10 do’s and don’ts for attracting digital talent

by Heat Recruitment

By Jeff Alcock

Digital talent is in high demand these days, which makes it a very competitive environment. You want the best talent for your team but, unfortunately, lots of other employers want them too. So, how do you stand out and attract the people you really need for your company? Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you successfully attract the best digital talent.

Do…Be clear on what you actual do (and want)

Short of jumping on the Simon Sinek ‘it’s all about the why’ bandwagon, candidates are interested in what you do and why you do it. They want to buy-in to the business and its vision and visualise the way in which they can play a part in making this a reality. So, be clear on what you expect from them and what they can expect in return. In other words, ‘sell’ the ‘what’s-in-it-for-them’ – get this right and you’ll quickly attract the talent you need.

Don’t…Make them complete lengthy application forms

Lengthy application forms are a boring way to collect information from your candidates, and it offers them no freedom or opportunity to be creative. Give them more freedom to contact you in a way that’s personal to them and provide you with the information that they think is important. Remember, digital is all about making things faster smarter and better – make sure your application process follows the same principle; think, mobile applications, apply with LinkedIn, etc.

Do…Brand yourselves

Employer branding is an important part of showing potential candidates who you are and what you’re like to work for. It’s also the way that you can differentiate yourselves from the competition by showing the ‘personality’ of your brand. Yes candidates are looking for a job, but they are also look for a company who they can identify with, one that matches their values. So, let them know what you stand for, what you are all about, the culture of the business and give them reason to want to work for you more than your competitors.

Don’t…Try too hard to be trendy and avoid grandiose statements

Although you want to let your brand’s personality shine through in the recruitment process, it’s important not to try too hard to be trendy or creative. This could come across as false and simply awkward, which could put digital talent off. While we may all think we could change the world with our ‘revolutionary’ and ‘innovative’ products and services, such statements are rather meaningless – smart people are simply turned off by such self-aggrandising.

Ditch the hyperbole and above all else, DON’T use words like ‘digital rockstar’. ‘guru’ or ‘ninja’ – these can kill your employer brand and put off great talent from applying (after all, who really wants any of these terms on their email signature?).

Do…Create a clear job description

Even if you opt for a more creative approach, you should still write a clear job description showing what the role entails and what the ideal candidate needs in terms of skills and experience. Otherwise, you could end up wading through piles of unqualified applicants and not even attract the ones that are right for the job.

Don’t…Leave everything to HR

The above can arise from leaving the entire process to HR. Getting input from employees in the same role as the one you’re advertising for, or those that will supervise or work with the new hires, can improve the job description. These people have a unique insight into what that role requires and what is desired from the ideal candidate.

Do…Offer competitive pay

Because they are in such high demand, digital talent can afford to shop around and negotiate for the best pay. Money isn’t everything, but you’ll likely have to offer a competitive rate to attract top digital talent. Research your competitors to see what they’re paying and then offer a salary that is just as good or ideally a little more so as to add that extra incentive for them to apply to work for you.

Don’t…Be too rigid

The millennial generation boasts a lot of digital talent, and they have come to expect and be attracted to options for flexible working. Think about how you can offer new talent the ability to work flexible hours or work remotely, and mention this capability within your job description.

Do…Use social media

Social media isn’t just for looking at pictures of cats, it’s also a great tool for recruiting. LinkedIn is the standard way to reach professionals via social media, but you could try other platforms for a more creative approach. Twitter and Facebook can be good avenues for this, and some of the quirkier brands have turned to Snapchat for recruiting digital talent. A survey conducted by YouGov found that 80% of employers check a prospective employees social media activities before they interview them, while 53% of job seekers now use social media to find  a new job – if they are there, you need to be too.

Don’t…Be unprofessional

Remember in your use of social media for recruitment that you should remain professional. This goes for any kind of communication from your brand, but social media is a place where it can be easy to get carried away and end up misrepresenting your brand.

There you have it. Take these do’s and don’ts on board and you’ll be attracting digital talent in no time. It is getting harder for employers to find the talent they really, so whether you need support in creating a recruitment marketing campaign or direction on how best to structure your hiring strategy, take a look at our Ultimate Guide for Digital Marketing Executive Jobs, or simply get in touch. We’re here to help.