Digital is not a normal recruitment sector; it is devoid of reality compared to the general recruitment market. Digital is the football equivalent of Manchester City, operating by a unique set of rules in the employment industry.

As the country constantly sits on the brink of another recession, digital basks in the sun of job security and often incredible salary increases. And this situation is not likely to stop anytime soon. The fact remains that Digital is rapidly expanding as quickly as skilled people can be trained/hired. The war for Digital talent is the most eagerly fought of any recruitment sector.

The rapid rise of Digital has created a job vacuum and the industry has far more jobs available than skilled people to take them, this has generated a candidate driven market in which everyone is hunting for talent.

Taking this into account, it is fascinating that so few employers have created any innovative recruitment strategies other than ‘let’s offer them more money’. In fact it is strange to see so many companies scrambling for talent but investing little into a strategy of how to secure and retain it. So here are a few points I believe can help you improve your conversion rate and win the war for talent.


  1. Don’t rely on the power of your brand; often it is not as powerful as you think! Believe it or not your brand does not sell itself as I have been told several times. The key is to ensure the people who are running the interviews can actively sell and promote your business but equally promote the benefits of working for them as an individual: people buy into people and the people who run the best interviews secure more talent than the people who don’t sell and let the company speak for itself.


  1. Research! So few companies ask me what does the candidate specifically want? Is it progression, is it training, is it money etc. It’s vital before a candidate attends an interview that you have a grasp of what you need to specifically promote in order to secure that individual if you decide they are right for your business.


  1. The recruitment process in digital is often expedited; it has to be because the best candidates go on and off the market so quickly. Nothing frustrates a candidate more than a company not being able to officially offer a job because HR have no sign off. Don’t win the battle for the candidate but lose the war internally to hire them.


  1. The most perilous stage of the recruitment process is the time between a candidate accepting a role and starting the role. Often companies think job done and wait for the candidate to start. But this is Digital – the company the candidate is leaving is well aware of the cost associated with replacing them and so often go to work during this time trying various methods to try and get the candidate to stay and renege on the new job. If only one party is talking to the candidate for potentially upwards of a 3 month notice period, this can have a devastating effect. As a recruiter I spend a lot time educating clients on methods of keeping in touch with candidates after they have been offered and including them when possible in social events, creating buy in to the new business.


  1. Shameless plug I know… But work with good recruiters! A recruiter’s value is not sourcing candidates; anyone can go onto LinkedIN nowadays and compile a list of Digital ADs for example but a recruiter manages every part of the recruitment process. They flag up concerns, they personally get involved in ensuring a candidate starts and they educate your line managers. The difference between a good recruiter and average one can define the war for talent in Digital.


These are just some of the things I believe are useful to implement in order to maximise your chances of winning the war for talent, for further information on Digital Minds and how we can help you as a candidate or client give me a shout. simon@digital-minds.co.uk

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