As technology has grown in importance in the workplace, the more important digital fluency has become. Both employers and candidates will find that a basic understanding of technology is no longer enough. Instead, it's necessary to reach an unprecedented level of digital fluency both to acquire a new job and to appeal to the best candidates in your field when you're the company with an open position.
What Is Digital Fluency?
Digital fluency is the ability not only to understand the basics of technology but also to easily incorporate them into the work day. For example, fluency in a language would require you not only to speak or understand it on a basic level but also to be able to communicate smoothly and effectively in that language. The same is true of technology. Basic literacy is one thing; however, deeper understanding of technology includes the following:
- Being able to communicate effectively with others about technology in the workplace
- An understanding of the specific hardware and software used to complete daily tasks and take care of workplace responsibilities
- The ability to choose and properly use the systems that are most effective for the workplace
For a potential employee, this means being able to use the tools and technologies that are currently in place at the place where you want to work. Employers, on the other hand, will find that employees are looking for a place where they can use the latest technology in their field. They don't want to constantly update old machinery or figure out how to encourage a dinosaur of a machine to keep performing; instead, they want to see technology in action.
Closing the Gender Gap
In many industries, there is still a preference for men over women. Technology is one of those areas that seems to be a male-dominated field. However, increased digital fluency for women has the potential to close the gender gap and make it easier for women to attain positions in their preferred field.
Employers need candidates who have a broad understanding of the technology most often used in their field. They want new hires who come in ready to learn the specifics of how the company performs rather than being bogged down with the need to learn how to use technology considered basic by the organization. By developing those technological skills and increasing one's comfort-level with the technology in question, many women will find that doors open more easily than before.
Showcasing Your Digital Fluency
Resumes and interviews are the keys to properly showcasing digital fluency during the hiring process. For candidates, it's simple: list useful skills and previous experience on your resume. Practice answering questions about any technology that you know is used in your future workplace so that when they come up during the interview, you'll be able to cover them with confidence.
Employers, too, should be sure to showcase digital fluency throughout the interview process: asking the right questions to show candidates that their business uses those systems, using appropriate technical terminology throughout the hiring process when communicating with the candidate, and letting future employees know about the systems they will be expected to navigate throughout their employment. It is also helpful to let candidates know that you understand your own systems. Make sure you are familiar with them and can ask intelligent, relevant questions of your candidates.
In today's age of disruptive technology, it's little surprise that digital fluency has become increasingly necessary. However, bringing together candidates and employers who are equally fluent in those vital areas can still be challenging. Whether you're a candidate looking for the right job for your skills or an employer seeking a tech savvy candidate, contact Brannon Professionals to learn more about how we can connect you.