Concerns over management in digital sector

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Concerns have been raised about the state of management in the digital sector after a survey found that nearly all of the employees asked said that they would leave a job they liked due to a bad manager.

The Candidate, a digital recruitment agency, looked at 150 digital managers and 150 digital employees. Half of managers believe that the digital industry is suffering due to the state of management in the sector. More than half of employees agreed with this statement.

The management report found that only 53% of managers in the digital sector graded their aptitudes as ‘good, ‘really good’ or ‘excellent.’ Some 51 per cent of the employees agreed. The report says this shows that the industry is lacking confident managers. The remaining percentage ranked their managers abilities as ‘average’ or ‘below average’.

Research shows that both managers and employees value soft skills over hard, technical ones.  Only 23% of managers and 27% of employees included hard skills as one of the most significant qualities in a good manager. Ranked the highest across both levels – by 65% of managers and 69% of employees – was good communication.

Brian Matthews, managing partner at The Candidate, said: “In our experience working in the digital industry, the recruitment focus has been largely on filling technical roles. It’s understandable that these candidates are highly sought after as we are currently experiencing a skills shortage meaning they are difficult to come by- but this is leaving a gap at middle management level of confident, highly skilled managers.

“We place fantastic candidates at both management level and below into digital businesses every single day. It’s a real shame, therefore, that our report found that 69% of digital managers and 77% of digital employees felt that more emphasis is put on the technical roles, rather that soft skill roles such as management – even though the majority of respondents cited soft skills above technical skills. And it would seem from our findings that this is having a knock-on-effect on their confidence.

“As we found that the majority of both digital employees and managers had or would leave a job they liked if they felt they had a bad manager, these issues need to be addressed, and quickly. The digital industry currently employs 1.46m people across the UK, and this is estimated to grow by 5.4% by 2020, but we need good managers that can confidently nurture talent to help us grow this sector successfully.

“We hope that this report shines some light on the slight re-focus we feel the digital industry needs to take. Going forward, we need to be helping our managers to build their confidence and develop their skills, to ensure that they are ready to train those coming into the industry to be capable managers. Only then can we have digital businesses in this region that are well-rounded in terms of both soft and technical skills, and able to take on the flurry of work expected to land at their feet over the next few years as the digital industry continues to grow.”

By Chloe Smith

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