Katy Doolan, Team Leader
Over the past 18 months we have noticed the rise in articles about digital skills in the charity sector – you see it reflected in conference programmes, one-off events and in sector news, as well as the MemberWise Digital Excellence report 2019.
A lot of this content focuses on the challenges on hiring digital skills – we want to share something that offers solutions and extends from quick wins to more instrumental changes in your approach to the market and your hiring processes.
It’s incredibly useful to understand the wider market context before looking at how we improve our approach to talent acquisition. Given its Prospectus’ focus we often talk about digital and tech through the lens of charities, membership bodies and other not for profit organisations. In the same vein of finance, digital and tech skills are sector agnostic, so we can get a much richer picture if we really open up our view of the market to include other sectors – it means we can develop an informed recruitment strategy.
The tech economy employs over 2.1 million people and is a bigger employer than sectors such as hospitality (1.3 million) and construction (1.9 million) – this includes a broad range of roles that are not just the “sharp end” of tech and digital such as Full Stack Developers but also Project Managers, Social Media Officers and Communications and Marketing. The digital and tech markets are growing at 2.6 times the rest of the economy and this has fueled an increase in these roles of 150% within the sector over the past four years.
The MemberWise Digital Excellence Report highlights the increase in digital across the sector, with one specific area noting a 12% increase in use of social media. The byproduct of this is that 35% of organisations now have a dedicated social media resource and recruiting for this role has increased, and continues to increase, by 5% year-on-year.
How can you access digital talent?
Charity Digital Jobs conducted a survey that surprisingly showed that only 21% of candidates listed salary and benefits as the most important thing to them when looking for a new role – with an organisation’s mission and cause (39%) and agile working/culture (26%) both scoring higher.
Our four top-tips
- Mission and Cause. Don’t be afraid to put your mission at the front and centre of your recruitment efforts. Making your charities mission and cause clear from the start will help you attract talent that is aligned with your ambitions.
- Can you offer flexible working? Agile working empowers staff to be able to work from anywhere, anytime in a way which suits them. It is becoming more popular for organisations to approach an on/off working culture, instilling trust in their team members, whether that be through offering flexible working hours, condensed working days or the ability to work from home. A big part of being able to approach this culture is to have the technology to support it, so if you can offer this make sure you talk about it.
- Social media is a great free tool that you can use to really evidence your employer branding and highlight your culture. Encouraging involvement from your staff will also support your organisational activity and increases your reach to different audiences.
- Events. Have a look at the latest digital and tech events (there are plenty out there), but remember you do not need to attend with a view of recruiting. Sending any member of staff gives them a chance to up-skill as well as network with individuals from other sectors, which in turn will increase your reach.
Prospectus is a specialist recruitment consultancy working exclusively with the beyond profit sector. For over 60 years Prospectus has been working across the UK and internationally to connect talented people with beyond profit organisations.