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Why Great Recruitment Should Be at the Heart of Digital Transformation

Posted by: Justin Byrne
20/11/2018

 
In case you hadn’t noticed, the world is going digital. Organisations from multinational corporations to corner shops have realised that digital technology not only makes things like communication, data processing and market research many times easier, it also facilitates entirely new types of innovation which can drive barely believable growth. When else in history could a company go from worthless to a $400 billion valuation in 12 years? Facebook has.
 
I’d quite like to be worth $400 billion, say other organisations, so they’re choosing to go digital too.
 
The process of going digital has its own snappy acronym: DT, or digital transformation. This term covers everything from going paperless to changing the very culture of an organisation to better handle a digital future. It’s a broad designation, certainly, but there’s perhaps no more important task to modern organisations than understanding and undertaking DT.
 
Because of this groundswell, DT is no longer an opt-in process. It is absolutely vital for the long-term health of any organisation, no matter how big or small, tech-driven or traditional. And we now find ourselves at somewhat of a tipping point – with 55% of start-ups adopting a digital business strategy from the outset, and 38% of traditional businesses already boasting a digital strategy, those who choose not to take the leap will soon find themselves in the minority.
 
Recruitment, along with the just as important HR responsibilities of training and retention, plays a crucial but often ignored role in DT. The right people to assist you in your digital transformation need far more than IT skills. They’ll also have to bring (or develop) soft skills - being able to understand your organisation and your people, your culture and your direction, and work well within these parameters to get your company moving forward.
 
Great recruitment is vital to the success of your digital transformation. And here’s why.

 

It brings in the missing skills you need


 
Sure, training up your current team will eventually see them becoming a well-rounded unit. But development takes time, and there’s no guarantee that a team member will be interested in gaining certain skills, nor hang around after they’re trained up. You need a diverse, skilled team to get the DT process underway, and recruitment is the most efficient way to build such a team. Let’s say your expenses system needs to be upgraded as part of your DT, but none of your team knows how. By recruiting someone with that skill set you can get the job done sooner rather than later. And by training them up on your in-house systems into the future, their mix of skills will see the long-term potential of your team skyrocket.

 

New people drive cultural change


 
We’ve always done it this way. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. People don’t like change. It can be seen as a lot of effort, or downright scary. If the culture of your organisation has been static for some time, generating excitement around a digital transformation can be difficult and can make actually enacting change all but impossible.
 
Recruiting offers a circuit breaker. Bringing in more digitally literate talent can initiate a culture shift within your organisation. Young people have grown up in the digital age. Their presence will help to make your digital transformation far less scary, and they can train less literate employees in the basics. Once your employees see DT for what it is, they’ll be far more open to it.

 

They also bring new ideas and ways of working


 
‘But why don’t you do it this way?’ It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes can see when they look at your business. And if those eyes belong to a recruit with skills and experience in digital transformation, the insights are even more valuable. The talent search shouldn’t be constrained to your industry – other sectors may be further along the DT pipeline than your own, and bringing in new ideas and ways of working from the professionals in these fields can prove invaluable.

 

Temporary workers plug skills gaps


 
The digital transformation process is a multi-faceted one, and on occasion, you’ll require a skill set not possessed by your team. Recruitment allows you to plug these skills gaps with temporary workers and keep up the momentum. These gaps won’t be unique to IT either – trainers, management consultants, CTOs and other highly skilled professionals may need to be quickly and temporarily recruited to ensure that your digital transformation is successful.
 
DT necessitates a long-term, strategic view, and this view must extend to the team members who will enact the transformation. Skills planning, training and development all play key roles in your transformation being a success, but recruitment is the most efficient way to ensure you’ve got the necessary skills and experience.
 
Recruit well, digitally transform, and who knows, you could be worth $400 billion too.
 
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