Layers Studio

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Layers Studio Awarded as Tech Talent Engine’s 2023 Employer of the Year

Layers Studio specialises in crafting digital experiences. From concept to launch, the team of creative designers and developers work together to bring an idea to life. Tech Talent Engine Engine is pleased to award Layers with the 2023 Employer of the Year award.

Layers Studio Awarded as Tech Talent Engine’s 2023 Employer of the Year


Tech Talent Engine


Throughout 2023, we ran a monthly campaign called Employer of the Month. With leading organisations on our doorstep, the North East of England is no stranger to innovation.

Employer of the Month aims to shine a light on these remarkable organisations, whether big or small, and encourage a conversation around careers in tech.

Some of last year's winners included Opencast Software, Mediaworks, South Tyneside Council, tombola and Newcastle Strategic Solutions. These organisations, although they vary in size, offer more than just a supportive workplace. They lead in technological advancement, place value on creating a strong work-life balance and significantly contribute to the North East tech scene.

At the end of 2023, we allowed one organisation to be awarded as Tech Talent Engine’s Employer of the Year. Based on a majority vote, we had one clear winner – Layers Studio.

About Layers Studio

Layers Studio is a collaborative team of developers, marketing experts and designers that all have a passion for digital. With usability in mind, they focus on providing consultation, strategy, design and development. This includes managing a project from start to finish, such as mapping out what success looks like for each client and how they can deliver this.

Combining experience with passion, Layers prides itself in ensuring projects are delivered seamlessly and to the highest standards.

Sitting down with co-founder, James Hanson, we discussed what this award means for Layers.

1) What do you believe sets Layers apart from others in the industry?

At Layers, it's not just a job; it's a shared passion. Our entire team is on board with the company's vision and how we tackle challenges to generate the best solutions. It's like a big puzzle where every piece matters. There are no ‘key players’ here; we know each person brings something special to the table. We're all in this together, figuring things out and bringing our A-game. That's what makes Layers stand out in the crowd.

2) How would you describe the leadership style, and how it contributed to the company's success?

Paula, a shared co-owner of Layers, and I aim to keep things pretty hands-off when it comes to leadership. We gather as a team, or sometimes one-on-one, to hash out our strategy or figure out our game plan. Since everyone brings their unique strengths to the table, they tend to map out their own approaches.

They might run their ideas by me or someone else in the team who's more in the know before diving in. I make it a point to be accessible to anyone who needs a chat and try to point them in the right direction if I'm not the best person to help.

Once folks have a handle on what they're doing, they take the reins. Of course, our newer team members might need a bit more support as they find their groove, and that's totally cool. But across the board, everyone has this 'day 1' mindset, always open to learning and tackling challenges together.

It's not just talk—this approach reinforces our company values. If I don't fully trust the team, how can I expect them to put their trust in each other?

3) How do Layers contribute to the local community & NE tech scene?

We actively engage with and contribute to the local community and Northeast technology scene in various ways. Our commitment extends to hosting Design Talks bi-monthly, with the upcoming session scheduled for February 29th.

Additionally, we actively participate and volunteer at various industry events. My business partner, Paula, and I are deeply passionate about fostering regional growth and nurturing local talent. To realise this commitment, we annually accommodate placements and work with 3 to 4 T-Level students.

Furthermore, we collaborate with Gateshead College, conducting workshops that align with industry needs and provide valuable insights for students. These are growing commitments that align with our dedication to supporting and enhancing the region's emerging talent.

4) What role does employee recognition play in maintaining a motivated workforce?

We place great emphasis on acknowledging and appreciating each other's accomplishments. Drawing from my experiences as a young designer, I've encountered various challenges, but I've always relished overcoming them. One thing I couldn't stand was seeing someone taking credit for work they hadn't done, especially when I had put in the effort. However, our approach is rooted in openness and honesty with our clients.

As we collaborate closely with them to deliver optimal solutions, the team naturally celebrates each other's contributions when someone is recognised. This practice not only aligns with our company values but also emphasizes the collective strength we possess, where the whole truly exceeds the sum of its parts.

5) How do you envision the future growth and development of Layers?

Over the past few years, our primary focus has been on assembling an exceptional team. With this accomplished, we're poised to embark on more innovative projects in truly captivating ways. Our vision for Layers involves nurturing the growth of the company alongside our existing talented team this year.

Towards the end of the year, we aim to open doors for new talent, creating opportunities for fresh perspectives. This approach not only offers growth prospects for our dedicated team members who have been with us for years but also allows them to impart their insights and knowledge. Ultimately, this collaborative effort is geared towards expanding our capacity to drive creativity and innovation.

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