Recruiting for digital positions

16 December 2013

As the demand for specialist digital skills in business increases, it is important you find the right people to help your business stay on top of the latest digital trends and initiatives.

Digital Brisbane recently spoke to Graeme Lammie, a digital recruitment specialist and Manager of Michael Page  Marketing, about some issues facing small and medium businesses in the digital recruitment space.

Digital is such a big area, how does your business determine what digital skills it needs?

Digital is indeed a massive area and, as a result, our clients can sometimes find it hard to identify exactly what they need. They can also fall into the trap of thinking they need everything, which invariably leads to recruiting a jack-of-all-trades (master of none).

The skills required by a business very much depend on a few factors:

  • What is the current sales process for its product or service?
  • Is it trying to reach new customers, drive sales to current customers, reduce operating costs or gain customer insights?
  • What digital tools does it want to use to reach its target audience?
  • Will these tools be complementary or serve as a replacement to the existing channels it uses?

These questions will help determine the skills needed to deliver the digital objectives, and if the business requires one person or a team of digital specialists.

Specialist digital recruiters are able to help employers identify how many people they are likely to need, and the type of skills that are required.

What is the best way to find people with digital capabilities to fill the roles needed?

Without first-hand digital knowledge, employers may find it difficult to assess the quality of candidates.

With all the buzzwords and acronyms involved in digital marketing, it can be tricky to distinguish between those who sound experienced versus those who have proven, practical skills.

It’s a semi-technical discipline so you need to be able to ask the right questions, which is why we recommend talking to a digital recruitment specialist.

At PageGroup we use a mix of online advertising, referrals, and our extensive national and international database to find digital talent.

In the end there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting to determine if the candidate is the right person to take your business to the next level.

Do digital professionals use social media to find roles? If so, what are the main channels?

Digital professionals will absolutely use social media – I would be very concerned if they didn’t!

The main platforms would be LinkedIn (including LinkedIn Groups), various blogs, Twitter and in some instances Facebook.

We use all these channels when conducting a premium advertising search for our clients using our ReachTalent product.

What would a digital professional expect to be paid?

PageGroup publishes an annual salary and employment forecast which utilises the experience of our 300 consultants across Australia together with feedback from 1800 clients.

The 2014 Michael Page Salary & Employment Forecast can be found at: www.michaelpage.com.au/salarycentre

Salaries can vary dramatically from sector to sector and region to region, however a rough banding is listed below for the Queensland market.

Salaries are reflective of the current high demand for digital talent, and the existing shortage of experienced professionals in the domestic market.

Recruiting digital jobs salaries

How do I get my staff involved in my business’s digital strategy?

Your existing staff can get involved in executing simple digital activities; however they are not a replacement for a digital specialist or agency support.

An example is getting sales staff to conduct business development activities through LinkedIn as a way to complement what they are already doing.

Is it likely I could find the digital skills I need in my existing staff? If so, how can I adapt their roles to ensure I am getting the digital results my business needs?

The digital landscape is evolving so quickly that in many SMEs, digital skills are self-taught.

It’s about finding existing staff who have a keen interest in digital and are fast learners, and giving them the time to research the digital space and become experts.

Typically these people will migrate over from more traditional marketing roles, or from the technology side.

Digital is about the ability and willingness to continually learn – not necessarily having all the answers before you begin.

Motivated staff can up-skill themselves through free online courses in things like Google Adwords and Google Analytics.

Get your staff started with the basics – creating email templates, taking care of the web content management system, and so on.

If they are willing to do the research, their knowledge and skills will improve as they learn.

Are there any specific trends in the digital recruitment space?

  • People are coming from the UK and US with more advanced digital skill sets on a 457 visa. Many companies are paying a premium to acquire top talent from overseas markets, which means that many SMEs are finding it difficult to compete for the same talent.
  • Candidates can move rapidly up the hierarchical scale due to a skill set shortage in Australia. This is great for candidates but not so good for businesses. They can end up with someone who has a very good digital skill set but lacks an overall strategic mindset due to being still quite early in their career. Enlist the help of a specialist digital recruiter to ensure you find the right person for the role.
  • Retention is becoming a major issue for some companies in Brisbane, as candidates reach a certain level in the local market and then move to Sydney to find career progression opportunities.
  • There is a specific trend around an increased focus on analytics-based roles, which are becoming central to informing business strategy.

For assistance with your digital hiring requirements, or to view current digital jobs, please contact ustoday to speak to one of our specialist consultants.

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