The healthy debate surrounding the UK’s digital skills gap shows no signs of abating. As businesses become increasingly digitised, so do traditional job roles leaving digital skill sets more in demand than ever.

A recent study from GfK found that almost half of London’s Tech City businesses say a shortage of skilled workers is the biggest challenge they face as an organisation. As we prepare to grow our own team, we’ve been reflecting on what recruiting in the digital age means for businesses, and helping you to find the right people with the digital skills you need.

The Digital Bridge-Builders

Universities and learning institutions have begun to identify the skills their graduates need and we’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the initiatives between education providers and digital businesses to address the gap.

Manchester is fast becoming one of the UK’s top digital cities, but the gap is apparent here too, which is why we heartily welcomed the news that Manchester digital sector body, Manchester Digital, is addressing the issue with a four-day Digital Skills Conference this month, combining tours of local digital businesses and a recruitment fair with the chance to give local school children practical experience of digital.

If you’re looking for new digital skill sets within your team, you could consider seeking out events of this type, to meet people who can supply your skills requirement.

New Skills Pathways to Your Digital Future

We agree specifically digital skills are highly valuable, but our experience of digitally transforming businesses has demonstrated there is room for a more flexible view. Digitisation works best when digital competencies are shared across the business, not siloed in your ‘digital’ people. Training new or existing teams in the digital skills your business needs can be very effective.

We should know – our Studio Manager Ciara McVeigh is a Master's graduate in English, who has progressed from being a traditional arts graduate to an inbound-certified, digital communications professional. She admits (with shame) that at the beginning of her undergraduate degree she couldn’t even wordprocess – now she heads up a range of digital services for our clients, and has even given a talk at BBC North about her experiences.

Taking an English degree as our example, the abilities to think laterally, present arguments and communicate clearly and confidently are prized skills and provide a strong foundation to develop a great content editor or strategist. By taking this view, not only are you recognising people with strong transferable skills, you are driving the career paths of the future and creating jobs that didn’t exist five years ago.

Great News for Your Business

That’s the great news about recruiting for digital skills - roles are emerging and you have the flexibility to define who and what you need in your team, free from the shackles of strict, traditional job descriptions.

As our business grows, we have thought a lot about the type of people we need and the skills they should have and ultimately we believe there’s a lot to be said for recruiting people who are energetic, positive and keen to learn. Those are certainly attributes we’ll be looking for in our new team members.

Get Guidance

It’s clear that the skills required to thrive in our new digital workplaces have changed, and it can be tough for businesses to identify the new talent they need, let alone find it.

We’ve helped lots of businesses of varying sizes grow, replace and train people and teams through our transformational work. It can be a challenge to recruit for new digital skillsets in an emerging digital world as recruitment and people can be a key area of risk for businesses, but we can help you get the skills you need in place, without the risk factors.

We have a wide experience from advising on team structures and vision right down to writing job specs and defining individual roles.

Don’t let recruitment become a pain point, read our article in collaboration with Tech Nation