We recently held our Propel ‘ Taking Social Seriously’ breakfast event at The Ivy Club. It was a small gathering of some great people all involved in the rapidly expanding social media market.

What became apparent is that the social market is one of the most interesting and exciting digital disciplines around at the moment and a lot of that is being driven by the diversity of the people coming into the sector. Judging by the comments from some of our guests, you don’t have to have a traditional digital or marketing background. Instead, they are looking skills that translate and a desire to learn.

What we are starting to see is that progressive employers are those who will attract and retain the best talent. Forward thinking companies are looking to recruit on attitude, desire and personality rather than a tick box exercise based on matching the CV to the job description. Jamie Kenny, Co-Founder of our client Byte told us how they have hired a chef to work on one food social account and how they also brought in an architect due to the way they thought creatively.

Another client, Shaan Coelho of Vayner Media told us how they have used improv actors on some accounts as they have skills to think quickly and react. Shaan also stressed how Vayner really looks to work with their employees.

“We want them to bring the whole package to the table. We want to understand them as people and their interests. Yes, they need a certain skill base but we also want to work with them on what interests them and where they want to be.”

Rob Kabrovkski of Adaptly said that the right attitude also helps when he told us that they look for ‘ people who aren’t afraid to try. We want them to build new skills and try new things on new platforms.”

As we talked it became clear that it’s not just the employees who are changing. Employers themselves also need to change. Values and culture cannot just be things you talk about, they have to underpin how you manage your company. How can you expect your staff to buy into what you do if you merely pay lip service to your values?

Lastly, companies also need to understand that the average length of time in role is changing. Even 69% those who have only been in post 1-2 years are already considering a move (Propel Digital Salary Survey and Industry Insights). We know ourselves that people will want to move and try new things and try to embrace that. So we do our best to make sure that those who do move almost become ambassadors for us because, as we have seen, you never know where your next job application is coming from.