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05 May 15

How To Spot The Best Digital Talent

Effective communication with existing and potential stakeholders has always been key for charities and non-profits. But digital communication channels are overtaking offline ones in terms of frequency of use. That means that hiring the right digital talent that can harness these channels is crucial for any organisation.

These developments are still relatively new. Email marketing, social media and SEO (to name but a few) have only popped up in the last 15 years– that’s really not a long time at all. Consequently, hiring manager might be unsure what skills they really need to look for when recruiting for digital jobs. These are the five skills that the consultants at Flow Caritas believe digital talent really need to make a positive contribution to your charity.

1. Producing compelling and sensitive content

Offering quality content to stakeholders and potential donors has become the most important part of communications. So, anyone you hire to engage your audience must be able to produce good content, be it written, on video, or visual. And since content creation will rarely be their only responsibility they have to be able to produce content effectively alongside their other tasks. Lastly they need to be able to communicate sensitively about the issues addressed by your organisation.

2. Advocating digital understanding

Communications professionals cannot work in a silo. To produce the content needed to do their job effectively they need input from different teams – for example, to create case studies about your charity’s projects and programmes. They must lso be able to advocate for the proliferation of digital understanding throughout the charity. They need to make sure that everyone knows their work not just about nice words and pretty pictures, but is in fact key to their success. Without great digital communications, making your case to supporters is very tricky.

3. Understand the technical aspects of the job

Great digital candidates should have hands-on digital experience and need to understand key marketing strategies. Depending on the job role these includes social media management, optimising websites, and creating an effective brand. Pay attention to their responsibilities and achievements in their previous jobs and check if these match what your organisation needs from your new digital talent. Of course there are cases where someone is a great match even if they do not have all the experience. However in that case they need to have a track record of picking up skills quickly and taking ownership of their own learning.

4. Modernising digital charity functions

It’s a fact that many charities are behind in the way they use digital platforms. Modernising your charity’s approach them ultimately means that you can reach more supporters whilst spending less money. The importance should not be underestimated. If you believe your organisation might be behind you need to look for digital talent who not only has the technical knowledge but who have leadership skills and an enterprising mind set.

5. Synchronising digital across the organisation

Your communications team should not be the “go-to” guys for anything digital and/or technical. When other teams in the organisation need specific tools quite frequently there might be a case for them to learn how to do it themselves. For example, when a fundraising team sends out a regular mailshot. Your new digital talent needs to be able to pass on their knowledge appropriately, and develop systems that non-digital teams can use.