Asset Resourcing – October Newsletter
Article 1 – Tech Bites – This Month: Are you taking the P…?
We’ve lived through coal, gas and electric power. We’re currently focussing our attentions on wind power, solar power and hydro-electric power, but there’s a new power source that’s taking the world by storm – the power of wee.
Don’t expect to see wee-powered cars or homes anytime soon, but the videogames market is about to take a shot across the bows with a new type of game control.
Captive Media are a London start-up who has just secured over £440,000 in seed funding from a group of angel investors to launch wee-controlled videogames in public toilets in, at first, airports and hotels.
Put simply, the system comprises an HD screen placed directly above urinals at eye-level displaying adverts when the facility isn’t in use, but when a ‘user’ wants a wee, infrared beams pass over the urinal and identify the direction of the flow. This data gets fed into an algorithm so the ‘user’ can direct their stream to control a simple game (such as a ski run or a pub quiz-type game).
Marketers, always looking for ways to engage clients with their brands, have identified (on average) a 55-second gap where men blankly fix their stare at a wall when they urinate in a public place. The screens don’t require any structural adaptation of the urinal itself and there’s even an online score centre so users can compete against each other (presumably this could lead to excessive ‘holding in’). The company claims they are combining social and outdoor media for the first time (we’re not sure what this means either.)
The aim is to scale the company globally and they are looking at dominating the urinal gaming market – mainly through hotels and airports – while partnering with blue-chip advertisers such as Pepsi, Heineken, Tiger & Corona (unsurprisingly, brands that if you consume enough, will make you want to go to the toilet).
There is one drawback. This tech is squared at men since men have, by definition and as a result of evolution, better directional control than women and while there are companies in Japan who use bowl-based sensors that can measure pressure and volume, this remains a male-dominated market for the time wee-ing.
Article 2 – Recruitment – October’s ‘What’s Occurring In The World of Jobs’
Every month, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG, one of the ‘Big Four’ global audit firms compile a report on the state of the British recruitment, employment, staffing and earnings trends.
The MD of Asset Resourcing, Ben Sweeting, is a regular contributor to the report and we’re pleased to say that he’s taken some time to give us his own insight on what this month’s report says. Ben, the floor is yours.
‘I commit some time each month to respond to a fairly in-depth questionnaire about all aspects of the jobs market for the report and I’ve noticed that each month from around the start of the year that the headline numbers and statements are getting more and more positive. Certainly from an Asset Resourcing standpoint, our figures are reflective of the overall picture.
Staffing – Overall, permanent staff placements and temp billings are up. From talking to clients since the summer break, there does seem to be an increased confidence amongst employers that taking on permanent staff is no longer considered to be as much of a risk as it was in late 2012/early 2013. The August 2013 figure for temp staff was at a 15-year high and while it moderated somewhat, it still remains strong.
Vacancies – On the back of the staffing figures, there has been a steady rise in vacancies (both for temps and perm staff) across all sectors but for us, tech, new media and IT recruitment is where we have really noticed a sharp rise.
Demand – As I just mentioned the demand for tech, new media and IT roles goes up each month but we, as well as the market in general, are seeing steady increases across all the sectors we are involved with. In the report, it comes as no surprise that construction was the fastest growing industry sector (month-on-month) now that positivity is creeping back into the economy but it’s closely followed by Accounting & Financial and Secretarial & Clerical. Great news for the economy and great news for Asset Resourcing!
Availability – Since staffing levels across the board are up, by very definition the availability of suitable candidates to fill an increasing number of vacancies has dropped. This creates a talent vacuum whereby employers are offering more attractive recruitment and retention packages to stave off the advances of would-be predators. From our standpoint, we have an excellent pool of first-class candidates and we have been successful at matching candidate with client and we’re not seeing a slowdown in candidate availability.
Lastly, and another bit of good news, the number of those claiming jobseeker’s allowance dropped again in August, almost 170,000 down year-on-year.’
Article 3 – A Change to the Asset Resourcing HR Policy
**WARNING – SOME OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE MAY BE IN JEST…**
As Directors, Ben and Michelle like to have board meetings. They’re not sure why but during these get-togethers, things get done (sometimes) for the betterment of the business. One such decision (ironically while they were both suited and booted) was to implement ‘Wear What You Like’ Day.
Here’s what happened…
Week 1 – A memo went round to all the staff informing them that effective immediately, Fridays has become ‘Wear What You Like’ Day. It essentially said that if they weren’t going out to meet clients, they could, as the name of the day suggests, wear what they like.
Week 2 – People have their own styles and ideas as to what ‘fashion’ means so Ben and Michelle had to send a follow-up memo: Dear all, while we called it ‘Wear What You Like’ Day, that invitation doesn’t extend to anything made of rubber, leather ‘piano keys’ ties and shoes made of wood. We would also appreciate you not wearing clothes you can eat. Thanks, B&M.
Week 5 – The next memo: Hi everyone, while casual attire is allowed, ‘casual’ attitudes are not. Please stop coming in at 10am and playing Candy Crush till lunchtime. We have work to do. For the avoidance of doubt, it’s ‘Wear What You Like’ Day, not ‘Do What You Like’ Day. Thanks, B&M.
Week 8 – Another memo: Hi, it’s us again. Honestly, we thought that this would be relatively straightforward and a nice thing to do for you all. Can you all congregate in the breakout area at 5pm this afternoon (if you’re all back from lunch) for a seminar on what we deem to be acceptable. We will be showing slides from celebrity magazines to show you what sort of clothes are worn in a casual manner and there will be a short Q&A. Thanks, B&M.
Week 11 – Hello. This is getting ridiculous. There are only nine of us in this office, yet we have had our HR department prepare a 52-page document detailing what is and what isn’t appropriate. Pay particular attention to the section entitled ‘What To Wear If You Want To Stay Employed’. Thanks, B&M.
Week 12 – Right, we are giving you one more chance to get this right. No lederhosen. No fancy dress. No covering yourselves in bandages and calling yourself ‘mummy’. Jeez, we’re a professional recruitment firm. If you’re having trouble with any aspect of this concept, we have hired a Fashion Co-ordinator to talk you through your options. B&M.
Week 13 – OK, we’ve had enough. No more ‘Wear What You Like’ Day. We have decided to now implement ‘Wear What We Say’ Day. On Monday, we’d like everyone to dress up as their favourite character from Toy Story and we will decide from there. Thanks, B&M.
Article 4 – A Little Joke
Why do developers wear glasses? So they can C#.