How to navigate the digital jobs sector in 2017


The exciting thing about recruiting in the digital sector is that the market is extremely fluid and rapidly changing, and each area is moving forward in slightly different ways.

This creates a range of new roles that appear each month and a client and candidate pool that is increasingly disparate in terms of expectations.

Here are six areas where significant trends are expected to emerge in the digital jobs sector in 2017.

1. Emerging e-tail

2016 has seen a spate of ‘e-tail roles’ – job positions with businesses that don’t sell online directly but need a point of liaison with the ecommerce brands they deal with.

>See also: Digital industries are growing 32% faster than the rest of the economy

The skillset is somewhere between ecommerce, with strong user experience (UX) elements and sales/account management. The roles tend to be prevalent through the channel retail businesses or FMCGs.

This is such a new area candidates are rarely found to be doing exactly this for a brand, and often recruiters have to find candidates with the component skills to fit the brief.

2. Digital fundraising

Within the third sector, there has been a lot of growth in digital fundraising, which again tends to be somewhere between onsite optimisation and direct sales.

In technology, automation and personalisation are the big growth fields, with newer acquisition focuses within programmatic, highly targeted search.

These brands want to be able to approach their customers with highly targeted campaigns, and tend to have a lot more focus on data and analytics roles as well.

3. Social selling and content

Retail businesses are often looking at new sales channels, with targeted social ecommerce growing rapidly. The engagement with a customer earlier in their journey is becoming more important. This is a content-driven activity and is looking to engage with customers before the decision to purchase is made.

This is prevalent across industries and verticals – the difference is the client base, not the strategy. Within the travel sector, some brands are starting to look at hiring in-house commercial bloggers and videographers to improve both outreach and SEO.

4. Expanding existing roles

Closer to home, roles that are now more established, such as SEO, seem to be going through a secondary evolution, with many brands that once upon a time had one person owning SEO now splitting the team into technical (canonicals, robot files, metadata etc.), content and outreach experts.

Equally, social – once primarily used for pushing out campaigns – can now have four or five functions, from promotions, customer service and brand outreach all the way through to direct sales and SEO.

Additionally, everything is becoming more specifically targeted, with both automation and programmatic display seeing a recent uplift.

5. Digital in general

There is also an increasingly number of roles that traditionally sat with agencies, such as affiliates and aggregators, starting to come in-house as brands appreciate that hiring an ex-agency specialist directly is often more efficient than hiring the whole agency.

There’s still a surprisingly high number of businesses that have yet to join the digital revolution, particularly in the B2B space, and a high number of roles are tasked with large-scale digital transformation.

>See also: Winning the tech talent war as digital transformation heats up

However, one of the reasons candidates often say they’re looking for a new role is that brands haven’t financially committed to making these digital changes, causing frustration for the individuals who expect things to be fast moving.

6. Future-gazing

An exciting proposition on the horizon is growth of a wider creative team, with more brands asking recruiters indicative questions around the value of bringing video creation, digital design, forum management and blogs in-house, or creating new content streams such as podcasts.

Since a lot of the digital recruitment world is new, often there’s inconsistency in the titles and responsibilities of roles across brands. Five digital marketing managers can each manage a very different set of channels, while five people with the same responsibilities can have very different job titles.


Sourced from Richard Cobbold, manager, and Alex Hall, regional director, Michael Page Digital

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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