5 traits your next hire in a digital business needs

OPINION · Talent / 29th May 2019

Hiring the right people for your digital business is never an easy task – especially when you’re a growing company with new roles to fill. Yet, as your business expands, it’s easy to forget to focus on the job at hand, and to consider the actual traits you’re looking for.

Of course, every role in your digital business in unique and there are certain skills that are specific to some job titles. There’s also strong competition, with many agencies and consultancies vying for the same type of candidates.

I recently wrote another article on the importance of having values in your company – at ORM we have the handy acronym GRIT to follow. This goes hand in hand with looking for the right traits in prospective employees, as having the best people in place will be the difference between success and failure for your business.

So how do you identify the stand-out candidates for your digital business? Here are five key traits to look out for:

1. Digital awareness

Whilst this may seem to be an obvious trait, it can often be overlooked. All businesses are in a state of trying to “think outside the box”, and want to hire employees who will bring in exciting new ways of doing things. Yet, a digital company needs to consider its ultimate business goals, and have like-minded employees who also want to deliver digital products, onboard.

Look for candidates who demonstrate strong digital awareness and have previous experience of working in the sectors you’re clients are in.

2. Data savvy

Data is the hot trend in digital right now, with businesses accumulating more data about their customers than ever before. The clients your company is working with are wanting to do more with this data, yet they often need guidance on how to do so effectively.

It’s important that your next hire has an understanding of data and how to apply it in different situations – whether that’s using predictive analytics, segmentation and profiling, or just be willing to learn new tactics.

3. Commerciality

We’re firm believers at ORM that new business is everyone’s responsibility. This doesn’t mean everyone is pitching to prospects, but rather individuals looking at their own network of contacts and being willing to contribute new ideas for content pieces.

Having an awareness of the commercial side of the business is also important for client engagement, project delivery, sales and marketing and any head of department – meaning this trait is necessary to look for in any new hire.

4. Communication and networking

This is a tough one, as being succinct and good at talking to people doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Some people even have an aversion to networking and are much more comfortable putting their head down for the job at hand.

Nonetheless, your digital business needs people who do possess these qualities, or at least the potential to build on these skills. From the leadership team right through to junior employees, everyone in your business needs to communicate with others, and networking is a natural path to make connections and raise their own and the company’s profile.

Even attending events, whether for prospecting or learning purposes, people in your business will be interacting with prospective new clients, partners, or other such connections. So looking out for good communication and networking traits in candidates is a must.

5. Flexibility and passion

This is a really important trait any new hire in your digital business needs to have. Circumstances of a company can change, especially when technology and innovation are at the forefront of the business, so having employees who can easily adapt to any changes is vital.

Likewise, being passionate about the work they do, is also essential for any new candidate you hire. You want to fill your business with enthusiastic, caring employees, who always strive to deliver the best results possible.

Don’t settle for someone who’s simply competent at the role they’re applying for – look for candidates who’ll go that extra mile and keep their colleagues on their toes. They’re the ones who’ll ultimately help your business succeed, by engaging peers, clients and anyone else who comes through the door.

Stick to these five traits the next time you’re interviewing, or even just screening a prospective new employee. It might take some time to find the right person, but remember that poor hires are expensive mistakes, and great candidates will be worth waiting for.

Emma Rosenberg Emma Rosenberg Global Talent Director Emma Rosenberg