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What is the digital skills gap?

Addressing the ‘digital skills gap’ is a topic so broad and reaches into every aspect of employment and education, here at Full Focus Recruitment we feel it is important that we define what the term ‘digital skills’ means.

In our case (Full Focus), we define ‘digital skills’ within a workplace context, as opposed to ‘digital skills’ outside of a work environment.

Let’s break down the term ‘digital skills’ below.

When we refer to ‘digital’ in this context, we are referring to technology, that is, technology online, accessed or downloaded via the internet or onto electronic devices such as smart devices, phones, tablets, laptops T. V’s or desktop computers.

‘Digital’ is the technology a business deploys and uses for productivity and profit-making. ‘Digital’ is now ubiquitous and is used every second of every day by workforces to communicate, navigate and compute.

Examples of this technology range from communication software such as Skype to social media platforms like Facebook and data aggregators such as Google Analytics, to name a few.

The term ‘skills’ are defined as the competencies you need to perform specific tasks. Over time these ‘skills’ mature through repetition of its use and through trial and error, meaning that you become ‘skilled’ at achieving that specific task. Skills allow you to complete tasks consistently, efficiently, and in the most part, much better than non-skilled workers. Skilled workers are in high demand.

Combining the two terms; ‘digital skills’ now helps us establish the term with more clariy.

Our definition of digital skills is:

“Digital skills are the ability to identify, select and operate one or multiple digital technologies to achieve a required outcome to better inform business in decision-making processes focused on sustainability and growth”.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into our definition of ‘digital skills’ to provide more meaning:

  • Having an awareness of and being able to operate relevant digital technology to utilise for work productivity.
  • Setting up digital technologies on different operating systems, and where required, installing its software.
  • Using relevant digital technology to research and conduct analysis.
  • Having an understanding of relevant digital technology trends and the confidence in operating relevant digital technology with a focus on the understanding of required inputs and how to interpret the outputs (data).
  • Being able to adapt and find workaround solutions to digital technological limitations.
  • Ensuring an understanding of and ability to execute on a range of different, yet relevant digital technologies.
  • Ability to report on outputs (data) provided to help inform further actions or decision-making.

Now that we have defined the term ‘digital skills’ in a workplace context, we need to define and explore what the term ‘digital skills gap’ is and why this term is being discussed so much in the public domain.

It is no secret that digital technology development moves at a rapid rate and business needs people with the relevant, up to date ‘digital skills’ to operate this technology successfully to ensure productivity and profitability.

Unfortunately for a large number of businesses, this is not always the case. It is at this point where the term ‘digital skills gap’ emerges.

Many businesses struggle to find, hire and keep people with the relevant ‘digital skills’ needed to successfully operate their digital technology. It gets more complicated when you factor in that many businesses don’t really know themselves which digital technologies and skills are needed to help grow within their given marketplace and succeed.

It is crucial that you hire and have the right leadership team in place that has the knowledge, digital skills and foresight to see where the next threat or opportunity is. To address the ‘digital skills gap’ the most efficient way to tackle this is from the top down.

Your leadership team must be ‘digitally skilled’. How can your business move forward with any confidence and compete if the hiring team you have in place don’t know the digital landscape or where to even start looking. Full Focus can be your recruitment partner of choice that will always be looking at the digital landscape of the future and help advise on your hiring opportunities, as and when they arise. We strongly believe that relevant, up to date digital skills education is the cement that will fill the ‘digital skills gap’.

We understand the significant challenge that the digital skills gap poses and we are particularly aware of the shortage of quality digital skills across the digital and creative industries, which is now becoming more prevalent throughout a whole cross section of industries, with the legal sector being the most recent example.

As with all the specialist areas we provide talent for, we actively promote the need for continual development by providing the best of online learning materials to Applicants all year round. This continues even after successful placement with you, our Client, as part of the service. We will help you and your organisation stay relevant, competitive and ready for the digital future.

Contact Full Focus today and we would welcome the opportunity to talk through your hiring requirements and how we can add value to the whole process before and after successful placement, all of which is included within our highly competitive fee rate.