Will recruiting challenges slow grocery’s digital transformation?
According to McKinsey’s study, “Digital Disruption At The Grocery Store,” recruiting digital talent will be a major hurdle for grocers as consumers increasingly adopt home delivery and omnichannel options such as curbside pickup in the years ahead.
Large technology companies and tech start-ups, according to the study, continue to have first dibs on graduating data scientists, tech engineers and other specialists. McKinsey wrote in the study, “We believe that is a major issue, since digital talent may be the single most important determinant of a company’s likelihood to succeed in the grocery market in the next few years.”
The study noted that while retaining and training existing talent should be emphasized, several additional steps can be taken to better compete with Silicon Valley for talent:
- Hire a chief digital officer or the equivalent.
- Form positions for data scientists, tech engineers and other experts.
- Develop a clear digital strategy.
- Break out from the rest of the organization and rethink location strategies where required.
- Reconsider traditional recruiting practices and look beyond brand name universities.
- Offer more of the benefits Millennials seek.
- Create an innovative environment.
- Prepare to pay market rates and reward employees for attracting talent.
A shortage of such tech talent across industries, however, has been cited as a challenge for all industries for years. In 2012, Harvard Business Review declared the data scientist the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.”
Demand continues to exceed supply. LinkedIn’s “2020 Emerging Jobs Report” found the top-five emerging jobs for the U.S. to be: artificial intelligence specialist, robotics engineer, data scientist, full stack engineer and site reliability engineer.
In other industries, some solutions to the shortage include automating data management and operational tasks, employing self-service analytics and creating cross-functional data science teams to work with business units across an organization. Also cited: expanding the potential candidate pool beyond those with computer science degrees, developing tech specialists in-house and creating a data-centric culture. Hiring external consultants for certain tasks can also make up for shortcomings.
- AccDigital disruption at the grocery store – McKinsey
- Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century – Harvard Business Review
- 2020 Emerging Jobs Report (U.S.) – LinkedIn
- 5 ways enterprises adapt to the data scientist shortage – SearchBusinessAnalytics
- How to build the perfect tech team despite talent shortages – Computer Weekly
- 6 ways to deal with the great data scientist shortage – CIO
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you agree recruiting “digital talent may be the single most important determinant” for a grocer’s success in the years ahead? How can retailers better compete for talent and/or make up for related shortcomings?