We need to talk about talent

The UK's digital economy is thriving. Digital businesses generally offer more flexible, less formal working practices, attractive workplaces and salaries that are above industry averages. But the UK risks losing its place in the top league of digital-media nations because of an emerging talent gap. Research for Tech Nation suggests that 745,000 additional digital skilled workers are needed within the next two years, and 1m by 2020, to fulfil the burgeoning demand for digital talent.

Women must be part of the conversation

However, that gap will only widen, unless we take tangible steps toward addressing the gender gap in digital marketing. Last year women accounted for less than a fifth of the UK’s IT workforce. Writer Caitlin Moran has observed that "If 90% of coders are men, developing and owning the language of the future, women won’t be part of the conversation."

A 2014 study among employees of Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter, by UC Berkeley, revealed that the overall female employment rate averaged 33%, dropping significantly for women in leadership and tech-specific roles. It’s not just a Silicon Valley issue, either. A recent IPA diversity study found that 25.8% of executives in British agencies were women. INSA found that figure dropped to 18% at specialist digital-media agencies it sampled.

Hiring from the same old places, gets the same old results

Part of the challenge lies in the fact that businesses are using 20th-century approaches to talent-sourcing that reinforce stereotyped views of the available talent pool. So Monster has introduced a range of recruiting solutions that use digital-marketing technologies to find digital-marketing talent in new places. For example, Monster Social Job Ads uses social-media insights to deliver details of your opportunity into the Twitter feed of people with relevant profiles.

TalentBin® by Monster allows recruiters to discover potential employees with digital know-how, where they are active online, based on their skills, interests and actions. It aggregates dynamic profiles from more than 100 social networks and professional sites, offering new ways to discover and engage talented individuals who might not have been found via traditional recruiting approaches.

Closing the gap

The digital gender gap can be addressed only by ensuring enough qualified women choose technology careers and reducing the number who leave the profession before they reach senior roles. Aside from investing in new recruiting technology, Monster is partnering several initiatives for schools and colleges to support young women in developing their digital skills.

Our Tech Talent Charter has been created to help digital businesses develop more inclusive hiring and retention processes. Now we’re proud to partner Marketing with Digital Mavericks, celebrating women in digital who have built success on their own terms and will inspire the next generation.


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