By Rachel Allan, Delivery Director
I’ve been interviewing some great potential ZPBers recently and I thought it would be worth reflecting on the questions that come up a lot. We’re hiring right now, so if you want to have an informal chat to see if ZPB might be the right place for you, do get in touch.
I want to advance my career. How will ZPB help me with career development? Our aim is to be the number one career-making agency for our team, clients, and network. We support our people to grow and develop with us – there’s a clear path to promotion and we focus on identifying what an individual needs to do to get there. I find there’s nothing more gratifying than being able to promote someone into a new role. Because we are growing, there are opportunities galore at all levels. And our work is recognised by the awards we win – which is great for your career.
What’s it like working with just healthcare clients? People who want to work in healthcare comms often talk about wanting a greater sense of purpose in their working lives. Like us, our clients got into healthcare because they want to make a difference for the benefit of patients and the broader system. This might be why they are so interesting and genuinely nice people to work with.
The health sector is HUGE – we find it utterly absorbing and endlessly interesting: from public health including pandemics, behaviour change and reducing inequalities to medical research, technology, and new pharmaceutical treatments. We do PR, comms, marketing, brand strategy, market access and research so we interact with politics, charities, media, NHS organisations, patients, and the public.
Although we’re expert in the sector, we do sometimes hire people who are new to it if they share our passion for healthcare. Let’s be honest, if you are from a background which isn’t health it’s going to feel weird for a while as you get to grips with the lingo and myriad of organisations but once you are in, you’ll always be able to find something you love.
I’m from a big agency – what are the main differences working in a small agency? Many people want to know what it might feel like to go from a big networked global agency to ZPB which is utterly independent and with less than 20 people.
A smaller agency gives you buckets of opportunity to take the lead – and this is true at all levels. It’s true to say there is nowhere to hide – but that also translates to being able to being rewarded for your efforts whether that is through promotions or bonuses.
You will get to see the way things works up close and get involved building the agency. You will also work with everyone – for example our account executives work alongside the directors and other senior team members. We’re very keen on learning from each other and have regular lunch and learn sessions.
What is it like at a company that’s growing quickly? Short answer? It’s exciting, sometimes hectic but always enjoyable. There are new clients, new projects, and lots to learn. And of course, it means there are more development opportunities. Our view is that growth is critical to all our work lives – no one wants to stand still and getting on board with the energy in a growing agency is a lot of fun.
I want to work flexibly – how can you support that? We have a good balance for flexible working. We did this in conjunction with the team to understand what was going to be most important to them. We work in the office a couple of days a week and work from home the other days. We do have office hours but appreciate that sometimes life happens so people are able to work with their account teams to create the space they need – for example you may need to pick up a child from day care and log on later or jump on a train earlier on Friday and make up that time later. We really want to empower people to manage their time bearing in mind what is going to going to work for their colleagues and clients.
I have a PR/public affairs/marketing background, but I am sick of being pigeonholed – how can you help? A lot of people come to us saying they are doing the same things over and over and they want to learn new skills and feel challenged and excited about communications again. We’re lucky in that we are solution neutral so our first step with any client is to understand their challenge and respond with the best approach. This means we are often proposing a mixture of work. In addition, part of our wider process is understanding what each person wants to achieve and we use this to decide which projects are going to be the best fit. We can offer breadth of experience – but also support people to specialise too.