Digital professionals wanted? In the digital transformation, it is very expensive to hire new employees. But it gets even worse when they quit, because the job advertisement promised something completely different.

But the permanent changes in digital change are making job profiles more blurred and changing jobs. Companies have a completely new flexibility requirement for employees in the execution of work. But how do you formulate something like that in a job advertisement?

Digital professionals in job advertisements

Even the Handelsblatt states: “Especially in times of digitalization, the demand for qualified personnel is increasing every day and companies are trying to attract new talent through active sourcing (i.e. direct contact with external candidates), job exchanges and personal contacts.” Many new as well as old job profiles are searched, which are often not described or writable.

The magazine Impulse warns against hasty shots: “When it comes to digitalization, many companies think reflexively: I need an IT professional. But that has jumped too short.” In the magazine’s interview, Thomas Bockholdt recommends: “You need good project managers with IT affinity who are able to motivate, inspire others. To take away their fear, to make them clear: change does not bring uncertainty, but security. Because only with a change can we be sure tomorrow.

The magazine Handelsblatt therefore recommends setting a new focus specifically for advertisements: “A job advertisement must not only list requirements for the applicant, but can also radiate a positive, welcoming corporate culture by being attractively designed, containing all the important information about the company and the job, and above all, presenting the benefits of the company.” Also the magazine Sales industry says: “It’s like sales: if you want customers, you have to reach them and convince them of themselves. They really rarely come by themselves and only when the brand is excellent.

Generalist and Specialist

The problem is often that there are hardly any training formats that meet the rapid developments in the digital sector, so we need to train in companies. This creates a wild mutual susita within the digital economy, which   dramatically increases the need for investment in employee retention (source sales economy).

The question remains whether one should look for generalists or specialists. In the following figure, I would like to present on the one hand the generalist and on the other hand the specialist.

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

In the first step, we see the specialist. This often has a unique benefit and clear USP (close to unique selling point). It can solve complicated problems and is well and gladly searched in almost all job advertisements. e.g.: SQL Expert, Java JEE Programmer,….

generalist-specialist
The advantages and disadvantages of the generalist in the company (own presentation)

In the second step, we see the generalist. He is an all-rounder and his remit is difficult to identify and describe. I often see this in places where consultants are searched. Since you want to set up the consultant broadly so that he can always accommodate the customer, this is very popular.

In addition to this generalist/specialist, I also looked at the level of experience. To this end, I came across the term Streetsmart and Booksmart. Read more in the article on digital minds what practical experience and theoretical experience mean for a digital professional.

Agility in a job ad

So the question now is how do companies get digital professionals? There is no question that they cannot avoid a classic job advertisement. But how can I bring the necessary agility into such. The magazine Career Bible presents the following top errors of job advertisements:

  • Companies hardly deal with   specific employer   characteristics.
  • They mainly use   interchangeable attributions   such as “world-leading”, “leading”, “international” and “innovative”.
  • They do not make it clear what actually distinguishes them   from other companies.
  • They do not ask   for differentiating skills of the applicant, but only for standard characteristics such as open-mindedness, “use”, “team capability” and “flexibility”.
  • Their job advertisements are written unprofessionally from a   craftsman’s perspective.

Now the justifiable question is: and how do you do it better? To this end, I have found some answers on t3n, which I have quoted and summarized in parts and which i present here:

  • Introducing companies like a startup
  • Optimize job advertisement like a website for SEO to a keyword
  • No extravagant titles (Head of Heads, Head of Agile, Senior Expert of extreme Things)
  • Humorous and entertaining spelling (Not: a great world market leader,…)
  • Don’t talk about the company, but address the applicant
  • Call to Action: Apply and get started right away; Start with us!
  • Job display visually well prepared

Additional tips on visual processing can be found from the career portal Monster:  Text alone is no longer enough. A successful set-up and a attractive design   of advertisements are the be-all and end-all for accurate recruiting. The magazine gives the following three tips:

  • Accompanying testimonial statements textually through video interviews
  • Make your location and workplace clear with a slideshow with photos
  • easily explain complex issues with infographics.

Conclusion and recommendations

Recruting in times of digital change has not changed fundamentally, but there are some new requirements and questions that companies need to address. However, more diverse job profiles need to be further differentiated by whom you actually want to hire. This raises the question of generalists or specialists. While one can be very agile and is ready, the other is more suitable for a specialty.

Of course, there is the T-Shape Professional, which has the perfect balance between expertise and general knowledge. Of course, someone is not just a generalist or just a specialist. Surely everyone will delve into something or look outside the box.

Now such digital professionals are still being sought via traditional job advertisements. However, it has been shown that they change a bit and are more like a pitch. The applicant should be approached and found in the advertisement. So the job ad is more of a one: Can you do that, that and that, we’re a cool company, do you fit in with us and do you want to work with us?

Reading tips:

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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