When you buy an assemble-it-yourself piece of furniture, you know it’s a given that you’re going to need a particular tool or two that isn’t included in the box. Whether it’s a hammer or a flathead screwdriver, you need the right tool to get the job done. It’s that simple: nothing else is going to work. To determine which tool you are going to need, you first need to know what needs to be done. Do you need to pound a nail into a piece of wood? Tighten a bolt? There are a lot of different tools in the toolbox, and to know which one to choose, you have to be able to answer those questions. When an organization needs a digital strategist, it’s in a similar position. A digital strategist can look different from company to company, role to role, and even project to project.
Before an organization hires a digital strategist, there are three critical questions to ask to ensure the new hire is the right fit.
- What critical conversations is this individual going to have?
Depending on the organization or project, digital strategists talk to clients, UX teams, analysts, boardrooms, technology teams, marketing teams, outside vendors, and more. Speaking with each group requires different knowledge and skill sets. Understanding the specific critical conversations, and who will be involved in those conversations, will help you determine what knowledge and skills will be needed for the role.
- What specific deliverables will this individual produce?
Will they be responsible for producing, for example, highly visual presentation decks to sell ideas to stakeholders in boardrooms? Highly detailed strategy documents for clients who will be intimately involved with the work? Will they perhaps be producing project plans that the organization’s UX, digital marketing, and analytics teams can make executable? Understanding specific deliverables will help you better understand the knowledge and skill sets required for the role.
- What project oversight responsibilities will this individual have?
A digital strategist can play many different roles in project oversight. They can wash their hands of a project the second it is passed to the implementation teams.. They can be a shepherd and keep the initiative moving through the various stages to ensure that potential obstacles are removed and strategy is on point. They could also take on a fairly detailed project coordination role. Understanding the specific needs in project oversight will help you determine better determine the knowledge and skill sets needed for the role.
Like the tools in your toolbox, different strategists have different experience and skill sets that make them perfect for certain kinds of roles. The key in determining which kind of strategist will be the best fit often hinges on these three key areas.
Of course, when making a strategy hire, there are more things to take into consideration (we always recommend a complete Ideal Candidate BlueprintTM) but these three questions are a great place to start. Let us know about how you go about making the right strategy hire in the comments below!
Are you a strategy professional looking to land your next role? Read about the three key questions to help you find a position that is a great fit.
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