Digital Talent - Get 'em, Keep 'em

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

When you type 'attracting digital talent', Google almost hiccups with excitement with all the information it throws back at you. This is hardly surprising, given the rapid increase of companies that undergo a digital transformation journey and rely on technology for their success. Job openings are plentiful and digital talent is sought after like life rafts on the Titanic. Employers experience growing pains while trying to fill open spots, with a shortage of digital talent being the main challenge for many.

The advice given is rich and diverse. In summary, your company should

  • Ensure that digital is part of your corporate strategy and well embedded into the company's DNA

  • Develop and nurture an employer brand attractive for the tech-savvy

  • Use digital channels and social media platforms for recruitment

  • Optimize your 'speed of hire' and provide a quick, convenient recruitment experience

It is somewhat obvious that companies cannot expect tekkie talent to write a cover letter and send it by mail. Yet, even the more common online application form feels painfully impractical when you're used to booking a flight to Bali in seconds from  your phone.

In times where applicants produce an interactive, gamified resume (please click on that link, you'll love it), companies may end up on the analog back foot if they hold on to their archaic recruitment practices. Yet, strong practical examples for exciting innovations in this field is as scarce as generic advice is abundant.

Therefore, I wanted to list some truly innovative campaigns and projects creative minds came up with to attract digital talent, motivate and keep them. Be ready to get inspired:

  • DYSON's brilliant Rethinkers campaign that offers a challenge via Youtube clip and gives applicants a chance to meet their CEO

  • AVIVA’s Digital Garage in Singapore – the insurer has created a dedicated space for tekkies, designers and commercial teams to explore and develop new insurance ideas and services

  • GOOGLE’s Made With Code initiative that aims to attract more women to coding and computer science.

  • SAATCHI & SAATCHI recruiting for their agency through their own app, letting people share creative thoughts directly with a Mobile Creative Director

  • ETSY’s (an online marketplace) campaign targeting software engineers, using pictures of their products and software terminology to describe them

  • L'OREAL's Brandstorm Competition, letting college students prove themselves in the shoes of a L'Oreal Brand Manager

  • AOL, JPMORGAN and SNAPCHAT themselves who use Snapchat as their recruiting tool

  • DBS, CAPGEMINI and others organizing hackathons to spot and recruit digital talent

  • UPWORTHY, a media company that posted an open-ended job posting, leaving it to the creativity of the applicants to craft the role

These are only a few examples of many great initiatives out there. What is your company doing to attract and keep digital talent? I'd love to hear your ideas and discuss.


About the author: I'm a human resources consultant, speaker & learner with 10+ years of experience working in Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong. You can find me discussing people topics in client meetings, HR conferences or my favourite coffee shops in Hong Kong and Singapore.