Bridging the Digital Skills Gap: A Case Study
Building the digital skills gap is a highly topical issue at the moment which largely affects everyone within an organisation. This can be achieved through various means as explained eloquently by Amelia Steele- one of which is pairing graduates with more senior candidates in the organisation. This is an interactive, gradual means of instilling less experienced hires with digital skills.
At ANDDigital, they have introduced an initiative in their onboarding process wherein all new candidates begin their employment on the same day to enhance interpersonal relationships within the team dynamic. This is further solidified through the implementation of monthly boot camps, to continuously build on these relationships and provide a sense of consistency.
Amelia spoke on the importance of understanding candidates' struggles and the various ways in which this empathy can be expressed and how this is what will help to bring in the next generation of talent.
- Using inclusive language in your job ads, social media and consistently so that indivuals do not feel marginalised in any way or deterred from applying- ANDDigital have implemented this by ensuring that their job descriptions are gender neutral.
- Having an onboarding plan in place. While the nature of this will vary between businesses, it is important that there is one in place as this is found to greatly enhance engagement with the first 3-6 months being the most likely time candidates will leave
- Ensuring you treat all new candidates fairly and equally regardless of their position in the company
- Instilling candidates with knowledge about the company so they have a sense of purpose behind what they are doing
- Reporting on gender and ethnicity pay gaps to establish where the business is with regards to diversity and inclusion
- Positive action- ANDDigital run workshops specifically aimed at the younger generation of people less likely to apply to make them aware of the many opportunities available
- Not placing a disproportionate amount of value on certain aspects of the interview process and viewing candidates in terms of their potential
In an inspiring case study, Amelia recounted an example of a candidate who struggled with the section of their interview process assessing whether they are a good cultural fit for the company. The candidate struggled with this section as he did not have much prior experience to relate to the questions. ANDDigital brought in the candidate for a face-to-face interview with a highly experienced interviewer and sent him questions beforehand so that he could prepare. Following this, the candidate provided much stronger answers and subsequently had a much better experience- creating a better outcome for both company and candidate.
Having a level of empathy and showing candidates that you understand their challenges is fundamental not only to their wellbeing, but their personal development. According to ThoughtWorks, this is the key to securing the best candidates in the next generation of talent.