Present, future and sci-fi
• Community managers
Waste data managers Big data will only get bigger, and this means businesses will need someone to sort the rubbish from the valuable nuggets.
Avatar designers As we become embedded in the digital world, we’ll want our avatars to be realistic.
3D printing engineers The proliferation of 3D printing will create a need for specialists who can service and maintain these devices. Smart contact lenses, capable of determining the wearer’s biometrics, are already being developed, and this is only set to become more common in the future. And beyond 2030, the jobs only become stranger: The moa, the dodo and the quagga might have a future after all.
Time brokers Time will become the currency of the future.
Drone dispatchers How is Amazon going to ensure customers get their goods without these skilled technicians? that surrounds various digital mediums, how people use them, when they use them and why they use them and what they use them with,” says Kate Humphries, a course leader at the Media Design School (MDS). “This kind of drilling down into digital behaviour is far more important to a creative course like this than their actual digital skills.”
And to ensure that this digital-first style of thinking is deposited into the frontal lobes of the students, Humphries says that MDS has adapted its courses.
“Digital has had an impact on our programme for many years now,” she says. “So much so that how we now choose to cover it in the curriculum is from ‘traditional’ digital right through to non-computer based digital and ‘future-digital’.”
The changes in the industry have been accompanied by the introduction of new vocabulary, as workers search for ways to communicate what it is that they do.
“As with any evolving industry, there are certain terms and buzzwords that come into fashion and are used in abundance to mystify certain aspects,” says Howl.
And, according to Lawton, this charlatan trend can cost employers unnecessarily large sums of money: “What I see a lot of is companies paying up to $10,000 for a website, when all the designer or developer has done is bought a $50 WordPress site, reskinned it, added some PHP plug-ins and charged an extortionate amount for it.”
And speaking to other recruiters in the industry, it soon becomes evident that examples like these aren’t exceptions. Jacqui Barratt, director at Auckland-based recruitment agency Font, says that she has also noticed a similar trend of charlatans deceiving prospective employers. But rather positing all the blame on jobseekers, she points out that employers are also culpable to some degree.
“When anything is new it leaves a lot of room for people to create smoke and mirrors and some would say it’s a case of the blind leading the blind,” she says.
To avoid employing the wrong candidates, employers need to ask specific questions during the interview to determine if the jobseeker’s skillset matches the employment brief, says Barratt.
“Don’t talk generalities, talk specifics,” she advises. “And you can only do this if you understand what’s required so involve the specialists or the hiring manager in the interview process. Also seek references of the work completed and get them to show you examples of their work.”
The problem, however, is that the industry is changing so quickly that it’s difficult for employers to connect what they want with the skills available in the job market. And as the digital age continues to change the job landscape, it’s only becoming more difficult for employers to pinpoint exactly what they want out of their employees.
“I read an article the other week that said around 65 percent of the job titles that will exist in 2050 have yet to be created,” says Howl.
Although this is just speculation, it gives some sense of the challenge that employers face in terms of finding the right people for their companies.
“I believe this pattern of charlatans has room to continue unless there are clearly defined parameters and standards that are put in place to sort the wheat from the chaff,” says Howl.
He suggests a system of standardisation akin to the bar exam used in the law industry. However, when looking at how the law is struggling to keep up with the rapid speed of digital development,
Font’s Jacqui Barrat recently revealed some of the digital specialist roles that have emerged in recent years:
Greig Cranfield, a digital specialist recruiter at Razzbri, recently confirmed to NZ Marketing that he was starting Yudoo, a separate recruitment service that’s targeted specifically at freelancers.
“It’s a platform for contractors or freelancers to go onto and start up a profile, and it will them to update their availability and the skills they’ve been working on recently,” he says. This is essentially based on a similar premise to Freelancer.com (or creative crowdsourcing agency Victors & Spoils), but it will specifically target the local market here in New Zealand, providing a link between agencies and freelancers and removing the need for a recruitment consultant.
Given that recruitment agents’ fees can at times be quite high, this approach provides a faster, more affordable means for employers to find freelancers.
So could this also work for employers seeking full-time workers? Cranfield doesn’t believe so. “The fees that go into permanent recruitment are still warranted. There’s a lot of time and investment that goes into getting to know a client and then being able to sit down with someone and then map out their personality and strengths and whether they’ll get on with that client. When it comes to freelance, there’s not so much a need for culture fit, because they’re just there for what might be two weeks. In freelance, it’s about skill, availability and the hourly rate charged.” it seems that this industry also has its own range of challenges for which solutions are yet to be found.
But perhaps this is also the strongest argument for the continued relevancy of recruitment agencies. Because in the same way that Gumbel and Couric had to ask an ‘online expert’ what the internet was, today’s business owners increasingly rely on recruiters for information on the skills they need in their companies. And this makes recruitment agencies, especially those that specialise in digital skills, a valuable tool in a business landscape where things are changing rapidly.
From an industry perspective, the recruitment industry is also starting to adapt with the digital age.
bastions of TV, magazines and newspapers are struggling to hold onto ad dollars as advertisers shift their spend to digital channels, the outdoor channel is still enjoying growth.
In mid February, the Outdoor Media Association of New Zealand announced a fourth quarter revenue total of $20 million, showing a year on year increase of 5.5 percent over the same period in 2013. And this figure brought the year-end total revenue for 2014 to $71.2 million, which is 7.2 percent higher than the total for 2013.
Digital technology is said to be driving these results and building revenue growth for out-of-home media, however, given that digital OOH spend here is not currently measured and reported independently of overall OOH, exactly how much of the growth is attributable to digital offerings is unclear.
Measurement has long been an issue for the OOH sector, says Adam McGregor, general manager of the Outdoor Media Association of New Zealand. He says that work has begun to develop an audience measurement system across all formats— including digital—but adds that “it’s very much the early stages of a work in progress.”
“While a variety of DOOH formats have been in place in airport and retail environments for some time, the emergence of digital roadside billboards is relatively new and the market is still adjusting,” he explains.
In 2007, Magna Global valued the global DOOH market at over US$1 billion says McGregor. “That had grown to US$3.7 billion by 2014 with predicted growth at over 20 percent per year to 2017. In the UK, digital represented 22 percent of all OOH revenue in 2013 and continues to grow at an impressive rate.”
Not easy as
The advantages aren’t always pracitcable. For one, council restrictions that are “a little tight on motion” mean the DOOH billboards we’re seeing are mainly static at the moment, particularly next to traffic, but it’s early days, says Maas. “We just need to think within the boundaries that are set for now. With time we are sure to see more animation in line with what we see on screens overseas.”
Budget limitations also create limits as to what advertisers can do. Irving points out that “digital is is becoming multi-dimensional through iBeacons, RFID, NFC and facial recognition [and that] touch-screens and tablets are allowing measured responses, which help with justification of costs as well as allowing calls to action.” But convincing advertisers to spend more than what they’re used to in a channel isn’t an easy task.
A dearth of local research is just one of the challenges identified by the sector, says McGregor. Finding suitable highvalue locations, property owner attitudes towards digital site development, securing council approvals, the cost of hardware and on-going maintenance, choosing contact management systems and the construction of displays are all issues he identifies as integral to the industry.
“But as the scale of DOOH opportunities increases one of the biggest issues becomes achieving consistency of display in terms of format, ad duration, campaign period and audience measurement.”
Alan Nicholas, the business director at Ngage Media, is optimistic and predicts we’ll see the greatest level of digital deployments this year in a number of environments, large and small, as advertisers begin to see more value in options available.
This trend is already being seen in Auckland where slick digital screens are already common on the streets, at the airport, at the ASB showgrounds, at petrol stations, in dairies and in the McDonald’s on Dominion Road.
But Nicholas sees this as only the start, and believes that the outdoor industry needs to play an active role in spreading the good word about DOOH.
“As with anything new, we need to educate the market,” he says.
In 2012 Westpac took a courageous step in replatforming digital banking and the underlying core IT Services that drive it in order to enable their new strategy. They improved staff workflows, built infrastructure to manage the quantities of data moving to and from the bank, and integrated a contact programme that created tailored, responsive communications with each customer through any channel. The bank’s award winning omni-channel decisioning engine ‘Sympony’ drives the message, timing and channel selection, annually managing 10 million inbound and branch conversations, 50 million ATM interactions and more than 100 million online and App sessions in order to market directly to every customer. This approach has required considerable learning and refinement over the last 18 months. Results are ensured by using rich customer-specific data