Talented Digital Mums & Dads

The growing group of people you might be missing out on
If you ever read my ramblings you will normally hear moaning about the biggest problem in digital recruitment… Not enough candidates for all the jobs we have available. PPC, SEO, Display, Biddable, Performance, Mobile etc. So many jobs so few candidates…
So with a lack of talent why do some agencies not utilise a group of talented people that can do a job for them and solve their recruitment problems? I’m talking about the growing group of women (and men!) who have brilliant digital experience but have children and are keen to work on a part time basis and, crucially, from home. I know some of these parents and they possesses amazing talent, but they no longer want the agency lifestyle and need something that gives them the chance to earn money, stay in the game keeping their careers moving forward whilst still being there for their kids. If you leave Digital for 5 years you are dead in the water, it is an industry that changes so quickly you need to keep a foot in, stay up to date with the technology and even the gossip! So why are so many businesses excluding this talented bunch of experts from the current job market, leaving them to go stale and un-employable by the time they are ready to jump back in full time?
Agency land is the classic work hard, play hard arena. People often doing 12 hour days and then going out partying until the sun comes up and back at their desks shortly after. Nothing wrong with that if it suits your personal life and keeps you on top of your workload, but I do think ‘some people’ still are more focused on the amount of hours spent at a desk rather than the work you actually get done.
“I used to love the agency life when I was in my twenties, single and fiercely ambitious. Working 12 or 15 hour days and making the most of the social perks as well as spending every day in a fancy city centre office were what I loved about the industry. Now that I’m in my thirties and have three young children, it’s just not that simple. Part of me still wants to work long hours and go out with my colleagues after work but on a practical level it’s just impossible. But I have 15 years’ experience, am great at what I do and am valued by my clients so it’s frustrating that to get the work/life balance I need, my employer is prepared to sacrifice the skills and qualities that I can still offer. In fact, I’m the one who can now cover the office the night after a team night out whilst everyone else is staring bleary eyed into their double espresso!” Megan, PPC Account Director (and mum of 3).
This is not a rant at Agencies, I love the industry, the characters and the perks that go with it. However when one of the key problems facing the industry is sourcing good people to help support the people they already have who are often stressed and struggling from working in under resourced teams then looking at offering more flexible working schemes such as working from home, part time hours or job sharing, should be explored. Especially when it’s the more experienced candidates, who you really want to be a part of your business, that this flexibility would most suit.
Many agencies I have spoken with say they would be open to recruiting someone who wants to work from home or part time but they are just not set up for that and need people in the office. Surely we can easily sort out these issues? Many agencies have people working from home already and with the technology we have at our disposal such as skype, VPN, conference calling etc, why does it matter so much where someone is actually based?
For me it is simple, recruitment has to be about the best candidate. If the best candidate can only work 3 days and it needs to be from home that person should be seriously considered. Often people who work from home get more done. This is not a disenfranchised group I’m talking about, I’m not appealing on their behalf, I simply think some employers are missing a trick by not taking advantage of this growing group of talent in an industry that is desperate for talent.
If you are looking for a new digital job, or looking to hire people for digital roles give me a shout anytime simon@digital-minds.co.uk

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