May 23, 2017

How to Find Talent that Drives Digital Transformation

by Digital Marketing Institute

By nature, digital has created a business landscape in constant flux and employers need professionals that are agile enough to shift with the times. With such a need for digital expertise, 46% of global talent leaders cite finding candidates in high demand talent pool as a major obstacle.

As a result, organizations need individuals with digital skills that are instantly applicable and match the needs of their business. On the flip side, for those individuals with relevant and cutting-edge skills, the job market is their playground as competition for their expertise is fierce.

In this blog, we explore 4 ways companies can source the talent they need to drive digital transformation and ensure long-term commercial success.

1) Use online talent platforms

Online talent platforms could add $2.7 trillion, or 2%, to global GDP by 2025. That's quite incredible, to say the least.

In today’s virtual world, online platforms that serve to match talent with business are becoming increasingly popular for companies to source niche skills to perform certain tasks. Think of an online dating-style platform but for the professional world.

Websites such as and LinkedIn aggregate individual CVs with job listings from traditional employers, as well as the rapidly growing digital marketplaces of the new gig economy on platforms such as Uber and Upwork.

Companies can use online talent platforms not only to identify and recruit candidates with skills and experience that suit their needs exactly but to also drive motivation and improve productivity once a recruit starts work.

The adoption of online talent platforms could increase the output of companies by up to 9% and reduce the cost of recruitment and HR by as much as 7% - McKinsey & Co

2) Apprenticeship initiatives

Apprenticeship initiatives

63% of college graduates who completed a paid internship received a job offer, as opposed to 35% who never interned during their time in school. In addition, graduates with paid internships also earned an average starting salary of $52,000, almost a third higher than those lacking internship experience.

On-the-job experience can provide practical workplace skills such as written and oral communication, critical thinking and analytical reasoning along with knowledge of what it’s like to work in a real-life business environment.

Not only this, but internships also offer students a chance to nurture or even discover priceless digital talents previously untapped in their student life, increasing their chance of providing an organization genuine value and helping to drive the business forward.

In today's world, 80% of employers view recruiting as a primary function of internships. Clearly, internships are a powerful talent sourcing solution - and one that should not be overlooked as a way to source and nurture talent.

"Employers say students may have textbook knowledge but don’t have the ability to take that knowledge to think critically, innovate, solve complex problems and work well in a team. They want students to come to the workplace with skills that people used to develop on the job.” - Anthony Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

3) Collaborate with educators

While business leaders must champion an employer-led skills development system to attract the best talent, educators need to embrace their role as student advocates to help them realize their ambitions in a competitive and evolving job market.

According to a CareerBuilder study, almost 74% of employers said they planned to hire graduates fresh out of college this year - the highest it has been in nearly a decade. The rationale behind this is to source the ‘right’ talent early and offer students a chance to progress and develop their skills. Ultimately this stands companies a far greater chance of retaining and incubating the kind of workforce needed to ensure ongoing success in the digital world.

Betley University logo

At Bentley University in Massachusetts, first-year students take an introductory career development class, coupled with a skills assessment to get a better sense of their aptitudes, as well as their weaknesses. As part of that program employees of companies like Fidelity and TJ Maxx take part to provide invaluable feedback on CVs, elevator pitches and interview skills. Again, as a result of sourcing talent early and raising commercial awareness, companies can place their employer brand in front of the right talent for their needs and build a robust workforce for the future.

In essence, collaboration and fresh thinking equal success. Today’s graduate is tomorrow’s innovator and in the modern age, it’s not enough to sift through traditional resumes hoping to find the right candidate for the job. As an employer, you have to connect with fresh recruits on a personal level and find new ways of tapping into talent at the source, allowing people to show what they can do, rather than telling you what you can do.

4) Innovate and create

Today's professional looks for opportunities that will inspire and challenge while giving them a chance to nurture their skills on an ongoing basis.

Currently, millennials make up 25% of the workforce. To source and recruit the right talent, companies need to adopt an innovative and creative approach to their efforts and tap into a brand new mindset.

While university recruitment has been around for quite some time, employers are now stepping up their game up by immersing students in their work environment and hosting competitions based on their brand. These methods serve to help employers to place their brand at the heart of a student's consciousness of and in return, identify talent. And in today’s corporate world, taking a practical approach to recruiting seems to be very effective.

Here are a few examples of creative, innovative recruitment approaches:

Hackathons: Once used as a device for companies to crowdsource apps of solve problems, talent is now the focus of these networking initiatives. Now, hackathons provide the ultimate playing ground for testing a person's collaborative abilities, interpersonal skills, technical knowledge and potential. Last year the US organized 1,568 hackathons, followed by the UK with 470 under its belt. And the number of hackathons are expected to grow this year, and beyond.

Innovation competitions: L’Oreal developed an initiative known as Brandstorm that invites students to work on a particular challenge and present their achievements. Another strategic way to find priceless talent in a particular niche it gives students on the cusp of the workplace a platform to showcase their talents to potential employers, and gives brands a chance to bring their products to life. A practical and revealing recruitment solution for the modern age.

Real-world challenges: Introduced just 8 years ago, the Collegiate Effie competition gives participants a chance to create marketing communication cases that address real-world challenges for marketers, showcasing their talents and proving their ability to provide practical working solutions in the business world. Again, this proves a cutting edge way to find the kind of talent that will help match a brand’s needs and drive digital maturity.

The talent landscape has changed, and traditional recruitment techniques are becoming less and less relevant. To compete in the modern world, organizations must take a forward-thinking approach when it comes to finding, improving, and retaining the talent that will ensure future success.


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