Defusing the digital talent time-bomb

By Jason Woodford

Digital marketers may contribute more to help bring an end to the skills shortage in the industry by placing more time and investment into training and development programmes. It is time to see more employers recognising that nurturing your own talent, particularly when times are uncertain, will unearth much-needed skills and agility to meet the growing demands of the digital marketing industry.

Research from recruitment company Robert Half[1] suggested that in some industries as many as one in five members of staff will look for a new job as a result of a new year’s resolution. Knowing how personal development is high on digital marketers’ wish-list, more bosses of digital marketing agency’s should implement training programmes to maintain continuity and consistency amongst their teams in order to avoid falling foul of these statistics.

Training and development can become critical in ensuring that valued members of staff remain contented. In today’s increasingly challenging business world, companies across all industries and sectors have a choice of recruiting or nurturing their own talent. The latter, whilst perhaps more complex, will bring rewards in abundance to the individual, the business and eventually, the UK economy. I suspect many businesses have gaps in skills and expertise that need to be filled and managing this in-house eliminates the need for new personnel.

The ever-changing and rapidly growing nature of the digital marketing industry means there is a shortage of people with appropriate digital skills and experience. At SiteVisibility we are firmly in the business of ensuring this does not happen. As well as recruiting the best talent in the industry, we are here to develop the Search Marketers of the future. Therefore as part of our Internet Marketing Training programme we take on and develop between 1-4 new trainees per annum straight out of University and train them to what we believe is the standard required to become a success in our industry.

We can prove that it works; Kelvin Newman, now our Director of Strategy and who also hosts our popular Internet Marketing Podcast and BrightonSEO Conference, has become an internationally recognised expert in digital marketing after starting at the company as a trainee.

In December 2011, Econsultancy published its Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing report where they discovered web analytics & data, social media and content marketing topped a list of specific skill areas most difficult to recruit for. However, these same areas were also highlighted as the digital marketing disciplines employers anticipated would be the key areas of growth in 2012. No-one is going to solve our skills shortages for us, not even market forces in the short term, so I’d like to see more agencies invest in their own training and development programmes, whether they be taking on placements and trainees to developing graduates, so we help one another to avoid stagnation through lack of skills.

About the author

SiteVisibility CEO Jason Woodford is a member of the South East Leadership Team of Business in the Community (BITC). One of the key areas of focus for BITC is to improve young people’s skills, attitudes and understanding in preparation for the world of work and employment. SiteVisibility brings a team of SEO, PPC, social media, strategy, technical and R&D boffins together to create flexible, future-proof and truly integrated digital marketing campaigns that deliver better results from sensible budgets. For more information visit

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