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How To Manage Digital Talent And Make Them Stay In The New Age

As digital transformation disrupts the workplace, it has not only forced us to reimagine where and when work is done but also who is going to do it. Digital leaders will face new challenges as they compete for digital talent that is in high demand. Without digital talents, companies will struggle to benefit as they should from the latest advances.

Digital marketplaces for freelance IT talent, such as Topcoder, Upwork, Kaggle, are rapidly growing as more people are choosing alternatives to full-time employment. Forbes estimates that 35% of people are choosing freelance work and this is rapidly growing, particularly among millennials. Companies that design workplaces for flexible approaches to both work and workers are more likely to succeed in the world of digital.

Who is digital talent?

Existing research on digital talent has explored their distinctive characteristics and found that digital talent tends to: 

  • Prefer cutting-edge work conditions and have increasingly high expectations of their employer; 
  • Exhibit a high learning orientation defined by digital trends and personal technological interests; 
  • Be highly mobile; 
  • Identify more with their profession and skill set than with their employer.

Most digital talents are very active and enjoy a cutting-edge working environment

Contrary to enduring cultural stereotypes that portray digital talent as computer geeks and nerds whose best friend is their latest gadget. In fact, digital talent, say, researchers, enjoy high social status referred to as ‘gold-collar’ and add considerable value to their organizations, economy, and society. They help design and maintain day by day the digital infrastructure on which substantial socio-economic activity currently rests.

Just think about it: you are reading this article online at your convenience because digital talent created this digital opportunity. The products of their minds are immaterial and can be stored in a tiny electronic space, yet their creations are exceptionally creative and valuable.

What makes these digital talents want to stay?

Once the company has a detailed understanding of “digital talent”, it needs to address the “how” of how to retain the right one. This is exactly what leaders in the digital age are aiming for. They delineate the following critical implications of digital talent management that organizations must consider if they wish to make their digital talent want to stay:  

  • Know your digital talent and know them well – carefully and patiently. Listen and find out what makes them tick, what learning opportunities and technologies will take them to the next level in their careers. Find out what motivates them day in day out; 
  • Adopt a development and retention mindset to make digital talent wish to stay; 
  • Act with integrity across the process from recruitment and onboarding to motivation and remuneration; 
  • Offer a compelling value proposition that closely reflects digital talent’s interests and values; 
  • Recognize digital talent’s skill set and adopt talent management practices that intimately mirror it;
  • Pay special attention to work-life balance and happiness in times of unusual uncertainty and stress. Take concrete measures that support these essential values.

In conclusion

It does little good to hire an artificial intelligence specialist or a team of data analysts if the rest of the organization has no idea why these new employees have arrived. And digital talent will have little inclination to join or stay with an organization in which they do not feel at home. The most important step in the long-term hiring and retention effort is therefore to use the new talent to help create a true digital culture. Seek to embed the entire workforce on a digital learning journey and inculcate a deep understanding of the company’s digital missions. “Whether you are ready or not, digital vision and competence are already differentiating Winners from Losers.”

Source: Forbes


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>> View more: Strategy In The Digital Age: 5 Issues That Companies Often Overlook (Part 1)

>> View more: To Win Or To Lose: Leading In Digital Era



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