The Barriers to Recruiting and Retaining Digital Talent

As more businesses require digital transformation and innovation within their organizations, owners are stepping up their efforts to recruit and employ high caliber professionals.

However, not all companies are fortunate enough to attract digital talents, and many are experiencing barriers to recruiting and retaining the talents they need.

Before we look at what these barriers are and how businesses can overcome them, it is essential to clarify what we mean by ‘digital talent.’ Digital talent refers to talented employees required by enterprises to lead the digital transformation. They are those with the ability to adapt to evolving methods and new approaches, the type of employees who can understand new environment and move comfortably into it.

So, what are the obstacles that employers are facing when recruiting and retaining digital talents?

1. Creating an Inclusive Culture

Although the majority of businesses have active programmes of mentoring to guide digital talent as they join the organization, there is a certain amount of disconnect between the abilities that they bring to the business and the core values of the company.

The mentoring programmes are developed to initiate digital and creative thinking, but they often place new team members at a distance, making it very difficult for the employees to see how their digital work impacts the whole business.

A business needs to work hard to formulate a comprehensive talent strategy which emphasizes the unique needs of digital talent and adapt the recruitment process accordingly.

2. Providing Opportunities for Everyone

The gap in digital skills is often a topic of discussion for businesses and recruiters, but many fail to take proactive steps to bridge the gap between employees within the company and new talent. Consequently, those employees who are not directly involved in digital training don’t get the same opportunities to develop their digital skills.

For example, specific departments or sections of a business may have digital skills training, but it is not rolled out organization-wide. This means that some employees who would benefit from additional training are missing out.

3. Lack of Engagement

When a business decides to undergo a period of internal transformation, some organizations fail to explain precisely what this means. They also fail to explain why these changes are so necessary for the business.

When employees aren’t fully engaged in digital training, they become demotivated by the initiatives introduced to help them. When digital training programmes are rolled out, many employees say that they are unhelpful, or they cannot attend due to work constraints.

Without a clear strategy and objectives in mind, it will be complicated to sustain high standards of digital talent because employees are just not as engaged as they should be. Organisations need to establish and promote an environment that will prioritize and reward learning, providing clear development paths for digital talent so they can excel in their career.

Retaining digital talent is essential. Keeping employees engaged and encouraged is crucial. Businesses should take the right steps to find collaborative and flexible ways of working that appeal to digital talent.

Recruiters, on the other hand, should develop new and innovative strategies to help create an employee value proposition that will motivate them and encourage them to stay with the business for the long term.

4. Lack of Company Branding and Corporate Responsibility

Business owners often neglect their branding, and how digital talents view their company as a whole. To be able to attract and retain digital clients, companies must work towards conveying the perks and the rewards that talents can get by working with them.

Consistency about the company’s goals, mission, and vision is necessary.  This allows the candidates to assess whether operating within the organization is going to be rewarding.

On the other hand, corporate responsibility activities are also an important deciding factor when candidates receive multiple job offers. Companies that don’t promote socially responsibility are less likely to attract digital talents.

Reducing the barriers to recruiting, employing and retaining digital talent is achievable through:

1. Improving Social Media Presence and Positive Branding

Apart from creating attractive job ads, companies also need to improve their social media presence. Candidates can now quickly assess a working environment based on the content of the company’s social media pages. Capitalizing on social media can be daunting for companies that are just starting. That is totally reasonable. However, they should still try to set themselves apart from competitors by showcasing their company values. As well as the rewards for working with them. This would make any company more likely to attract, employ and retain top digital talents.

2. Allocating More Resources to the HR Team

Businesses need to ensure that their HR department is capable of assessing the talents’ needs and develop a better understanding of how external changes are affecting the availability of skills. The team should be able to use proper assessment tools and the right types of job tests for different roles.

The team should be able to strategize and come up with employee reward systems that are tailored to the complexity of roles given to digital talents. When more resources are allocated to the HR team, they can execute employee programs that best fit each talent’s needs for continuous growth and learning.

3. Investing More in Social Enterprise and Technology

In a digital environment, businesses need new talent that is sometimes entirely different from their current workforce. To recruit and retain digital talent, business owners need to develop a new culture. There should be an organizational strategy to ensure skilled employees remained interested in and motivated towards their work.

4. Paying More

Money talks, period. To be able to retain digital talents and ensure that they give out their best performance all the time, business owners need to need to benchmark their salary structure against the industry. When top talents receive better compensation, they are likely to stay within the organization. As a result, they contribute more to the growth of the company.

Another benefit is that businesses can reduce the number of times they will need to recruit digital talent. Business owners can also offer other rewards such as professional certifications.

Written By
Edward Mellett is the founder of Practice Reasoning Tests, a free to use careers website for jobseekers.

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