“Fundamental” rethink in recruitment as digital skills stay in short supply

Internal digital teams now compete against the top names like Facebook and Google to attract the right people.

It’s no secret that digital skills are in short supply.

In fact, while some three quarters of executives tell us their firm now has some form of digital strategy (however rudimentary), a paltry 16% say they have the skills and capabilities necessary to deliver it.

“Even though the average eBusiness team’s staffing budget is growing year on year, finding the skills and capabilities to execute on a digital strategy is becoming harder and harder,” says Martin Gill, research analyst, Forrester Research.

According to Forrester’s September 2014 Global eBusiness And Channel Strategy Professional Online Survey, organisational and staffing backs this up.

The average eBusiness team has 95 team members - “As would be expected, the larger the worldwide revenue, online revenue, or total employee count is, the larger the eBusiness team is,” Gill explains.

“Technology, customer experience, and business analytics are the hardest jobs to hire for. Additionally, technology and customer experience are the most outsourced, and technology is the most understaffed.

“Also digital transformation brings an increased level of responsibility for eBusiness employees who are often leading the charge for company-wide transformation in addition to handling day-to-day operations.

“As all business becomes digital business, eBusiness teams will have an increasingly difficult time sourcing talent.”

Consequently, Gill says internal digital teams now compete against the top names like Facebook and Google to attract the right people.

“Technology is breaking down the old barriers of location and eBusiness professionals must do more than pay well to secure top talent,” he adds.

“For many, this means a fundamental rethink in their recruitment and resourcing strategy.”

As Gill explains, this could mean integrating agency teams more closely into existing businesses, opening a satellite office in a digitally “cool” location like New York or Silicon Valley, or even buying a startup or a software company, like Capital One did with its acquisition of Adaptive Path.

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