By Paul Flaharty, District President, Robert Half, and Ryan Sutton, Executive Director, Technology Practice, Robert Half
Whether you’re building a new application or engaging clients via chatbots, your digital projects require skilled digital talent. Savvy companies concerned with gaining efficiencies and better serving their customers are building flexible, scalable teams packed with expertise in areas like user experience (UX), digital marketing, data analytics and marketing automation.
To help you put together a soccer team’s worth of talent, here are the 11 key players we would recommend recruiting for today’s digital dream team.
1. Project manager
Every team requires an experienced project manager who can focus on the big picture and keep the team on task, on time and on budget. This kind of broad oversight frees up the specialists on the team to focus more narrowly on their individual contributions.
The best digital project managers combine traditional skills — running meetings, briefing executives, clearing roadblocks and more — with a passion for technology and a knack for getting IT professionals and creatives to work toward common goals.
2. UX researcher
UX researchers identify user needs and pain points and convey these findings to others on the digital project team. Their research may include conducting interviews, field studies, surveys and tests.
This is a data-driven role, requiring a professional with the patience and analytical skills to drill down deep into research findings.
3. UX designer
Working with the UX researcher, UX designers aim to understand the needs, desires and common frustrations of a product’s target market. Armed with this knowledge, they create wireframes and prototypes using tools such as Adobe XD.
Not all UX designers have coding skills, but proficiency in languages like HTML and CSS can help them communicate effectively with developers.
4. Information architect
Digital projects contain a wealth of information, including text, photos, code and tools. Someone has to organize that information in a cohesive and logical way, and that person is usually the information architect (sometimes known as the UX architect).
To understand the importance of this role, imagine a website with a beautiful homepage and a trove of useful resources connected to it. If those connections aren’t obvious, the user will likely click away. An information architect can help prevent this issue by creating a flow that allows users to navigate effortlessly between pages.
5. UI designer
UI (user interface) designers plan and develop the access points that users interact with on a digital product. Users may navigate their experience through graphics (on a website, for example), their voice (Alexa), or gestures (games or augmented reality).
Good design means that users don’t have to think about how they’re doing something — they’re simply able to do what they want.
6. Content manager
It may look gorgeous, slick and intuitive, but a digital product is little more than an empty shell without great content. Enter the content manager, who researches, writes and edits copy aligned with the overall content strategy.
Crafting that strategy — which often takes longer than creating the content itself — may involve researching the target audience, reviewing competitor content, and researching keywords and phrases for search engine optimization (SEO).
7. Visual designer
Looks aren’t everything, but most users like their digital products to be aesthetically appealing as well as functional. Sitting somewhere between UI design and graphic design, the role of a visual designer is to get users from Point A to Point B in a visually intuitive way.
These pros establish the look for your product’s various interfaces and work within guidelines to reinforce a brand’s style through its visual touchpoints. While visual designers aren’t typically coders, they should have some basic programming knowledge so they can work hand-in-hand with web designers.
Competing for digital design talent is challenging in the current hiring market. Get tips for success in this post.
8. Front-end developer
Front-end developers are multifaceted professionals, possessing top-notch programming skills and an understanding of layout aesthetics. Using programming languages like HTML, CSS and Java, their role is to develop interfaces that are stable, fast and easy on the eye.
These pros must also ensure that the interface is compatible with a broad array of browsers, operating systems and devices. They must also update it regularly, so it stays compatible.
9. Back-end developer
Like all those gorgeous visuals created by designers, UX experts and front-end developers? They wouldn’t exist without back-end developers, who create and maintain technology on the server side.
In addition to being analytical thinkers with stellar problem-solving skills, back-end developers are fluent in coding languages like Python, Ruby and Java. Top candidates for the back-end developer role should also have experience with database systems like SQL and Oracle.
Interviewing web developers for your next digital project? See this post for 16 questions to ask potential hires.
10. Quality assurance specialist
Quality assurance specialists test software to ensure it meets the quality standards expected by the company and its customers. This work is usually done on a deadline tied to the product release.
A QA specialist might use AI and automation tools in addition to manual testing methods to ensure the product can handle anything a user might throw at it.
11. User acceptance testing specialist
A user acceptance testing specialist puts a digital product through its real-life paces with actual users to see whether any problems or unexpected situations arise. This last line of defense is critical in a world where a single negative product review can go viral and diminish your brand.
Though each of these digital dream team roles extends far beyond the simple descriptions above, these are the professionals who will help your company get its digital project off the ground. From developing an initial concept to ensuring the final product functions well and meets quality expectations, these 11 key players will have your digital project covered.
We can help you build your digital dream team
Rather than taking on the time-consuming and resource-draining work of finding skilled talent, why not let our team at Robert Half help you put together a creative team that’s right for your company’s culture and goals?
Reach out to us today to talk more about building a digital dream team for your next project.
Follow Paul Flaharty on LinkedIn.