Brisbane Digital Spotlight is a blog series that aims to shine light on the exceptional talent within the city’s digital community. With each post, I uncover a devoted individual within my network who I’ve recognised to be deeply engaged in the digital industry. Whether it be a Digital Marketer, a Developer, a Co-founder, a Project Manager, or even a Recruiter – my goal is to highlight the work these remarkable individuals do; day in, day out.
In this instalment of the Brisbane Digital Spotlight, I caught up with the female founder extraordinaire, Holly Tattersall. Holly’s the founder of both the Digital Talent Co and Women In Digital – the initiative empowering women in the industry across the globe.
I was particularly infatuated with Holly’s ability to scale her personal passion into an authentic community.
We caught and delved into Holly’s background in the digital landscape. We uncovered how a backpacking trip to South America kickstarted the beginning of her digital career.
Holly was also generous enough to share some insights on the importance of adding value, some emerging job trends across the industry, and how to grow a community of your own.
Keep reading to uncover more about Holly’s inspiring work.
Tell us about your background – How did you end up in the digital space, particularly in recruitment?
After high school, I was studying HR and International Business at UQ. Whilst in my final semester, I applied for an internship as a Marketing Assistant with Reload Consulting – this was whilst working at a Telstra store selling phones.
After I finished uni, the travel bug in me was burning. I decided to join a group of friends on a backpacking trip through Central and South America, using my Telstra sales bonus money to fund my trip.
After 3 months in Europe I returned to Australia, but was still dying to be in South America. The hostel owner invited me back to start a tour company with him – and within a week I was back on a plane to live there for 18 months, launching and running a tour company and running our Digital Marketing and Social Media.
Whilst the venture was exciting, it wasn’t what I intended it to be. I returned to Australia and without any solid professional HR experience, I ended up trying my hand at Recruitment. Given my exposure to Digital Marketing at Reload and the hostel, I was given the opportunity to start a Digital Recruitment desk at the agency I joined. The rest, as they say, is history!
As the founder of Digital Talent Co, what does your everyday role entail?
Speaking to a lot of people and staying as productive as possible! This might include clients who are sharing their business challenges, aspirations for growth, or exciting projects. This will also include speaking to candidates about their dream job, and giving them direction on how they can get there, or how we can facilitate that move for them.
Currently I have one full-timer, Steph working with me. She has just returned from a year travelling and working remotely, so I also work together with her on plans to expand the business and team. As cliche as it sounds, what Steph and I have in common is that we genuinely get excited about helping people find their dream job. We still do a happy dance when we connect a candidate with a new opportunity that will take their career to new heights.
What are some emerging job trends you’re seeing in the Brisbane digital space?
- Remote work is here to stay; companies are more open than ever to leveraging dispersed workforces.
- Millennials are seeking fulfilment in their career, and often value work-life integration over a big salary and stability.
- In the digital workforce, candidates need to know they are constantly learning. There is a fear of falling behind, so as an employer you have to be supporting that appetite for education through training and development.
- We’re seeing more roles in cloud solutions, automation, machine learning and AI.
Candidates are being smashed by recruiters on a daily basis, so I see them getting pickier, and in some cases more cynical about what recruiters promise or over-promise as far as salaries, opportunities or culture.
If a candidate knows what they are getting themselves into, even if it isn’t perfect, it is better than being sold a dream and going into a new role blind.
How did the concept for Women In Digital come to fruition?
Back in 2014 I was working in Recruitment with an agency, and was also in a funny place within my own career. It wasn’t where I had ever seen myself working and wanted to do something with a bit more meaning as recruitment can be quite transactional.
I was lucky enough to have an exec from Deloitte Digital take an interest in my career following a client meeting. We caught up a few times for coffee and she became an informal mentor to me.
The confidence and direction that this relationship facilitated was something I thought that other female candidates I met along the way could benefit from – so I started Women in Digital as a mentoring program. This expanded to events, and from there the community of Women in Digital was built!
I often speak with creators who find it hard to monetise their passion at the risk of feeling guilty or invaluable. Was this ever the case for you at all with Women In Digital?
I definitely struggled with this to begin with, and even had advisors around me that warned against monetizing the services I was offering!
What I realised was – that if this was what I wanted to do, and that others wanted what I had on offer, I had to figure out a way to make money out of it. If I was truly offering value I couldn’t feel guilty about earning an income, otherwise I simply couldn’t continue to offer that to the community!
You’re currently in preparation for the International Women’s Day Speed Mentoring Event. Can you tell us more about this?
We’re excited to run the IWD Speed Mentoring event for the second year in a row on the 8th March. This time concurrently in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
At this event, Mentees and Mentors will hear from an inspirational keynote speaker before being broken into mentoring circles. This will allow everyone to connect with inspirational and successful digital leaders. If you’re interested in attending, you can check out our events page.
Are there any plans to continue scaling Women In Digital in the near future?
The next step for WID is to build a membership – connecting our community on and offline in a more formal way.
This year we will be hosting the Women in Digital Awards in September for the second year running – last years awards night was so rewarding.
From the feedback, everyone who joined us had a great time. We even had finalists from Melbourne and Sydney fly up to be a part of the evening or to accept awards – including my favourite Founder of the Year winner, Julie Stevanja from Stylerunner. I was fangirling her all night!
Finally, we’re also excited to welcome some big hitters to our WID Advisory Board, including; Shannon Nixon from Microsoft, Donna Vinci from BOQ, and Margarita Camus from QUU.
These ladies, and the other members are all passionate ambassadors for the work we do, and for the importance of diversity in digital. I’m fortunate to have their support and to have their brain power in the room when we get together for our quarterly board meetings.
As the founder of such an authentic community, do you have any valuable advice for building relationships or communities?
I think that you have to go into every interaction thinking about what you can offer the other person, as opposed to what you’re seeking from that person.
If you’re authentic and are truly trying to support others, then the positive relationships will come. This is then a reflection of the culture your community will become. Like attracts like after all!
Finally, what are some of your favourite things to do around sunny Brisbane when not at work?
I love spending as much time outdoors as possible after a week indoors on the computer! I just refreshed my scuba diving licence so that I can get out there more in 2019, and am planning a trip to the Great Barrier Reef at Easter.
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I’m a twenty-three year old Digital Marketing & Conversions Specialist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a passion for all things digital and tech, I aim to connect and learn from as many like-minded digital enthusiasts as possible. If you have a passion for emerging technologies and digital practices, I’d love to connect and hear your story.