Looking for digital specialists? In the digital transformation, it is very time-consuming to hire new employees. It gets even worse if they quit because something completely different was promised in the job advertisement.
But the permanent changes in digital change are making job profiles more vague and changing activities. Companies have completely new flexibility requirements for employees in the execution of work. But how do you phrase this in a job advertisement?

Digital specialists in job advertisements

Nice that Handelsblatt states: “Especially in times of digitization, the demand for qualified personnel increases daily and companies try to attract new talent through active sourcing (i.e. direct contact with external candidates), job exchanges and personal contacts.“So we are looking for numerous partly new and old job profiles, which, however, are often not precisely described or writable.
The magazine Impulses warns of rash shots: “When it comes to digitization, many companies reflexively think: I need an IT specialist. But that jumped too short.“In an interview with the magazine, Thomas Bockholdt therefore recommends:”You need good project managers with an IT affinity who are able to motivate and inspire others. To take away their fear, to make it clear to them: Change does not bring uncertainty, but security. Because only with one change can we still be safe tomorrow.
The magazine Handelsblatt therefore recommends setting a new focus especially for advertisements: “A job advertisement not only has to list requirements for the applicant, but can also exude a positive, inviting corporate culture by being attractively designed, containing all the important information about the company and the position and, above all, presenting the company’s advantages.“The magazine too Sales economy says: “It’s like in sales: if you want customers, you have to reach them and convince them of yourself. They really rarely come on their own and only if the brand is excellent.

Generalist and specialist

The problem is often that there are hardly any training formats that do justice to the rapid developments in the digital sector, so that we have to rely on training in the company. This creates a wild, mutual poaching within the digital economy, which the  The need to invest in employee loyalty increases dramatically (source Sales economy ).
The question remains whether one should look for generalists or specialists. In the following figure I would like to show the generalist on the one hand and the specialist on the other.

The advantages and disadvantages of the specialist in the company (own illustration)

In the first step we see the specialist. This often has a unique benefit and a clear USP. He can solve complicated problems and is easily searched for in almost all job advertisements. e.g. SQL expert, Java JEE programmer, ….

The advantages and disadvantages of the generalist in the company (own illustration)

In the second step we see the generalist. He is an all-rounder and his area of responsibility is difficult to recognize and describe. I often see this in positions where consultants are sought. Since you want to set up the consultant broadly so that he can always find a place with the customer, this is very popular.
In addition to this generalist / specialist, I also looked at the level of experience. For this I came across the terms Streetsmart and Booksmart. Read more in the article on digital minds what practical experience and theoretical experience mean for a digital specialist.

Agility in a job advertisement

So the question now arises how do companies get digital specialists? There is no question that they cannot avoid a classic job advertisement. But how can I bring the necessary agility into one. The magazine Career bible represents the following top mistakes of job advertisements:

  • The companies hardly go into it  concrete employer characteristics  on.
  • They predominantly use  interchangeable attributions  like “worldwide”, “leading”, “international” and “innovative”.
  • They don’t make it clear what they’re actually doing  different from other companies.
  • You don’t ask  differentiating abilities of the applicant, but only according to standard characteristics such as “open-mindedness”, “commitment”, “ability to work in a team” and “flexibility”.
  • Your job advertisements are from a craft perspective  written unprofessionally.

Now the legitimate question is: and then how do you do it better? I have to t3n found some answers, which I have cited and summarized in parts and presented here:

  • Introducing a company like a startup
  • Job advertisement like one Optimizing a website for SEO on a keyword
  • No extravagant titles (Head of Heads, Head of Agile, Senior Expert of extreme Things)
  • Humorous and entertaining spelling (not: a big world market leader, …)
  • Don’t talk about the company, talk to the applicant
  • Call to Action: Apply and get started right away; Get started with us!
  • Prepare the job advertisement visually well

Additional tips on visual preparation can be found from Career portal Monster :  Text alone is no longer enough. A successful structure and a attractive design  of advertisements are the alpha and omega of accurate recruiting. The magazine gives the following three tips:

  • Accompany testimonial statements with text through video interviews
  • Make the location and workplace clear with a slideshow with photos
  • Simply explain complex issues with infographics.

Conclusion and recommendations

Recruiting in times of digital change has not changed fundamentally, but there are some new requirements and questions that companies have to address. With more diverse job profiles, however, it is necessary to differentiate more precisely who you actually want to hire. This raises the question of generalists or specialists. While one can proceed very agile and is ready, the other can be used more for a specialty.
Of course there is the T-Shape Professional, which brings the perfect balance between specialist knowledge and general knowledge. Of course, someone is not just a generalist or just a specialist. Certainly everyone will delve into something or think outside the box.
Now such digital specialists are still being sought using traditional job advertisements. However, it has been shown that these change somewhat and are more like a pitch. The applicant should be addressed and found in the ad. So the job advertisement is more like: Can you do this, that and that, we are a cool company, do you fit in with us and do you want to work with us?
Reading tips :

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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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