| 5 min read

How to Source Talent in The Digital World

Francesca Greane
Written by Francesca Greane

It is no secret that the world is changing. The advent of digital technology is driving a revolution that is permeating every business, in every industry, in almost every country.

As a result, everyone is suggesting digital strategies, giving advice on how to navigate these changes, and generally talking about the fact that businesses now have to transform how they are operating if they want to survive, with the likes of Forbes recently announcing that an inability to do so is catastrophic for business development.

 But one thing that is not being discussed nearly enough is how businesses also need to transform their talent acquisition. As Ben Gledhill, Head of Resourcing at Yodel, noted in an exclusive interview: “everything is digital first…we’ve had to massively alter our talent acquisition methods”.

With the rise of digital creating a skills gap, businesses are now really struggling to bring in the talent necessary for success. 46% of global talent leaders have cited finding candidates as a major obstacle to business transformation.

Furthermore, according to a Gartner study, in 2020 30% of tech jobs will be unfilled owing to digital talent shortfalls. We have discussed the reasons for this skills gap previously, but now we explore ways in which companies can transform their talent acquisition processes in order to attract this digital talent and ensure long-term commercial success.


1. Go Social

Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly popular as a recruiting source, as more and more candidates connect their personal and professional lives on these platforms. In 2012, 1 in 6 people credited social media with finding their current job, and this trend has only continued to grow; in 2017, 52% of candidates used Facebook whilst searching for a job, with 34% using Twitter.  

The increasing popularity of these platforms might be down to the fact that they humanise employers and candidates by breaking down the formalities of a job application process, or because it enables candidates to contact potential employers on their terms. In either instance, in order to attract digital talent, it is clear that businesses now need to be looking to social as a source.


2. Meet them where they play

Sorry to break it to you, but the talent world is no longer all about LinkedIn. Indeed, whilst it still is an undeniably useful search tool for recruiters, digital talent just doesn’t hang out on this platform anymore.

With the advent of the likes of AngelList for entrepreneurs, GitHub and Stack Overflow for engineers, or Kaggle for data scientists, digital talent is moving off of the generalist channels and onto specific platforms where they can interact with like-minded professionals and hone their skills. As a result, these channels are full of talented, potential candidates that may not be on your competitors’ radars yet.


3. Activate the passive

One of the biggest misconceptions in today’s digital world is that digital talent is waiting to be approached by recruiters. In reality, data suggests that 73% of candidates are passive job seekers, and that these individuals tend to be very high-quality candidates. What does this mean for recruiters?

It means that a large proportion of their potential digital talent aren’t actively looking for a role, and if you limit your search to only those who are ‘open to opportunities’ then you will be missing out on some genuinely good candidates. Talent professionals now have to shake up their acquisition methods – which typically only target active candidates – in order to engage this untapped pool of potential talent.


4. Personalise 

In a world where digital talent is in short supply and high demand- and where they know it - businesses can no longer afford to send generic messages in their bid to attract talent. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that they put their focus on personalised outreach as Forbes said, “The new reality for talent recruitment: personalisation, relevance and automation”.

Candidates now expect every potential outreach to be personalised and relevant to their situation so, if you want to be in with a chance of attracting the attention of that top talent, you simply have to invest the time and effort in sending bespoke outreach.


5. Take it offline 

Despite being the age of digital, there is still a massive trend of candidates attending events and MeetUps as a chance to network. Research by Nesta revealed that, in 2015, there were 1,391 unique ‘tech’ MeetUp groups, that were based in 160 locations in the UK, and which had a gross total of 434,826 members.

And with 71% of these groups being created since 2013, it is evident that the level of MeetUp activity is on the up. What does this mean for businesses today? Just as they need to adjust what platforms they are sourcing their candidates on, they now need to adjust where they are meeting candidates – namely, they need to be present at these events, because the potential to find and engage a passive candidate here is now too good to ignore.


 6. Bring in an expert

Evidently, there are numerous ways that businesses alter their talent acquisition process in order to find and source digital talent. But, for some businesses, making this adjustment just isn’t a priority; their focus is purely on transforming their business and customer experiences.

But, we already know that businesses can no longer afford not to bring in digital talent – a failure to do so can even result in negative revenue. So, in this instance, it’s time to call in a professional. A specialist recruitment agency will already know where to find scarce talent, how to engage them, and how to get them interested in your proposition. By outsourcing in this way organisations remove the need to overhaul their entire talent acquisition process but will still gain the influx of digital talent that is so vital to business success.


Struggling to source the digital talent necessary to drive your transformation?

Third Republic are specialists in their fields; using modern recruitment methods to access passive pools of talent, we act as a partner for our clients’ talent needs. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help.