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Decoding ‘digital transformation’ in 2024 hiring processes?

I recently read an article about whether the term “digital transformation” was outdated. After all, it’s been around for a while. And it’s fair to say it’s met with varying degrees of enthusiasm or scepticism.

As we enter 2024, is the term digital transformation still applicable to most organisations, or has it shifted into the territory of an overused buzzword?

Digital transformation is an accepted vernacular for digital change – like a common currency in business. This is clear to me in my daily client interactions and was reinforced in a London Business School course I completed last year on ‘Leading Digital Transformation’.

Still, it was also widely accepted amongst the cohort that the term could entail varying degrees of digital change across businesses. In other words, digital experts highlight that the term doesn’t require wholesale change, and some of the best digital transformations are incremental.

So, the term is here to stay and remains relevant to many companies’ digital journey to leverage the omnichannel opportunity.

Here are eight things I’ve learned when hiring for incumbent retail and consumer businesses going through digital change. They are relevant when recruiting digital executives or if you’re considering senior executive opportunities:

◾️ Many companies are still way behind the curve of digital change
◾️ Most either don’t know where to begin or struggle to gain momentum
◾️ Executive-level alignment on your vision is critical to attracting great digital talent
◾️ There is broad acceptance that omnichannel strategies are no longer ‘nice to have’. They are essential to success and, ultimately, survival.
◾️ Reticence to embrace digital change persists for fear of not achieving an adequate ROI. In other words, many companies are too short-term focused.
◾️ Influencing digital change in a new company is frequently more complicated than expected. It takes longer, and therefore, setting realistic expectations with new hires becomes critical for longer-term retention
◾️ When onboarding as a new executive, it’s common to want to make a very swift impact. This often isn’t possible with digital transformation, as the early stages are more about engaging the business with the goal.
◾️ Digital transformation, at its core, is more than adopting clever technology. It’s also a mindset – a shift towards agility, innovation, and customer-centricity.

All these areas will have a significant impact on senior executive hiring. There is a linear relationship between the clarity of your digital priorities as a business (and clearly articulating this) and attracting the type of digital talent that can meaningfully impact your business.

Is your talent strategy ready to attract the top-tier retail and consumer talent you need to thrive in 2024?

About BartonRock: BartonRock is the executive search partner for high-growth consumer and retail businesses

We manage the careers of executives whose know-how and commercial acumen steer the strategic direction for companies to thrive.

Our assignments search for executives who understand how to operate in dynamic and entrepreneurial environments.

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