SAP survey illustrates talent shortages for retailers focused on e-commerce and Big Data analysis

Retailers "don't know where new skilled managers will come from and don't see the required skills reflected in the current talent pool."

By ·

Finding employees with the right functional competencies continues to be a challenge for retailers according to a recent survey by SAP AG. In an environment where the ability to understand and manage technology and data is increasingly in demand, retailers are worried about filling management positions with employees that have the strategic skill sets needed.

Retailers see a need for functional competencies leaning toward technology and data skills, even more than general business and people management. But the survey revealed that 84% of retailers are worried that it will be challenging to find employees with these skills. Exacerbating the problem is the overall hiring trend: 93% of survey respondents said hiring will not decrease over the next two to three years. When asked to specify which skills are in high demand, retailers indicated they are focused on filling management-level roles that have a strategic impact on the business, such as:

Understanding and applying business analytics and Big Data in retail (80%)
Optimizing the retail business for omni-channel commerce (72%)
Analyzing consumer buying behavior for improved operations (55%)

Within these functional competencies, 97% of the retailers surveyed are aware of the challenge of finding and training employees for new skill sets. Retailers plan to approach this challenge using a mix of activities. The majority (75%) plan to hire new people from outside the organization to fill these roles, if they can find them. More than half said they plan to use in-house educational resources or organically develop new skills through experience and training. And 53% plan to offer external education opportunities to current employees to improve skills.

Other skills of note that are top of mind for retailers include mobile commerce management (50%), merchandise buying/planning (37%) and digital and social branding skills (37%).

SAP surveyed 76 retail managers from top-tier retail brands at the SAP Retail Forum North America, held last month in Dallas, Texas, and attended by retailers including Zappos, PGA Tour Superstore, Luxottica, eBay, Sports Basement and Shane Company.


Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
eBook: Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration is More Important Now
Explore the benefits of supplier collaboration including sharing demand forecasts, faster reactions to demand or capacity changes and well-coordinated product launches.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
While Amazon’s recent bid to purchase Whole Foods made mainstream headlines, the e-commerce giant will still need to adhere to time-tested realities. Any way you slice it, the integrated U.S. cold chain requires optimized service from existing ports, 3PLs, cold storage warehousing, transportation providers and high-value vendors.
Improving 3PL Management: Glanbia Adds Muscle to Logistics
Why Retail Supply Chain Transformations Fail - and how to get it right
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...