David Edmundson-Bird: “The Hunt for Digital Talent”

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David Edmundson-Bird: “The Hunt for Digital Talent”

  1. 1. The Hunt for Digital Talent David Edmundson-Bird Principal Lecturer in Digital & Social Media Comms at MMU Manchester Metropolitan University
  2. 2. The Hunt for Digital Talent • Agenda – Who am I? – The specific problems facing those recruiting for digital talent in the North West – The key issues in the areas where the talent is being curated – The benefits and drawbacks of initiatives to deal with the talent curation problem – The risks faced by businesses that do not respond to the talent curation problem
  3. 3. Who am I? • Principal Lecturer in Digital & Social Media Comms at MMU • Academic Credentials – Programme Director for MSc Digital Marketing, MSc Multi-Channel Retailing, PG Cert Digital Comms Management – Founder – Agency Life Programme – Research background in AI early 90s • Commercial Background – Started Manchester’s 2nd web design agency in 1995 – Chief Learning Architect at Academee 1999 - 2002
  4. 4. SPECIFIC PROBLEMS FACING THOSE RECRUITING FOR DIGITAL TALENT
  5. 5. Problem 1: The End of Recession* 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Vacancies Candidates *Not actual data: for display purposes only
  6. 6. Problem 2: The End of Handouts • Regime change in 2010 = end to government subsidy for training • “Is there a grant or fund I can access for this?” • Did NW digital creative sector get hooked on handouts? • Why should The State pay for your staff to be trained just so that you can make money?
  7. 7. Problem 3: The BBC • Arrival of Media City • A genuine belief that “they will steal all of the best people” – This did not happen
  8. 8. Problem 4: Invisibility • “You’ve never heard of us?”
  9. 9. Problem 5: Cannibalization • Digital Manchester/NW is a village • The best (in fact all) candidates merely move from one firm to another • MDs/CEOs really hate this yet they are doing it themselves • There are some unscrupulous operators in the recruitment sector fuelling this
  10. 10. Problem 6: London/New York • The very best don’t stay – This is both workers and firms No cool jobs No cool employees No cool clients No cool contracts No cool employers
  11. 11. KEY ISSUES IN THE AREAS WHERE THE TALENT IS BEING CURATED
  12. 12. Talent Curation • We have: – Pile of big, great universities – Pile of big, great colleges – Pile of big, great apprenticeship programmes – Pile of big, great training courses • So we shouldn’t have any issues
  13. 13. Issues • “They aren’t teaching them the right thing at University/College” • “They aren’t the kind of people we’re looking for” • “I can’t find the right apprentice” • “I can’t afford the training course fees” • “If I give them training/education/development, they will leave”
  14. 14. BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF INITIATIVES
  15. 15. Uni Programmes • The Fee Paradox and generic courses • Digital is scary and hard • Placements tend to be in blue chips • It takes a bit of effort to get involved and keep involved • There are some students who should not be at Uni
  16. 16. The ‘Best’ Paradox • “I only want your best graduates” vs “I only want to work for the best company” Companies Graduates The very best ‘Good enough’ for you? ‘Good enough’ for them?
  17. 17. Uni Placements/Internship Programmes • Experience • Skills • ‘Ready-to-work’ • And you know them
  18. 18. Digital/Social Media Apprenticeships • Great idea • Cherry-picking of candidates • Seen by some as a backdoor entry qualification for Uni • Regarded as cannibalizing the route to Uni by colleges/Displacement activity until time to go to Uni
  19. 19. RISKS FACED BY BUSINESSES THAT DO NOT RESPOND TO THE PROBLEM
  20. 20. Thinking it’s a Privilege to get a Job • Not any more, not for millenials ever • Remember the gap 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Vacancies Candidates
  21. 21. How much does a degree cost? • £27 - £36k plus living – We work on the expense/lost earnings cost of a degree £80k-£100k • The questions grads ask: – “Where were you when I needed help?”
  22. 22. I don’t need to get involved • I don’t need to give a guest lecture • I don’t need to mentor some kids who could do with a professional exemplar • I don’t need to offer some paid (at minimum wage rates) part-time career-related work to a student • I don’t need to offer a placement • I don’t need to offer a project • I don’t need to offer a busary • I don’t need to offer a scholarship • I don’t need to be on campus a lot
  23. 23. Sum it up: Your CTAs • Don’t think about who you want to recruit this summer – Think about your needs in Summer 2015, 2016, 2017 and beyond. • You have to start investing some time and (yes I’m sorry) some money • Think about choosing apprentices who would never think about going to University – Think of them as vehicles for social mobility and you might surprise yourself
  24. 24. Connect with me • Search “David Edmundson-Bird” on Google – And Google+ • Look for me on LinkedIn • See me as “groovegenerator” on Twitter

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