Our Digital and Account Service Talent Agent, Jelena Lazic, has direct insight into what organisations are looking for when making key hiring decisions. We chat to her about the growing trend towards digital in business, and how you can upskill to meet the demands of today’s business world.
What is the number one thing employers are looking for today?
Employers are looking for passionate employees! They are thinking long-term, and want people who live and breathe what they do. A lot of talent believe they can do any role, but in such a competitive and fast-paced market, this is simply not the case. There is no point in going for a social media job if it’s not your bread and butter, and you’d rather be in a design role, or vice versa. If you are considering a career change, it’s essential to upskill (more on this later).
Is being digitally literate essential in today’s business world?
It’s most definitely a big part of it! The online world is easily accessible, and the majority of people are either on their phone, tablet or computer for most of the day. Many people are receiving their information first – be it from news sources or friends – via social media, and usually before they get out of bed in the morning!
From a business perspective, digital information can be easily updated and shared across numerous platforms. The reach for digital is incredibly powerful, and can make an enormous impact in a short amount of time. As people are online so much, it’s a good platform for grabbing attention, so it’s important to have good content on there for audiences to engage with and share with their peers.
It’s no surprise that today’s employers are seeking Talent who have a strong understanding of digital platforms and can utilise technology confidently in their work day. If someone is digitally literate, it makes the employers job easier by reducing the need for added training, which gives these Talent an added edge when going for roles.
Do employees need to understand traditional AND digital or are generalists or specialists more desirable?
Each organisation is different, and there is a place for people who are skilled in traditional and digital – both platforms have their advantages and different audiences. Increasingly, clients are looking for people with an understanding of both.
Choosing something you are passionate about and becoming a specialist is a great approach. As a generalist, you may not be completely across all the requirements for traditional and digital, so dedicating your time and resources to becoming a specialist will benefit you and the organisation you’re representing.
However, as there is a growing trend towards digital, I strongly recommend upskilling in this area. As we have seen for many years, the reach and presence of traditional media platforms is shrinking, with newspapers cutting jobs and titles, as well as magazines folding in preference of online editions. As the media trends towards digital, so are larger audiences. In order to reach them, you need an understanding of this space.
How can employees stay competitive in their industry?
Know your stuff. Continuously invest in your skill-set and knowledge, read, research and collaborate with like-minded people. Make sure you’re nimble and adaptable. There are always new technologies emerging and industry trends are changing faster than ever, so it’s important you don’t get left behind. Follow the latest industry news, attend networking events, read industry reports and attend seminars. If there’s someone in the industry you look up to, reach out to them and invite them for coffee to learn more about their path, qualifications, upskilling and what they might recommend for you.
What other tips do you have for individuals looking to stay relevant?
There are plenty of accessible and reputable short courses. For instance, General Assembly and RMIT send out regular eDMs that provide insights into where industries are going and offer courses that will assist you in upskilling. Jump online and sign up to receive updates from them. The best thing about many of these training providers is they have relevant industry contacts too.
Another great way of upskilling is browsing resources online, look up your area of interest and what tutorials are out there – articles, blogs, books, and online training modules, Google offer some for free.