Digital Recruitment: Change is The Only Constant

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The acceleration of digital transformation across business sectors generates specific difficulties in recruiting candidates with appropriate profiles. Check out the explanations of Denis Conaut (E91), founder of the digital transformation consulting agency Moonsy and strategic director of the Little Buddha Group.

Over the past few years the digital transformation environment has changed considerably. Digital is omnipresent, in all subjects and spheres - even unexpected ones such as the mining industry. The majority of economic sectors are now switching to digital. 40% of CAC 40 companies believe that digital could seriously impact their business model and, according to Idaos Lab’s barometer, 91% of businesses see digitalization as a strategic objective.

Businesses are rethinking their business models, their operations and their organization, shaking up their working methods and putting pressure on employees and their skills. The recruitment and integration of different profiles is being carried out in a profoundly changing, non-standardized market.

The Digital Market Under Pressure

The time for investigation and testing is over. Businesses are making massive investments in people and the construction of complex, agile and solid platforms. 73% of organizations have invested or plan to invest in big data within the next two years (source: Gartner).

Today, 1.5 million jobs involve digital according to INSEE. The needs are such that today there are twice as many vacancies as recruitments. The number of posts available has increased by more than 50% in a year. The shortage in recruiting developers (Java, .Net, Ruby) and the difficulty in finding data scientists is well known, but the lack of experienced profiles in digital marketing (community manager, UX design) is a more recent phenomenon.

A Market in Constant Evolution

The pace of technological innovation is accelerating, generating a growing technicality and a rapid evolution in digital functions.

There is an increasing specialization of professions. For example, the different aspects of being a webmaster have become jobs in their own right: web designer, SEO, developer, integrator… The same can be said for community managers, who specialize either in global strategy for social networks (social media manager) or content management.

The emergence of the cloud, connected objects and big data has reshaped IT needs for the management and processing of data, governance and the overall scalability of information systems, in the face of the virtualization of IT systems, and security for the protection of data in systems that are increasingly open.

The appearance of new languages (swift for mobile) or the renewal of R or Python for big data upset the balance between existing skills and the needs of the market. Another paradox: the most sought-after languages for businesses such as Java or .Net - in other words the oldest ones - are not the most highly rated by young graduates.

A Market That’s Difficult to Standardize

The standardization of different professions is difficult in a sector that evolves so quickly. The core business of digital marketing is constantly evolving. Plus, the required skills are often at the crossroads of many professions. Operating an e-commerce platform demands a professional experienced in project management, supervising technical and creative teams, and who is business-oriented with good knowledge of the product or service sold on the site.

Because of this discrepancy between training and needs, 32% of players in digital marketing do not come from a specific training path and are, for the most part, trained on the job (according to a study by Microsoft on digital transition professions).

Varying Difficulties According to Digital Stakeholders

The large businesses that have emerged from this revolution such as the GAFA companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) today don’t have any difficulty in attracting talent - they are the digital natives, well-known and backed by a strong employer brand based on dynamism and innovation.

Consultancy firms soak up part of the market, investing in the acquisition of operational talent to respond to their clients’ support needs when developing and executing digital campaigns.

On the other hand, the most innovative start-ups face difficulties in attracting the best talent because they lack the means to attract more experienced profiles - and because young people prefer to work for the highly rated companies. The attractiveness of traditional companies depends on the business’ digital maturity, the visibility of projects, their resources and the strength of the employer brand in that area.

Two figures illustrate the difficulties here: a May 2015 study on net migration of employee movement between P&G and the GAFA companies was 4 in favor of P&G compared to 629 for GAFA.

Recruitment: Be « Agile »

For candidates, it’s a case of working on practicing key technical skills and digital marketing, and adding a strong professional dimension. Businesses at the start of transformation processes, such as big data, shouldn’t hesitate to outsource the necessary resources and skills.

Companies doing their own recruiting should enlist the support of a highly specialized digital recruitment agency to help define the content of the job post and identify talent – and above all, know how to carry out a quick and efficient recruitment process. These profiles are difficult to pin down, so don’t lose them on the way!

Identifying and recruiting new profiles are just the first steps. Integrating, engaging, developing, and retaining them - while providing social support for the digital transformation of the whole company - is the biggest challenge that managers and HR will then have to implement.


Brought to you by the Career Team. First published in Reflets ESSEC Magazine113. Click here to suscribe.


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