Today’s digital climate has eradicated the once siloed IT and marketing departments. Creative and digital marketing initiatives are requiring the combined skills of traditional developers and those of talented marketers, graphic designers, content writers, social media gurus, and advertisers. It’s increasingly challenging to find this skill mix for creative staffing, forcing organizations to hire various talent to fill the gaps.
Competition for these skills has heated up, particularly in fast-growing tech hubs like Austin and Denver. Companies who want to enhance or establish their digital presence to compete in the digital world are all fighting for the same skills. For candidates who possess such skills, the sky’s the limit. They’re in the driver’s seat and can afford to be picky. What, then, can hiring companies who are looking for these unique, hybrid skills do to stand out and attract top talent? We’ll give you five tips to make sure your company is at the top of their lists.
Sweeten The Offer
In order to overcome the challenges of creative staffing, you will likely have to do whatever it takes to make your offer the best one on the table. Creative and digital talent know they have plenty of options. If you attempt to make a low-ball offer or include just average benefits, you risk losing the very talent you need to execute your digital strategy. The longer it takes you to fill that position, the longer it will take to bring innovative products to market. Can you afford to nitpick when so much is at stake?
Before you jump the gun and assume it’s all about the salary, understand that salary is just one consideration. Benefits, such as a health insurance plan and 401k matching are among those that candidates have come to expect. People, especially millennials, are looking for work-life balance. Deloitte found it’s the number one job characteristics millennials seek. So, what does that look like for a hiring company? It may come in the form of extra vacation days and ample personal time off, allowing friendly pets at work, encouraging outside interests like volunteer work, and offering non-standard maternity and paternity leave, as well as allowable time to care for aging parents.
Even with these work-life balance benefits, don’t lose sight of the fact that people still care about their career development. They want to see a growth path so they don’t feel stuck later on. Creative staffing is unique in that creative and digital skills are constantly evolving. By offering extra training, encouraging continuing education, hiring from within, promoting often, and allowing people to work in different capacities can play a significant part in attracting and retaining employees.
Stay in The Game
Embrace technology from the inside out by investing in modern tools and systems to enable your employees to develop the most in-demand digital assets and innovate ahead of demand. No matter how cutting-edge your deliverables or how forward-thinking your digital strategy, if you aren’t enabling your employees to work on the best applications and technology, you risk them going elsewhere. Top talent will want to work on the latest technology in order to hone their skills and remain relevant.
Many candidates will (and should) ask potential employers what systems and applications they will have access to as this is often a deciding factor. Even if your applications aren’t the latest and greatest, demonstrating a road map that is moving the organization in that direction will provide value.
Many digital marketers say they are overworked and their departments are understaffed. To reduce the risk of burnout, be sure you have enough staff to provide each other with support. It’s important to not assume your employees will want to dedicate 50 hours a week to corporate initiatives or sacrifice vacation time for the good of the company. In fact, it’s actually a terrible idea for both employees and employers. An article by Harvard Business Review cites multiple studies that show overworked employees experience more sick days, less focus and productivity, and less overall job satisfaction.
If, on the other hand, you can commit enough resources to create a balance for everyone, you will be ahead of the competition. This doesn’t mean you have to have two people for every skill. Proper creative staffing provides companies with the opportunity to cross-train existing employees, nurturing their desire for career growth, and hire new employees with multiple skill sets. As long as you have enough of these employees, you will be able to offer every creative and digital staffer a work-life balance few companies achieve.
Keep It Real
Everyone appreciates the value of communication. To attract and retain top talent, it’s important to create a culture of transparency with open communication. The value of a creative digital team can only be recognized if it comes from the top down. If your company is serious about its digital marketing strategy, it’s critical everyone in the company understands it and why it’s so important. Digital marketing initiatives should be prioritized and communicated to not only the team that executes those initiatives but to every employee. This shows creative and digital talent their contributions are valued across the company.
HR Daily Advisor reported that 31 percent of employees believe more transparency would help them better understand their employer’s goals and 23 percent said it would motivate them to know such information. Sadly, 75 percent of employees said they didn’t feel they make a major impact on the company’s performance. This shouldn’t be surprising. When employees don’t understand corporate initiatives, how can they feel like what they’re doing is valuable? It is critical that companies prioritize the communication of their digital initiatives, as well as continuously following up with successes and how deliverables are driving success.
Partner with a Reputable IT & Digital Staffing Agency
Some companies want to execute their own digital staffing practice, but they’re positioned behind the starting blocks. One of the biggest advantages of working with an IT and digital staffing agency is that they have the connections you potentially lack. They have a leg up and can more easily find those coveted candidates who possess a combination of digital and IT skills. Their pool of these candidates is bigger because their success is dependent on it. It’s what they do every day and they know these candidates personally. Why does that matter? Don’t they just need a stack of resumes they can scan for candidates? Not exactly.
The best digital and IT staffing agencies know the value of personal relationships with both the companies they work with and the candidates in their area. By knowing the characteristics of each, the agencies can save significant time matching candidates to job positions. They know what salary and benefits their candidates really value. They can fit more than skills, but culture, too. They have insider information on who would be willing to leave current positions for a better offer. Using their information, they can help their clients craft attractive offers that beat the competition – without giving away the farm.
As you engage in creative staffing to fuel your digital initiatives, follow these tips and you’ll find your company becomes the preferred employer in your area. It may not happen overnight, but with thought, focus and a commitment to hiring the best talent possible, you can do it.