You Can Find Digital Skills in Non-IT Functions

June 15, 2021

Contributor: Teresa Zuech

To get ahead in a tight labor market, recruiting leaders must reexamine candidates with non-IT backgrounds.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation initiatives for most organizations. Looking ahead, competition for digital skills will only intensify.

Learn more: Successfully Source Digital Talent

“Recruiting leaders must proactively enhance their sourcing capabilities to ensure they can fuel the business with critical digital skills quickly and affordably,” says John Mattox, Senior Principal, Advisory, Gartner. “When faced with a highly competitive landscape for digital talent, recruiting leaders must broaden their sourcing criteria to ensure that their organization doesn’t miss out on any suitable candidates.”

Chart of Functions Hiring for Digital Skills

According to Gartner TalentNeuron™ analysis of job postings in the U.S. released between July 2019 and June 2020, there is an almost 60-40 split between IT functions posting jobs with digital skill requirements compared to non-IT functions. However marketing and PR, sales and business development, finance and accounting functions together accounted for a total of 19% of such job postings. 

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“Clearly, the IT department is no longer the only go-to place for digital talent. Recruiting leaders must incorporate this fact into their sourcing strategy for digital talent by expanding their sourcing criteria to include candidates with non-IT backgrounds, but possessing critical digital skills,” explains Mattox.

To ensure that organizations are successfully meeting the demand for critical digital skills needed for its digital initiatives, recruiting leaders should:

  • Reexamine sourcing criteria for digital talent and include more candidates with non-IT backgrounds.
  • Keep track of an inventory of availability of internal talent with key digital skills across functions, especially non-IT functions.
  • Use labor market data-backed evidence to raise awareness among hiring managers and leaders about the availability of digital talent with non-IT backgrounds.


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