Why you need digital skills to secure your next job

Can you understand and drive digital strategies? If not it’s time to learn how, because in our increasingly digital lives almost every job now has a digital element to it. That’s why employers are recruiting people who can understand and drive digital strategies.

According to Hays, we all live in a digital world and whether we like it or not, most of us now work in digital jobs.

“The digital revolution has touched the lives of virtually every consumer and business around the globe,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand. “As a result digital strategy – and along with it digital literacy – is growing in importance.

“From CEOs assessing the threat of cyber crime to marketers looking for the latest trending platforms, digital skills are now needed at all levels in most job functions.

“For example, rather than customer service representatives in call centres, today we see more live chat attendants who will interact with customers online and on social media. And rather than traditional sales forecasts that were based on the intuition of sales reps, today people are using big data to make more precise predictions.

“Even today’s senior manager needs digital expertise to be able to locate knowledge, assess how valid it is, and then work with others to determine what to do with it.”

In recognition of this new digital age, education systems need to adapt. For example, in Autumn 2015 the UK will become the first country in the world to make it compulsory for children to learn coding from the age of five through to 16. It’s a move that should be adopted in this country too, says Jason, if we are to produce the next generation of well-rounded professionals.

For now though, developments in digital marketing technologies like targeted social media advertising, remarketing and marketing automation have enabled companies in New Zealand to deliver more targeted messages to their customers. According to Jason, this is fuelling staffing demand. “In the SME market, demand for technically literate marketers with design and writing skills remains strong, as companies look to develop all marketing material in-house,” he says.

“Now that the New Zealand election is over we also expect to see more movement in public sector marketing roles in the months ahead, especially in digital marketing. However, there are currently more marketing opportunities in the private sector and with many large companies restructuring and moving their marketing teams to Auckland, skilled marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure roles in Wellington.”

Tips for employers
For employers, the focus is shifting from observing digital trends and looking at where the organisation falls short, to developing the talent it needs to make and lead new trends. This means recruiting people who can understand and drive digital strategies.

“The digital world has afforded us all the benefits of rapid technological advancements, making it possible for businesses to reach people instantly from across the globe,” says Jason. “For example, at Hays we can compare hundreds of thousands of résumés of candidates in multiple countries in an instant.

“But such advances can only be made with the skills to support them. The challenge for businesses is to find and continue to develop those skills so that they stay on top of emerging trends,” he said.

Tips for jobseekers
For jobseekers to take advantage of this new jobs growth, Hays says it is important to continuously update your digital skills. “Regardless of the profession or industry you work in, organisations want to recruit, retain and develop digital skills across their entire business.

“All jobs now have a digital element, whether that’s creating an app rather than a PowerPoint presentation for your next talk, generating leads on social media or producing digital content.

“Given the fast pace of technological advancement, employers look for candidates who are open to change and can adapt to a constantly evolving digital environment – whether that’s in their marketing, accountancy or logistics department. Digital changes are impacting all aspects of business and candidates today need to show they are digitally proficient, up-to-date with the latest technological advances related to their job function and industry, and possess the ability to lean into the changes of a digital world.”


This issue is explored further in the latest Hays Journal, the recruiter’s bi-annual magazine on the world of HR and recruitment. To access the Hays Journal please visit: www.hays-journal.com

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