How to find the right digital talent for your team

June 7, 2021 | Sofie Ghyllebert

Because of the war for digital talent, many firms are still struggling to fill their digital marketing vacancies. To combat this as an employer, you can try a different approach and focus on finding the right person for your team, instead of the ideal person for the job.

When perusing job posts, it is common to see three different profiles described in one single vacancy. These descriptions often read like a long list of expectations and requirements, with a job title slapped on top of it.

Smiling colleague

How not to write a job post

For example, a digital marketer is expected to deliver both strategic and operational work, be both creative and analytical, and to have experience in graphics design and content management to boot. What’s more, it would be even better if the candidate also has knowledge of and experience with all tools and systems used within the organization.

Employers need a specific profile, which is increasingly difficult to find because they link too many competencies to one job description. Many seem to accept nothing less than the ideal candidate. Someone with the right qualifications, loads of desired work experience, and - if possible – an affinity with their own sector.

In an ideal scenario, that one perfect candidate is right around the corner. However, more often it is necessary to be realistic and to scale down expectations. Stop searching for the ideal applicant and focus on attracting candidates with potential, a positive work ethic and an eagerness to learn.

It’s far more important to find a person who fits right into your team and company culture.

Colleagues talking

Who's the actual 'ideal candidate'?

It’s far more important to find a person who fits right into your team and company culture. This candidate will probably stick around longer and grow into the ideal colleague you were looking for in the first place.

When interviewing candidates, focus on two key points:

1. Is the candidate prepared to attend training courses, learn new skills and improve their knowledge?

2. Are they motivated to actively seek out the information they need to improve in their role, for example by following tutorials or obtaining certificates on their own initiative?

Find the right person for your team

Let’s start the search for the ideal candidate with a simple question: what should your new colleague be able to do when they start working here?

You can make a short list, defining which competencies you need straight away, which are ‘nice to have’ and which skills they should be able to grow in over time?

In return, it is best to communicate to the candidate as early and as clearly as possible which opportunities they will have within the company in terms of training and knowledge acquisition. Inform them on what they can learn from colleagues, consultants or coaches and which skills they specifically will be adding to the team.

You create strong profiles by grouping experiences, specific training courses, interests and ambitions. This is a process that develops gradually. And if, as a company, you offer sufficient challenge and opportunities for personal growth, this could well be the deciding factor that persuades your ideal future colleague to come and work with you.

Employees at work putting post-its on a window

What about the skills the candidate doesn't have yet?

We can already hear the critical side of your brain wondering: “but what if I need some of the competencies my candidate doesn’t have yet in the meantime?”

You’re right, even though you might not need some of these skills every day, that doesn’t mean they’re unnecessary. In this case, you have two options:

1. Either you open another vacancy, specifically tailored to these additional skills you’re lacking in your team.

2. Or you fill these gaps in your team through a temporary staffing solution.

While we would only advise the first option if you need the missing competencies so badly it justifies an additional hire, acquiring a consultant through temporary staffing is a great solution in most cases.

Since they are highly specialized in their field, consultants can immediately jump in where needed and work at maximum capacity. Additionally, they have the knowledge and capabilities to train your new colleague by working alongside them. Since these experts can be hired for basically any amount of days per week you prefer, the additional costs that come with them are more easily managed and justified.

Some added benefits of working with a digital consultant

When it comes to filling digital skill gaps in your team, The Reference can react fast and deploy consultants immediately. Our digital staffing expert identifies which consultant will be the best fit for company culture, needs and expectations.

The best part about our consultants is the mix of their own specializations, backed by the knowledge, expertise and guidance of their colleagues at The Reference. To stay up to date, our consultants regularly attend training courses in online marketing and digital innovation, and put this knowledge into practice straight away for your benefit.

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