Digital Skills Gap
Polishing your tech CV? Don't forget the human skills
13 January 2023 • 4 min read
There’s a widespread misconception about the skills we’re looking for here in digital. When we asked 5000 knowledge workers how they’d describe “digital skills”, 47% thought that was limited to coding and programming, building a website or creating an app. And while those capabilities do make up part of the picture, the majority of people overlook the most critical skills of all.
We can’t deliver anything in digital (or even consider being innovative) without essential human skills; like creative problem-solving, effective communication, empathy and conflict resolution. These skills can be some of the hardest to teach, and, overlooked in favour of the hard technical skills, often the rarest to find on candidate applications.
Linkedin’s Global Talent Trends report found that 92% of hiring managers see human skills as equal to or more important than technical skills. In a people-first company like AND Digital, where we merge teams with our clients and upskill them as we build together, human skills are our biggest asset.
Our recruitment team are used to scouring hundreds of CVs a week, so we checked in with them to find out the top 5 human skills they’re looking for in candidate applications. Reflecting on your experience, could you show examples of some of these?
- A Growth Mindset - Is there anything on your CV that indicates that you have up-skilled - through workplace or self-led learning? Could you give some examples in an interview?
- Coaching and mentoring - Could you show in your CV that you’ve upskilled others, or helped progress someone’s career? Think about any talks you’ve delivered (no matter how small the audience!), or times you’ve helped someone get to grips with a new program? These would be great things to talk about in an interview.
- Problem-solving skills - Do you have any examples of times you’ve managed/navigated complex problems and helped work towards a positive outcome? We’d love to hear more about that in an interview too!
- Influence and inspire - You’ve probably got some amazing ideas, could you show that you influenced others to get on board with them in the past, or got the ball rolling to inspire great ideas from your team?
- Communicating with empathy - Could you highlight times that you’ve dealt with different stakeholders - who perhaps had opposing views - and managed that communication in a tactful way? We’d love to chat about how you navigated those conversations.
Don’t worry if you can’t show all of these right now - having a growth mindset is about recognising where you can develop further, and seeking opportunities to do that. Any of these human skills will be a huge asset to your application, and form a foundation for really positive conversations at interview stage.
How do you best share these skills in an interview?
As part of AND’s hiring process, we hold culture interviews around our three core values; Wonder, Share and Delight. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know how you like to work, and to see how you might slot into the AND culture.
Typically, we ask situational based questions, giving you the opportunity to showcase times you’ve been in a similar situation, and how you responded. The best way to answer these is using the STAR technique - structuring your answers around the Situation, what the Task was, what Action you took, and the end Result. It’s easy to follow and keeps things concise - both for you telling the story and for us listening, and it’s a great human skill to nurture!
How does AND help build human skills?
Career development and progression is one of the best parts about being an ANDi, and we’ve created a structure and a number of incentives to help you on that path -
Upskilling & Academy - Did you know that 58% of knowledge workers have never received digital upskilling from their employer? We’re on a mission to close the skills gap globally, but that starts from within. Every ANDi gets 13 paid upskilling days per year (along with a learning and development budget) to take courses, attend conferences, and learn and practise new skills. ANDis have free access to learning platforms like Linkedin Learning, O’Reilly and our extensive Academy syllabus, where they can access a range of human skills courses; like Powerful Presenting, Fearless Feedback and How to Be Assertive.
Career Scrum Teams and Mentorship Programmes - Career Scrum Teams is our Agile inspired approach to career development, which provides a tailored coaching approach to help ANDis realise their potential and strive for full career satisfaction. ANDis have their own personal scrum team of leaders and mentors, from across different disciplines, to help them narrow in on and work towards their big career goals - in sprints.
Explorer careers - ANDis are curious people by nature. They’re also multi-talented, and that’s why we recently launched our ‘explorer careers’ initiative. This gives our people a chance to second into another AND role they’ve been interested in, and explore the skills and challenges that a different career might offer. They take all of their existing skills into their explorer roles and see things from a new perspective that others might not, and when they come back, they have a new skillset that’s a huge asset to their team and to their personal development. We work hard to recruit the right people here at AND, so we champion role mobility across business units to ensure our people are using their skills in the places they’re most passionate.
The technical skills our recruiters look for will continually evolve; depending on client requirements, projects in progress and emerging technologies. But the critical human skills we need to innovate, work effectively as teams and solve complex problems will remain the same - no matter the industry.
Liz Ogunwusi is a Graduate Recruiter at AND Digital.