3 Questions to Ask Before Making Your Next Digital Strategist Hire

When you buy an assemble-it-yourself piece of furniture, it’s a given that you’re going to need a tool that isn’t included in the box. Whether it’s a hammer or a flathead screwdriver, you need the exact right tool to get the job done. It’s simple: nothing else is going to work.

Different Tools in the Toolbox

To determine which tool you need, you first have to understand what exactly needs to be done. But there are a lot of different tools in the toolbox, so how do you know which one to choose? You encounter a similar dilemma when your organization needs a digital strategist. A digital strategist differs from company to company, role to role, and even project to project.

Before your organization hires its next digital strategist, ask these three questions in order to ensure the new hire is the right fit:

1. What critical conversations is this individual going to have?

The role of a digital strategist varies. Digital strategists can talk to clients, UX teams, analysts, boardrooms, technology teams, marketing teams, outside vendors, and more. However, different knowledge and skill sets are required for interacting with each group. Firstly, understand the specific critical conversations your digital strategist will have. Ask yourself, “Who will be involved in these conversations?” Then determine what knowledge and skills are needed for the role.

2. What specific deliverables will this individual produce?

For example, will your digital strategist be responsible for producing highly visual presentation decks to sell ideas to stakeholders in boardrooms? In another case, they may have to produce highly-detailed strategy documents for clients who will be closely involved with the work. Otherwise, they may have to produce project plans which the organization’s UX, digital marketing, and analytics teams make executable. Understand the specific deliverables your digital strategist will produce in order to understand the knowledge and skill sets required for the role.

3. What project oversight responsibilities will this individual have?

Digital strategists can play many roles in project oversight. They can wash their hands of a project the second it is passes to the implementation teams. Alternatively, they can be a shepherd and keep the initiative moving through the various stages. In this case, the digital strategist would ensure that potential obstacles are removed and strategy remains on point. A digital strategist could also take on a fairly detailed project coordination role. Understand the specific needs in project oversight in order to better determine the knowledge and skill sets needed for the role.

Final Thoughts

Like the tools in a toolbox, different strategists have different experiences and skill sets which make them perfect for certain kinds of roles. Determine which kind of strategist will be the best fit by asking yourself these three questions. Of course, when making a strategy hire, there are more things to consider, but these three questions are a great place to start.

Check out our Thought Leadership articles to learn more, or contact us to discuss your digital strategist hiring and recruiting challenges.

Written by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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