The How-To Guide Every Digital Leader Should Read
Part Two – Finding the right digital talent for your team
We established some of the key digital skills organisations typically need in part one, let’s look at how to go about finding the right people to fit within your team. It seems like an obvious point, but what ultimately separates successful digital teams from everyone else are its people.
To use a sporting analogy, the championship winning teams are generally the ones with the best players in every position. And this has never been more apparent as we move through 2022 and beyond. The economic impact of COVID-19 has meant that companies need to ensure they are getting the most bang for their buck. They can no longer afford passengers within their organisations.
In fact, it’s fair to say that over the next 18 months – smart, effective recruitment is going to be critical to the ongoing success of any team or department – and with that, the business. Sure, on the face of it, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of candidates and CVs floating around right now. But how do you successfully navigate through all the noise and find the best talent for your organisation?
Here are some 7 proven and effective techniques to help you ensure you identify where there may be gaps within your team, and then how to find and recruit the right members that will address this and add value to you.
- Identify What Your Needs Are
As mentioned earlier, “digital” can be quite broad and vague, so before embarking on growing your team, take a step back and identify where your needs will lie – both now, and over the next 18 months. Look at your business objectives, where your organisation is looking to move, and then identify the key skills needed within your team to help you get there.
One way to help you in that regard is by identifying your current skills capabilities within your team. Without needing to hire an expensive consultant, there are many online skills capability tests you can use to quickly gauge the current skillsets within your team, and where you should look to grow. TestYourDigital.com is a helpful free tool that does just that. It can help you quickly identify the areas your current team excel at, as well as helping you identify gaps you may need to address through recruiting.
- Sell” Your Organisation To Candidates
When it comes to recruiting and finding members for your team, relying on the brand recognition or industry reputation of your business just isn’t enough. The best digital talents are going to have options, with many other businesses vying for their signatures. So yes, whilst a Careers page on your website with some photos of happy, smiling employees may have been enough 10 years ago, in today’s climate you’re going to need to up your game to stand out from your competition.
Use your platforms – all of them, not just your website – to showcase what makes working for your organisation such an attraction proposition. If it’s applicable, use social media (Facebook, Instagram and especially LinkedIn) to bring across your company or team’s culture – what you stand for, your purpose, and why you’re a great place to work. Showcase the work you do, the people you have, their own stories. Video testimonials from your team talking about why they enjoy working for you may sound a bit fluffy on the face of it, but the reason why many leading organisations do this is because they are really effective.
Dangling an attractive pay cheque in front of someone is obviously a strong pull factor, but financial compensation alone isn’t enough. Potential team members should be excited to want to work with you because of what you do, what you stand for, and the environment you’ve created.
- Tap Into Your Internal Employee Network
According to a recent benchmarking survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, around 80% of organisations identified referrals as their largest source of new hires. Which makes sense – it’s likely that within your own environment right now, someone within your team may know someone who would be the perfect fit for a position you’re looking to fill.
And yet many businesses pay lip service to the concept of referral fees or incentivisation. It feels counterintuitive not to tap into your existing pool of employees and utilise their networks. The key is to make it worthwhile for them. Many leading organisations have formalised referral or “finder’s fee” programmes in place – which encourages their existing employees to put forward the right candidate. Create a culture where everyone in your team or department is encouraged to be a potential recruiter for you. Incentivise this by offering real monetary rewards that will make it worth their time to reach out to their contacts.
- Build An External Network
In addition to your internal network working for you, look at identifying great talent externally. Adopt a proactive approach where, through discussion and forecasting with your HR manager, you can identify where needs and headcount may potentially need to be addressed within your team or department over the next 18-24 months. Rather than waiting until a position becomes available and then scrambling to fill it, adapt an “always on” approach, where you’re continuously identifying potential talent and where they may add value to your team. Build an extensive database of suitable talent that you can tap into whenever the need arises. Even better, by addressing Point 2, you can encourage these potential candidates to follow you on social media channels so you’ve already opened up lines of communication, which you can escalate when the need arises.
Here, LinkedIn is your friend. Utilise its rich and powerful search functionality to find the right candidates by skillset, industry as well as years of experience. The days of putting out an advert on a jobs portal and hoping the right candidate stumbles across it, or relying on a recruiter successfully spamming someone who fits your criteria, are long gone. A proactive, measured approach is what will ultimately ensure success for you.
- Be Transparent with Your Offer
A bizarre trend amongst many organisations is the apparent reluctance to state what the financial package is, relying instead on the vague statements of “market related” or “salary negotiable”. While it may make sense from an organisation’s point of view to keep your cards close to your chest – you’re invariably just creating an unnecessary stumbling block for a potential member of your team. Why make them jump through additional hoops to find out what you’re willing to pay?
Be upfront and very clear on what you’re willing to offer for the right skillset. Obviously, it’s important to make sure that it is competitive within your industry, so do some research before-hand to get a good benchmark of what would be an attractive offer from both your and the digital talent’s perspective. Beyond that, you should also emphasize what sets you apart from everyone else (refer to Point 2 again) as well as other workplace benefits you offer. Tie this all together into a compensation package that reflects your culture, which should help you attract the right person with the skills you need.
By laying a marker and putting everything up front, you will save yourself a lot of time in terms of negotiation and attracting the right candidate. Being cagey about what you’re offering is just going to take up unnecessary time and effort on your part.
- Write Compelling Job Ads
Closely tied to the previous point, but a critical feature to finding the right person is spending the required time on crafting a compelling job advert. Depending on the role and the level of expertise required, it’s likely that your preferred candidate is going to have a few options on the table from other businesses. Don’t just leave this to the HR department. Make sure you present yourself well and stand out from the crowd, by writing a compelling job spec that gives them a great idea of what they can expect, how they can help grow your business and the opportunities available to them. Make them excited about joining your team.
- Have a Meeting With Me
I hope this guide has given you the tools to help aid you as you grow and manage your team, and will help you better identify and attract the right talent that will add value to you
. If you’re needing more assistance with your growth plans, or have any questions on the points raised above, I’d love to help. I work with many digital teams, helping them with their recruiting needs and – through smart, effective recruiting techniques – ensuring they always have the best candidates vying to work with them.
So if you have any positions you’re looking to fill, or if you’re just curious at this stage and would like to know more, please reach out to me on LinkedIn and lets chat.
Carolyn Ross – Recruitment Director – www.linkedin.com/in/cazross