, Marketing Manager of Talbot Heath School.

Tru Talent: How has your role changed over the past five years? Has the marketing world changed?

Hayley: I’ve got busier! I’ve had to learn new skills to keep up with the digital trends in marketing. The marketing world has changed in the last 5 years but incrementally, the big changes happened 10 – 15 years ago when the internet took off and ‘traditional’ methods (although still worthy) were challenged.

Tru Talent: Education can be a particularly challenging area to market in, what challenges have you faced in your role at Talbot?

Hayley: We are in a very fortunate and unusual position, with waiting lists in many years. The only tricky area is recruiting boarders from overseas, when you are looking at an international market – the rest of the UK is your competition – our budget is not big enough to keep up with all the the bigger boarding schools. Luckily we are a day school with boarding not solely a boarding school, so we don’t rely on it.

Tru Talent: We want to inspire job seekers/those looking for something new that you can make your own path, can you explain a little bit about yours?

Hayley: You really can! If you work hard & are creative – people will notice and doors will open. My career started in graphic design at 16, I had no intention of working in education my career has evolved by being adaptable.

Tru Talent: Looking to the future what does it hold for you?

Hayley: Who knows! The great thing about my role here at Talbot Heath is that I do so many different things in many areas, we could introduce something new & exciting next year and I will be working on that! I’d love my job so I think I will be here for the foreseeable.

Tru Talent: If you were to give some advice to someone that wants to make the jump to a new career or carve their own what would you say?

Hayley: Do what you love, love what you do. That way positivity and enthusiasm comes easy! If you are going to work for someone else, make sure you believe in them and their company ethos.

Going about any business venture by yourself means a lot on ones shoulders. All of us could do with an extra hand, catapulting us further than we had ever imagined.

Whatever business we represent, whether client or candidate, the allies that we all form are key. The people that are outside of our business are also valuable inside of it.

But how do we find the right people to help? What if they don’t want any part? Do you have to help people too?

Independently headlining your own project is a fair enough idea, but there’s a surprising number of like-minded businesses out there who are willing to lend a hand.


Support Leads To Success

Choosing the right project to pair with is an essential element if both teams are to succeed. Ian Jones of Bournemouth University (BU) echoes this mantra. As Head of Regional Community Partnerships for the University, he finds it tough to know who to help out and whether the cost benefit balances out.

“With everything morphing and changing like it is nowadays, there’s no formula as to who to help. What I look at are the people. If the right people have the right ethics regardless of their success, that’s what matters.”

Once someone valuable is on your radar, half the job is done. Finding that first beneficial partner to assist you and vice versa allows the mechanical wheel to start moving, and developments happen. It requires a watchful eye to find the business best suited to working with you, but they will be equally as wary:

“You want to partner with someone who has evidence of their impact. Can I work with them? Can I trust them?”

It is easy to get lost among your own ideas and dreams, but a second opinion can, and will, save you a lot of hassle. Our very own Rock Star Awards (coming in Spring 2019) rely on the support of others, and we wouldn’t be where we are without it. BU has been intertwined with the awards since 2012, and this link is continuously evolving.

Sponsoring our 2019 awards is on their checklist, offering a supportive hand which helps both us and BU. Rise offers opportunity for BU’s students, and BU supports the Rock Star Awards through sponsorship and young talent.

Ian reckons that Rise was the right partnership for him, after seeing the people behind the curtain. Ian said,

“If the awards are about young people, you have to believe the people care about these young people too. Is there something in place to put them on a platform? Are they able to network and help them to develop? That’s the hard bit to find. And Rise ticked the boxes.”

“It always turns into something good if you are working with the right people.”


Putting The Mantra Into Practice

The connection and working relationship between two businesses is more than just promotion for one another. It is an extra pair of eyes, ears and opinions. Partnerships build a stronger end product, one that both teams will happily sign off on.

Securing a solid partnership is tough, and coming from the same mentality and ethos is so important. Everyone has to be working together for the right reasons, and there’s no harm in being selective when finding this perfect match. It’s a help-me help-you situation.

Angela. Piromalli, Managing Director of Rise agrees with this mentality. In her case, knowing that BU’s involvement in the awards would benefit both sides made her decision an easy one. With a six year strong partnership still powering on, evidently the support from one another did its job.

Angela stated,

“Fitting in with our focus and passion for young people, it only made sense to get BU involved. At the beginning of the relationship, it was just an idea and I didn’t know if anyone was going to support it.

“The day BU agreed to work together was the day the idea flew.”

Bournemouth University works with us for our Community Star and Student Star awards, both of which would be completely different without that mutual support between businesses. Striving to celebrate those who have gone above and beyond, both our mind-sets were the same, therefore the partnership has been, and is effortless.

“You have to be aligned in your objectives and what you both want.”

In the Rock Star Awards example, BU helps us find talent and sponsors the awards themselves, celebrating a mutual interest. We aim to give them back the same amount of passion and time in their endeavours, bridging the gap between the soon-to-be employed and those with years of experience, a relationship often overlooked by other companies considering the struggle of modern young people to gain employment.


The Role of Employers & Graduates in Today’s World

 Support can come in all shapes and sizes, including between employers and graduates. Nowadays many people would argue that finding a job is harder than ever, so getting a foot in the door early on seems to do the trick.

Our partnership with BU is bridging this gap between idealism and reality for these students, supporting them with future possibilities. Ian seemingly agrees,

“The pressure on young people is quite immense from a young age. There has to be a business drive within Universities as students are paying all this money. If we are not connected to our community the opportunities will not show themselves.”

On the employer’s side, recruiters are demanding a lot more from potential employees. Ian argues that different skill sets are sought after now, and the pool of applicants is a lot larger than it was in the past. Ambition, creativity and spark are highly valued, not exam performance. Both employers and students are adapting to this new way of thinking.

“The degree you get doesn’t matter as much anymore. It’s complete fallacy. It all comes back to how you tell your story and how you can articulate who you are. Partnerships like ours with Rise are giving students the chance to do this.”

Ian argues that these early pathways are the only true way to see what people are like, as decisions of someone’s character take longer than a job interview allows.

There are multiple issues within the job world and academia, and we are only just starting to catch up with them and truly adjust to what is going on around us. Fingers crossed we can keep up.


Let’s Sum Up

Finding and creating worthwhile partnerships are worthwhile.

Gaining career-long support from a like-minded company to both achieve your ultimate goals, partnerships demonstrate how the business world is morphing into a supportive family structure, rather than a race to be the best.

Angela summed up this ideology perfectly,

“If we all join together and work collaboratively, we won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s just create these bridges between ourselves and we’ll get a much further reach.”

We don’t need to all fight each other if we work together, utilising each other’s resources and making the best out of what we already have. That’s how to flourish as a network, with everyone smiling at the outcome. Success doesn’t have to be individual, it can cross through students, employers, large and small businesses.

After all, isn’t that what networking is for?

Whilst the influences of AI, machine learning and technology represent a glimpse into the future, the biggest skillsets for tomorrow are centered on the ability to learn and change. 

According to the World Economic Forum (January 2018) and the Future Of Jobs And Skills report, 65% of children today will end up in careers that do not exist yet. 

How does this prepare for the future? Is there a disconnect between education and commerce? How can young people have the skillsets to adapt? 

Our ongoing look at the world of recruitment today, Angela Piromalli, MD of Rise, spent some time with Mrs. Angharad Holloway, head of Talbot Heath School. We discussed where the issues lie and where the answers can be found.   

 Being One Step Ahead, In Business Tomorrow 

So, what are the biggest skills for the job market in the next ten to twenty years? Mrs. Holloway highlighted, “The ability to adapt and embrace change is critical. It could be approaching tasks in a different way, adopting a flexible mindset and seeing challenges as an opportunity and not a threat.” 

“The future is not about learning for AI, bots and automation. It is about learning, confidence and communication. Critiquing has to be standard within education. People need to be able to fail.” 

20 years ago, respected mathematician and educator Seymour Papert, delivered a speech on the ‘keys to the new learning of the digital century’. It highlighted the importance to produce people who know how to act when they are faced with situations they were not prepared for.  

Back in 1998, Papert said,

“The skills that you can learn when you’re at school will not be applicable. They will be obsolete by the time you get into the workplace and need them, except for one skill. The one really competitive skill is the skill of being able to learn. It is the skill of being able not to give the right answer to questions about what you were taught in school, but to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school.”  

 The Link Between Education And Commerce 

It is accepted that this generation is going to have to be taught in a different way. Mrs. Holloway explained, “There has to be more joined-up thinking between education, higher education and commerce. More so than ever before. Let’s be straight, school leavers will not have the skill sets required for industry in the next 10 years. The current education structure is around prescribed content, tasks and assessment. People are wholly unprepared.” 

“The skills for young people has to be centred on the ability to learn, change and be adaptable. There has to be a resilience to be challenged and be provided with feedback as a positive form of learning development.” 

How does this reflect within the job market today? Angela continued, “The marketplace is very different from five years ago. People (candidates) want to feel empowered. It used to be an emphasis on the skillsets and qualifications for a particular role. It is now much wider. We have highlighted in a previous discussion, the value of the wildcard. The wildcard is someone on paper who doesn’t necessarily match the requirements from a client. However, the attitude and cultural fit could be ideal. Independent thinking, teamwork and values have far more emphasis today.” 

“When it comes to the role for business and education, a collaborative approach is vital. For instance, within the recruitment industry, collaboration is minimal. Focus used to be based on the interview scenario and CV preparation. I now visit schools and highlight that preparation for the commercial world is more about confidence, communication and nurturing contacts.” 

 The Ability To Adapt  

The future for tomorrow’s marketplace is not about the mechanisms to use, it is the ability to adapt to new systems and learning new skills. Mrs. Holloway highlighted, “Knowledge and content are at everyone’s fingertips, it is what people do with it that is critical.”  

How will change come? The importance is to look at the skills to develop. Mrs. Holloway highlighted what is rewarded and what is cast aside.

“We need to explore the importance of soft skills,” she highlighted.

“We have a system where everyone is judged on tangible data and how people perform in an exam, under time pressure. Everything is linked to exam performance, which is narrow minded and aggressive. We are seeing faculties such as design, music and drama being closed within schools, where the higher funding is allocated to English, Maths and Science. Within the UK, it is the flair, the passion and the creativity where we all excel.” 

 How Will The Future Look? 

With events such as the Rock Star Awards (in Spring 2019), the emphasis has been, since 2012 to empower a younger audience. It has always been about rewarding energy and dynamism and a nod to the commercial world to embrace and seize these skillsets.  

When it comes to the jobs of the future with an emphasis on today, will there come a point when employment will be superfluous and the machines take over? Mrs. Holloway said,

“I think we can all accept that there will be a time when a large proportion of jobs will be computer led. However, what will distinguish people who thrive from those who deteriorate will be those who understand the importance of ethics, interaction between each other, the connections we make and the culture we are part of.” 

“Rather than providing a definitive answer, we have more questions posed. What is the impact on human consequences going to be? We have not thought things through, we need to design accordingly.” 

The biggest skillsets for the future are what has been part of our DNA for generations. Whilst we cannot ignore the role of automation and technical advances, one thing that will always be inherent within all of us is the importance of intuition and empathy.  

Futurist, Alvin Toffler, stated in Future Shock, published in 1973, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” This resonates even more so today.