4 soft skills you need to get ahead in digital

By May 2, 2016Latest News

Hiring digital talent is tough in an industry that’s changing at a rapid rate, and where the relevance of defined skillsets is constantly shifting.

While previously an emphasis has been placed on hard skills, such as technical ability and proven experience, increasingly digital employers are looking for candidates with a blended mix of skills.

To help facilitate growth, employers are shifting focus to place more value on softer skills that’ll enable them to hire staff of a similar mindset and with management potential.

According to research from marketing recruitment agency The Candidate, almost 70% of British digital managers feel that for technical roles, “soft skills are overlooked in comparison to hard skills”, with 25% believing that prioritising technical training over soft-skill roles was having a “negative” effect on the digital industry.

A joint 2016 report from the Department for Business, Skills & Innovation and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport supports this, emphasising the necessity of softer skills to be effective in a digital workplace. It warns “digital skills must not be viewed in isolation from other skills such as soft skills”.

As employers and hiring managers begin to slowly embrace the benefits a combination of skills can bring to digital teams, here are four key soft skills that are already in demand.

  1. Flexibility

In an industry that’s constantly evolving, digital staff need to be adaptable, and confident working in an environment where they’re required to keep pace with the latest technology and trends.

A strong appetite for learning and an agile approach to traditional working practices will set candidates apart.

  1. Creativity

A willingness to experiment, play, and innovate is crucial in digital, because as a young industry led by change, employers are looking to staff to find new and better ways of working.

Being able to think creatively, suggest new ideas and follow-through are highly desirable qualities in a prospective employee.

  1. Problem solving

Especially relevant in a digital environment, where technology can fail and work-arounds are needed constantly, being able to think objectively in a crisis, prioritise and troubleshoot issues is key.

  1. Communication

As a lot of work in digital involves collaboration and working as part of a wider team, employees should to be confident communicating with a variety of stakeholders.

Candidates need to demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate effectively, verbally and on paper.

Think you’ve got all the skills employers are looking for? Get in touch with the team at Digital People to discuss your next digital role today.