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Data & Digital Skills to Dominate in 2016 Says Stoney

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Charley Stoney, managing director of Alternatives Group  

Data, digital, customer experience and product management skills are likely to be the most sought after talents by companies seeking to hire staff in 2016, according to Charley Stoney, managing director of the marketing recruitment and customer talent firm Alternatives Group. They are also likely to be the best remunerated skills, she says.

According to Stoney, people with analytical data skills “to extract insight from customer data that will better inform sales and marketing teams and help with more relevant and effective communications and ultimately drive profits and growth,” will be big in demand.  She also points out that those with customer experience skills, particularly those with “experience in mapping the customer journey through a maze of multi-channel touch-points that provide a consistent, quality experience for customers,” will also be top of many recruiters’ job-specs while those with “technical and marketing skills” that are designed around customer insights and requirements” should also do well.

She points out that the biggest issue facing the recruitment industry at the moment is direct recruitment via online sources like LinkedIn.  “There’s a common (mis)perception that LinkedIn now negates the necessity to engage with recruitment agencies.  I believe that’s misleading as LinkedIn is only a starting point.  Meanwhile, in house departments are struggling to cope with the time it still takes to screen, interview and appoint great talent.  Our role as a talent solutions company is to highlight where we add value.  In our case of course, our added value comes from our in-depth understanding of the marketing and customer community in Ireland built over 15 years of supporting this industry. I believe that specialists like us will always be used by companies who rely upon our unique understanding of the talent pool and our ability to provide alternative ways of accessing great talent, both here and abroad,” she says.

Looking forward to 2016, she says that one of the biggest challenges for employers will be “identifying and attracting the best customer talent, given the current shortage and to ensure that we have sustainable growth in what it still a small market.”