Digital Recruitment Q & A

Digital question and answers

By news

In a job market where traditional marketing is considered old school and digital is the new black, candidates are chasing the biggest and brightest roles with gusto. Luckily, many of our candidates demonstrate competence and are impassioned with what they do, and these are exactly the types of people that our clients look for.

What are candidates looking for?

Some candidates are just looking for a new job to shake up the habitual, earn a little more money or find something more suitable to meet changing circumstances. Others are simply in search of a stop-gap.

Some are looking for jobs to develop their skills, they are looking for the next logical step. They may prefer global companies with global offices, developed training, and structured training. They want exciting accounts with big advertising budget. They want the employer which is a one step ahead of the latest industry development.

On the whole I think that candidates want leadership, a challenge, opportunities to learn, to be cared for, and on top of everything else, to be valued and respected in their role.

What do employers look for in their first hires from digital?

Not to mention the standard competencies and job-specific knowledge, experience and skills, in an increasingly competitive world, employers want to see people who really love what they do, and people who exude that love and affect others in a positive way.

For first-time digital hires, what is also important is a broad understanding and the ability to effectively teach others, and therefore, excellent communication skills and patience are needed. They should also have experience with or at least understanding of traditional marketing to help the business move into digital.

What about experienced digital companies?

This all comes down to the level of the job role in question. For junior employees, digital companies want to see a passion for digital, and an eagerness to learn about digital as well as the specific operations of the given company.

For higher level roles, the tendency is to look for a proven track-record in previous positions. The same passion needs to be present, as well as a willingness to teach others and help others learn and grow. And of course there are the standard expectations such as people management skills, client management skills and a strategic approach.

There are a number of problems in hiring at the lower end of the spectrum. For example, it is never easy to judge how passionate someone is (easily faked), until much further down the line, when the candidate has naturally already been hired for a long time. Unproved and untested, a company will always have to, at least in some way, hire in good faith.

What are the recruitment challenges?

Just like job-hunters, companies often find it difficult to set themselves apart and provide offerings that are unique. Many companies talk about their brand or their key clients, oblivious to the fact that their competitors are doing exactly the same thing.

Companies are often much too discerning and overly critical of their candidates. Such companies think that every new possible employee needs to be perfection incarnate, with an infinite range of skills and abilities that are each as impossibly brilliant as the rest, and this issue has been amplified in light of the economic crisis with more risk in taking new people onboard.

Do employers listen to their employees? There is no simple answer or reason why people are leaving. Whether it’s the employee not sharing their frustrations or the employer not listening, there is definitely lack of communication. Maybe we are just too busy with our clients and campaigns that we forget it’s all about humans. And a payrise or employing another robot wouldn’t solve the problem.

Some companies are more realistic, see their candidates as human, and when they do have their critical hats on, focus on the things that are important. They simply invest in their leaders.

What recommendations would you give for companies and candidates?

I would say that flexibility and realism are two big assets. In a market where candidates are short, it might be better to settle for a less-than-ideal candidate rather than waste effort and resources on finding that so-called ‘perfect’ candidate. This applies just as much to candidates who are searching for that so-called ‘dream job’.

In many cases however, patience proves to be a good thing. Whether it is a case of waiting for the right candidate or the right job, take a measured approach. Don’t be too obsessive and don’t be too lax – there is a middle-ground that is best for the vast majority of both candidates and companies. End of the day you don’t want to take the wrong job and be in the same position few months later.

Two specific things of importance are preparation for the interview and having a good understanding of personal value. Know what you can offer for the candidate or know what you can bring to the table for the company. Don’t think that as an employer, interview preparation does not apply to you. If a company does not prepare thoroughly for its interviews then it is much more difficult to find the right candidate and understand how the candidate is going to fare. And be passionate, candidates want to work for companies which love what they want!

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