A recent article on Forbes, the leading US site for business news and financial information, set out a list of 10 jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago. They were looking at sectors in which careers were on the rise and raised the question over whether these new roles were really new occupations or just new ways of meeting existing needs. It won’t surprise you to find that most are from the evolving technology space.
- App Developer – Currently more than 16,000 listings for mobile app developers are listed on major US job boards
- Data Miner – As customer information becomes more and more vital to the retail experience, businesses are compiling data in droves – and hiring experts to make sense of it.
- Admissions Consultant – Help ease the process of interviewing and testing into schools from preschool to college.
- Millennial Generational Expert – Generational consultants help companies better understand the changing workforce.
- Social Media Manager – Making the most of online communities has become an integral part of businesses from small-town coffee shops to behemoths like Amazon and Microsoft.
- Chief Listening Officer – Keeps her ears (and eyes) on social channels and real life conversations to keep the company up to speed on what their customers are saying.
- Cloud Computing Services – Database managers, engineers and strategists for storing and indexing massive amounts of data.
- Elder Care – Handle legal concerns, staffing at residential facilities, end-of-life issues.
- Sustainability Expert – Develop new workflows to increase productivity, lower carbon footprint, recycling and waste reduction, supplier sustainability.
- User Experience Design – Experiences created and shaped through technology, and how to make them happen.
Many organisations create new, hybrid roles by merging responsibilities, or else develop a key employee’s role by giving them a management remit which, in turn, creates a new position. As Jason asks in his blog “Did we meet any new needs, or just find different ways of meeting the same needs? One way to tell is to ask if the new role was needed to meet a new objective of the business, or just a different way of managing processes”
For recruiters and HR managers the challenge is always to find ways of hiring the right person for these new roles…not always easy if the role itself meets a brand new need, or utilises new technologies. There may be precious few people who will possess the necessary skills, and fewer still are likely to have a track record in a similar position.
Before tearing your hair out over where to find people with new skillsets, here are 5 questions to ask:
Do you know what you want them to do?
Many of the job titles in the Forbes list are merely reflecting a new business need to approach something in a different way. You need to start the search by fully understanding what you want them to do. For example a Social Media Manager is likely to have a very different role depending on the business. Will they need to produce content or curate it from a number of different sources? Are they performing more of a customer service role, or finding new communities to engage with? Are they listening and responding or leading the online conversation?
Is the right person already in your organisation?
With a new position it is easy to assume that you will need to look outside the company, but are you overlooking your greatest assets…the people you already have? It may be that one of your current high flyers has the right skills, but you may not have them in a role in which they can use them.
Can you develop someone you already have?
For skillsets around social media and rapidly developing technologies you may have someone who is passionately interested in that area and who, with some investment in training and up skilling, will be able to take on the new challenge.
Where are you likely to find people with the right skillsets?
The saying ‘fish where the fish are’ springs to mind. Do you need to tap into a community of developers or analysts? Many new roles have an element of consulting so are you looking for someone who is already consulting or someone who is ready to move into that area. Knowing where to target the right people is the key to a successful hire…and it may be that one of your current employees can refer someone they know to you.
Are you able to assess the required skills?
Do you have the capability within to thoroughly assess whether or not a new employee has the necessary skills? If the role is brand new, and there is no-one in the business with the right capabilities, then it may be that outside help is called for – a specialist recruiter or a contact from another company who have successfully hired a similar role.
Let us know if you have filled any non-traditional roles. How did you go about finding the right skills?
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