Pioneering minds to redefine the future

Successfully mastering digital transformation

Future-proofed skills

Without a clear plan and the right people in place, digital transformation will hit a dead end.

Companies need the right blend of technical and business skills to deal with future demand. And their ability to attract and harness that talent will decide whether they transform – or plateau.

Our research, among 400 senior leaders across Oil and Gas, Mining, Renewables and Life Sciences, finds that many companies are in the initial stages of transformation. Their focus is often on firefighting, not future proofing.

Many are taking a reactive approach to hiring, instead of anticipating future needs. Close to half of the respondents say that recruiting technical staff who understand their business is their biggest talent challenge related to digital transformation.

As employee churn increases and the search for specialists intensifies, the research tells us that organisations have an urgent priority: to approach their skills needs strategically – and from the very top.

A seller’s market for tech talent

There has been a profound shift in power between employers and tech talent. Individuals with the right mix of technical and business skills are now in control, and companies with no strategy for managing current and future talent are facing significant challenges.

Businesses know that traditional approaches to talent retention are not enough.

They must identify skills gaps early, find partners that can give them access to a pool of specialists, and seek potential in unusual places. Then, they must test their strategies in the current business environment. How is hybrid and remote working changing the demands and profile of talent, and is their recruitment process sufficiently inclusive?


Close the leadership gap

The first step towards creating a credible digital strategy is for leaders to show why it matters. They must make it clear exactly how and where digital will transform the organisation. Consistent planning and communication from leaders and across functions will breed confidence in your vision – and will increase your attractiveness as an employer, inside and outside the organisation. Are your leaders ready to step up?


Meet the demand for data intelligence

With such skills in high demand, a siloed approach to retaining and attracting talent can be a serious commercial disadvantage. Companies with a more fluid and adaptable strategy can work with a wider range of recruitment partners, be ready to adopt new working models, and will attract the best talent. Are you rigid or adaptable?


Recruit with purpose

Employees expect a meritocratic, inclusive workplace, and they want to work for a company that has a clear sense of purpose and culture. Without effective communication and onboarding, companies will lose the best people – or never get them through the door in the first place. How good are you at explaining your company’s values and vision to candidates and employees?


Focus on future digital needs

The ability to anticipate the digital skills of tomorrow will give you a competitive edge. But to do that you need to broaden your recruitment horizons. Think laterally about where talent could come from and map out how data and digital roles converge across functions. At a time of talent scarcity, are you prepared to take an unconventional path to find the best people?

About the research

Brunel, in partnership with Longitude, a Financial Times company, surveyed 400 senior leaders across Oil and Gas, Renewables, Mining and Life Sciences, in Autumn 2021. Respondents were from Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore and the US. All were responsible for, or have an influence on, digital transformation initiatives.

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