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Don’t Get Left Behind: Digital Talent Strategies for 2019

It’s hard enough trying to pin down a digital brand strategy in a dynamic market. But then you have to work out how to secure the people who can actually make it happen.

Try these talent acquisition strategies to stay one step ahead.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

What Digital Talent do you Need?

Don’t be under any illusions – it’s a candidate driven market out there and the best people aren’t budging. It’s a case of “you seek me out”.

So how do you work out who you need and attract them.

There are two main types of digital talent:

  1. Specialists/’Experts’ - e.g. Growth Hackers, Content Managers, Digital Markers, UX and UI Designers, Front and Back-end Developers, Systems and Data Specialists, Mobile App Developers. It is also important here to draw a distinction between IT and digital specialists as these are very different skills sets.

  2. Change and Transformation Managers/’Hybrids’ - Companies are merging systems, simplifying processes and approaching how they do business very differently. This requires substantial investment, and highly skilled people to drive and manage large scale change projects.

Many of our HR friends in the industry have told us keeping up with the talent needs required by the shifting digital landscape is proving a major challenge.

Digital roles are rarely static so job descriptions need to reflect this. Similarly, digital transformation requires teams to collaborate in new, innovative ways which must be reflected in decision making process.

How do you Find it?

With strong demand for digital expertise, 46% of global talent leaders cite finding candidates in high demand talent pools as a major obstacle.


Sourcing strategies for tech roles might include:

1. Hackathons - Public hackathons are a great way to build your digital community, generate new prototypes and increase brand awareness

2. Innovation Competitions – Brands like L’Oreal have come up with initiatives such as Brandstorm where digital talent is invited to innovate, experiment and showcase their talents

3. Real-World Challenges – Events such as the Collegiate Effie also provide a platform for up-and-coming talent to create marketing solutions to address real-world challenges

Change and Transformation Managers/’Hybrids’

Finding senior digital talent requires a slightly different approach.

You should expect to have to map the market, because the strongest candidates are typically not active job seekers.

And they can afford to think that. Make no mistake, these candidates are in demand and ever more selective about their next steps. Engaging them the right way is absolutely crucial – it directly reflects the importance you attach to the role, and your brand image.

You shouldn't just expect these candidates to 'get' your brand. People can't always immediately understand or identify with a particular brand so may need to be convinced, by a headhunter or similar, before being open to a conversation.

How to Attract it?

It goes without saying you need to pay your digital talent what the market demands of their skills but how else can you attract top digital talent?

  • Sound digital transformation strategies place emphasis on transformation through targeted improvements in innovation, decision-making, and talent engagement. These are the sort of brands people want to work for.

  • Brands need to demonstrate a real commitment to digital – that means not only do they need to be prepared to put their money where their mouth is, they also need strong buy-in from senior leaders.

  • To spark interest from cutting edge digital talent, brands need to demonstrate they have a road-map of innovative digital projects they can get involved in.

  • Ownership of an area of digital, and responsibility for growth and future plans are also a big draw.

  • Brands also need to be prepared to look outside the UK – top talent on the continent are often willing to relocate and bring with them an in-depth skills set.

What digital transformation is your brand undergoing? Are there any digital roles you’re struggling to fill? We’d love to hear from you.

Email us your thoughts.


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