How to win the war for digital talent
Digital transformation has been an increasing fact of modern business for years since the early 1990s when earlier adopters saw the future was digital and began working towards that end goal.
However, since the early 2020s, when the pandemic struck and rendered face-to-face business of any form impossible, digital transformation accelerated, increasing the demand for digital skills in e-commerce, marketing, and customer experience management.
This digital acceleration resulting from the pandemic has pushed digital transformation forward by as much as five years.
The UK digital transformation market size was valued at $24.90 billion in 2021 and was expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (GAGR) of 22.2% from 2022 to 2030. This rapid expansion is already positively impacting businesses, with 56% of CEOs saying their digital improvements have already resulted in improved profits.
This was highlighted by a 63% increase in marketing job vacancies on LinkedIn in the first six months of 2021.
The financial markets have exacerbated the drought of suitably qualified talent, especially for organisations that aren’t in a position to offer top-tier salaries to attract the top talent. Add in the tech giants now on a hiring spree after enjoying record growth during the pandemic, the situation is proving problematic.
Finally, the pandemic has changed how many of us work to either fully remote or hybrid. This may help some businesses as they may be able to benefit from a new source of talent from further afield. This is key as it is estimated that 75% of jobs will require advanced digital skills by 2030.
Make digital culture a part of your employer brand
In the war for talent, having a strong digital culture as part of your employer brand is essential.
What is a strong digital culture? It is defined as an environment where business leaders champion technology’s role in powering a company’s success and making certain people feel confident using new technology via training and easy access to information, according to Joanne Morrissey, HR Director Microsoft Ireland.
Research shows that 43% of workers in Ireland, 36 years old and older, report feeling highly empowered by a strong digital culture.
Morrissey goes on to say that the HR industry has a big part to play in championing a digital culture.
Organisations that value a learn-it-all culture over a know-it-all culture embrace change and learning in a way that will empower their employees to strive to improve and be better every day.
How can businesses give themselves a competitive edge?
1. Applying agile business practices to hiring
Though there has been a movement that wants to build agile thinking into HR & Talent, for some businesses, hiring has understandably been resistant to changing the way it works.
As hiring is a high-stakes part of how a business builds for the future and often involves multiple people in different roles, reluctance to change is common, but continuing with an inefficient and cumbersome workflow can impact the chances of success and could restrict talent acquisition efforts.
As the competition for digital talent has never been greater and prospective candidates will often be considering multiple opportunities, speed of action is essential. An organisation’s rapidity of communicating tangible next steps to candidates says much about its culture.
The ultimate goal must be to speed the process and reduce friction wherever possible for both candidates and Hiring Managers.
Adopting an agile approach and best practices like working in sprints and removing as much bureaucracy as possible from the process e.g. completion of unnecessary fields when applying online, killer questions that are no longer relevant will improve an organisation’s chances of securing the top digital talent they need.
2. Look internally first and use learning to reduce hiring pressure.
It’s common practice for new roles to be posted internally, but that’s about as much as many companies do to solve their talent shortage by looking internally.
There are two valid reasons for considering internal candidates when you need to recruit. Firstly, they are already au fait with your company, have institutional knowledge, and know who to approach to solve problems they encounter.
Secondly, if you want to reduce employee turnover, it’s been shown that if you hire internally, employees will stay with your business for around 40% longer. Many older, more experienced employees may have the requisite skills from past roles and be eager to expand their skills in a new area.
It is vital that executives highlight that internal mobility is part of the culture and prevents managers from slowing employee advancement. These skills may be utilised on a part time basis or secondment initially so both business areas can benefit from an individuals skill set and reduce the impact on business continuity.
If your need to recruit digital talent as a result of a digital skills gap, providing internal training and learning resources may go some way to mitigate the skills gap and help you to overcome your issues with a shortfall in digital talent.
3. Attracting passive talent.
Though many companies outsource their search for passive talent, they may be missing a trick by not encouraging passive talent search in-house.
A standard approach is to offer bonuses as an incentive to existing staff to approach their networks and see if any of their contacts may be interested in considering a move. Other approaches include using targeted social content and short-term contracts as a way to vet potential employees.
4. Stand out with on-trend benefits for 2022.
Moving jobs is a significant decision that doesn’t solely revolve around the job title and size of the salary. Instead, it often has an emotional component that can sway a candidate to accept or reject an offer.
Small, seemingly insignificant benefits can often have an outsize effect on a candidate’s decision. Offering fringy, unexpected benefits like an in-office climbing wall or free lunch might seem like silly excess but can show your company as having a fun environment and a great camaraderie. However, digital workers who are often partly or wholly remote may not see the value of this and therefore a one-time or regular payment towards their home office environment would be more attractive.
Recruitment on Demand specialises in agility, speed and industry expertise to revolutionise your recruitment process. Our award-winning service is delivered by industry leaders who offer unrivalled performance and agility.
Call us on 01252 624 699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.