28/05/2015

By Lizzie Benton, Datify

It’s a well-known fact that many of the digital marketing industry’s top talent are self-learners who have risen to success without the need for qualifications.

After all, it was only as little as 10 years ago that digital marketing didn’t even exist and without these inquisitive technical minds pushing the industry forward many of the careers that now exist would not be as advanced as the roles that are now available.

It was recently estimated by the Tech Nations reports that the digital industries employ 1.46 million people in the UK, making it the fastest growing industry in the wider UK economy.

But with very few qualifications yet available for employers to review it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to know to employ candidates suitable for these new job roles.

Look beyond the CV

Anyone can make themselves look great on a CV, but when it comes to essential skills needed for the role it can be difficult to sift through the experience to know if they truly have what it takes to not only fit the role, but have the drive to move the company forward.

The digital industry is a fast paced sector, and you need to find candidates that are going to keep up with the changes and be motivated to learn about them.

As an employer look at the elements of the role that will matter the most to you. Do they need to be well organised, efficient, driven or good at problem solving?

If you feel that they have some of these qualities on paper, it’s time to get them in for an interview to see if you can ask them about the references you’ve found, and request them to expand on their experience.

From this you can then devise a strategy for each candidate and rate them on their success.

Set a Task

Interviews are evolving into something far more than a few questions with an employer, and it’s due to the advances in the digital market that these changes have had to be made.

Anyone can sit in front of you and tell you how amazing they’re going to be at the job, but it’s not until you’re stuck with them later on that you soon start to realise you should have done a more thorough hiring process.

Your team are the bread and butter of your business, and if they aren’t working effectively for your company that can eventually do more harm than good. And this is even more prevalent in the digital industry.

With everything available online any candidate can do their research, learn a little jargon and blag their way through an interview. You need to avoid this scenario as much as possible, because when push comes to shove they need to have the knowledge.

With specific skill sets required, interviews for the digital industry can now be a combination of hurdles that really get to the depth of the candidates core skills and attributes.

Starting out with a skype interview, and then a traditional interview and then setting a task, can really help employers understand a person’s behaviour and how their mind works.

As commented by Hales Recruitment, “Traditional interview methods are now becoming a thing of the past, as they are inadequate to help define the new digital roles that are now more competitive than any other sector”.

Candidates who are set a task with a detailed brief can provide you with an example of their working method, and truly put their skills to the test.

Although it may seem rather daunting, have them do this task in the working environment so that you can see how long they spend on it, how they got on in the environment and how they approach the task they are given.

There are many telling signs from a task that can either impress you or help you to understand more what it is that you expect from your new employee.

Culture Fit

Most digital businesses have a company philosophy or an ethos, whether it’s like Facebook where you have to ‘move fast and break things’ or like Google’s ‘Don’t be Evil’, the essence and core purpose of these brands is engrained into everything that they do, and so will your business.

So finding a candidate that fits both the role and the same thinking as the company can cause you to think of ‘culture fit’ as just an important element than the skills.

Of course with culture fit there’s no simple test, and only through generally getting to know their background and what drives them to succeed will you understand if they are going to work well with other team members and be inspired to innovate the company.

Many digital businesses are implementing trial weeks or days, so that potential candidates can get a feel for the environment and employers can see if they can talk the talk as well as walk the walk.

It may be time consuming, but investing in a rigorous procedure for employment can grow your business with the right team behind you.