We’ve all seen what happens to businesses who are slow to adapt to the digital-first economy. Take, for instance, Topshop – a brand that has, over the years, failed to keep up with it’s digital rivals: ASOS, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing. The digital economy can be tough, and fatalities over the past year have been rife. The pandemic accelerated the widespread digital revolution and, as a result, consumer habits, the way we work and the way we live has been irreversibly changed. Preparing your business for a digital-first future has never been higher up the agenda.
But, with 45% of executives believing that their company doesn’t have the right technology or skills to implement a digital transformation (AI Multiple), it’s clear that plenty of companies are in a dangerous position. It’s a daunting process to begin future-proofing a business, which is why digital recruitment experts, Futureheads, have outlined five ways companies can prepare themselves to be fit for the digital economy.
- Focusing on growth opportunities
Digital transformation is often approached from a place of fear. After all, it’s understandable for businesses to feel uncertain when faced with a seemingly unknown future. Yet moving to digital offers many benefits, the main being the opportunity for immense growth.
For the retail sector, for instance, developing a digital-first approach means no longer being limited by shop space. Alongside this, products can now travel straight from the warehouse to the consumer, making the entire process far more efficient.
And for service-based businesses, this opens up opportunities for expanding into the global market space, with distant geographical locations no longer a barrier to business opportunities.
Organisations that are innovative and quick to adjust their business model to embrace digital change will gain an edge over competitors that are slower off the mark.
- Leveraging working from home
The increase in uptake and resources for remote working is great news for businesses looking to expand their team. With 68% of employees looking to carry on working from home either part-time or full-time, according to Futureheads’ recent People, Jobs and Money Report – the size of office spaces are no longer a limiting factor when it comes to scaling businesses.
And, on top of this, the search for talent has widened too. Remote working means that companies can now find the very best candidates for each and every role, with the search for talent now global in its scale.
For many companies, the move to digital has created a skills gap, with 54% of employees requiring significant reskilling by 2022 (World Economic Forum). The sheer speed of digital transformation, as well as it’s wide-ranging scope, can be challenging for any business to keep up with. But this is where developing a robust upskilling strategy comes in.
Not everyone needs to be experts in coding, AI and cloud computing but, in order to be fit for the digital economy, having at least one staff member who is practiced in these areas will be a valuable asset for future-proofing your business.
- Developing a network of collaborators
As well as upskilling existing employees, when preparing your business for the digital economy, it’s well worth considering creating a network of organisations or freelance workers that are at hand to deliver training or aid temporary pressures.
For instance, there are plenty of organisations such as Skills Union and Upskill Digital that offer support for businesses in retraining staff. And, in the meantime, to keep your business running smoothly while it undergoes this change it can be worth collaborating with outsourced teams already in possession of the required skills while existing employers undergo training programmes.
- Recruiting tech talent
It’s safe to say that the current digital-first model, taking precedence during the pandemic, is here to stay (and will develop further) over the years to come. Having a strong in-house team who are experts in all things tech and digital – from AI, to cloud computing, to software and web development – will put any business in a stronger position within the digital marketspace.
Sourcing new talent can be a challenge in itself, which is why it’s a great idea to work with digital recruitment specialists such as Futureheads, whose experts can help identify areas of your business where more digital skills are required, helping to connect your business with those highly sought after candidates.
The digital transformation that is already well underway across virtually every sector is not something to be ignored. Businesses that are collaborative and have clear upskilling, hiring and flexible working strategies in place, will be well positioned to enjoy the growth offered by a digital-first economy.
As the past year has shown, it’s no longer a case of when to begin these transformational efforts, but how. For expert insight and guidance across a range of recruiting requirements get in touch with Futureheads at [email protected], visit our website or find us on social (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram).
Be has been in the recruitment industry for almost 20 years, developing an early specialism in digital and user experience when these disciplines were in their nascent phases. Armed with a keen eye and passion for spotting digital trends, Be has grown with the industry and now boasts an impressive network of the digital elite.
Be’s work today is focused on helping other businesses navigate the world of digital and recruitment by helping them develop comprehensive hiring strategies. As an original Futureheads founder focused on driving and growing the business’s profile, Be continues to lead on marketing, brand, quality and delivery.
Outside of Futureheads, Be’s instinctive approach with building external profiles and industry knowledge now sees her advising on panels, speaking at industry events and working with professional bodies and press partners.