The digital talent landscape.

Six Degrees work with a huge range of businesses across FMCG, retail, services, education and Not-for-Profit. These businesses vary hugely in the talent they recruit, but the one thing they all have in common is that they know there needs to be a conscious shift towards digital.

Many businesses are now adopting a digital first methodology

The digital function has rapidly become one of the most dominant and competitive. At Six Degrees we have noticed some key themes evolving in recruiting for this function, largely around attracting and retaining top talent.

Change and digital transformation roles

Companies are merging systems, simplifying processes and approaching how they do business very differently. This requires substantial investment, and highly skilled people to drive projects. Luckily for our clients, these are the kind of projects that get digital talent excited. They want to be involved in largescale programs that drive change.

The skills required to lead projects of this ilk are:

  • Killer project management skills, usually agile, but waterfall is great as well.
  • An in-depth understanding of the required technology is essential.
  • The ability to manage technical teams and developers.
  • An often overlooked skill is the ability to manage upwards - it is essential that someone leading a transformation project can keep the rest of the business up to date and take them on the journey.

Our advice for companies would be to have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and a deadline to hit it. Be prepared to invest the money, don’t cut corners, and trust the experts that you hire to drive the projects.

Specialist skills

The below specialist digital skills are still in high demand and are very hot right now:

  • Online analytics
  • Conversion optimisation
  • Customer experience
  • User experience
  • Social media
  • Content

And it’s not just your company that are looking for these skills, the majority of our clients would hire any one of these people right now if the talent was readily available. Time to fill roles has lengthened with the average placement taking 3-4 weeks and even passive candidates always have their eye out for their next project.

These specialist skills are not easy to learn, and it takes a huge amount of technical knowledge to be successful. Online Analytics, Conversion optimisation, Customer Experience and User Experience are all roles that are linked together, but add something different to a website. The core of all these role is understanding the customer, the customer journey and how to increase conversions.


Talent is becoming more social and have an attitude of ‘you seek me out’. And believe us when we say, talent is getting approached hourly about new roles and opportunities – digital is booming.

What attracts the best talent?

  • They are attracted to businesses who are serious about digital, understand that they need to invest and also have the buy-in from senior leaders.
  • The business has a roadmap of digital projects and is looking to challenge the norm. Click and Collect, Apps and responsive redesigns are all great, but candidates are attracted to something different.
  • The chance to own an area of digital and be responsible for the growth and future plans.

Businesses need to be open to sponsorship, as good talent from the UK and overseas markets are always looking to relocate and bring with them fantastic in-depth skills (just ask me, I relocated from the UK!).


Businesses are investing heavily in analytics tools, with a huge focus now on return on investment and using insights to drive strategic and commercial initiatives. Advertising and promotion budgets are shifting away from traditional spend to digital and mobile. In some cases digital accounts for close to 33% of spend, and companies need highly skilled people to manage that.

Digital salaries are on the increase as business fight to attract and keep talent

Across the board, counter offers are more common now than any time in last 10 years. Top talent is being offered more and more money to stay in their roles. Businesses need to invest more in training and development to be competitive. Given the shortage we are also advising our clients, where possible, to hire on culture fit, attitude and persons appetite to grow within the business, in order to gain access early to the next round of digital leaders.

Due to the increasing importance placed on the digital function and refined skill-sets that companies are looking for, partnering with clients and running search assignments means making use of all possible resources to keep the time-to-fill short and the costs for your business down

To discuss potential talent solutions, contact Jo Krause on 03 8613 3500