Taking a global mindset

It’s widely recognised in the world of football that securing the best players requires sourcing talent from as wide a field as possible. The top teams now have impressive systems in place to source the best players from around the globe. It’s a similar story in the fashion industry where the most successful brands scan the world for the best designing talent.

This thinking needs to be adopted more broadly by the retail industry when dealing with its increasingly important technology development function. Some companies remain reluctant to take such an approach to securing talent. They do not reach out in the right way and are not thinking laterally.

This comes at a time when there is an increasing need for retailers to access deep skills in retail technology and source people who understand the retail processes and modern technology.

There is no escaping the fact there is a growing need to access the very best talent from around the globe.

If you are a UK retailer and are solely tapping into UK know-how then you’ll struggle to keep pace, innovate, and thrive. It’s a fact that the likes of Amazon, Google and other top firms tap into global talent pools.

 

Talent Scouts and Domain Experts

There should be somebody in each retail business who is very much focused on talent acquisition. By this I don’t simply mean an HR person. Their role should involve a search around the globe for people whose skills cut across all IT services.

There is an imperative for IT directors to look and evaluate the best retail skills in the world and for this they need to have talent scouts looking for the best individuals and companies to work with.

We know from our experience that these talent pools are widely located and hotbeds exist in Eastern Europe and India as well as Sri Lanka where there is great growth currently being experienced. One of the common characteristics of such areas is fast-growing economies where there is a desire to learn and also evidence of government investment underpinning the upwards trajectory.

So what is holding back retailers from tapping into global talent pools?

Single points of failure

The typical approach for many companies is to simply go to local recruitment agencies. Sadly, this invariably involves sourcing people from a limited pool. This route also brings in the risk of dealing with individual contractors, which leads to a single point of failure. It’s therefore a very risky approach and it also fails to give retailers the ability to scale-up and protect their IPR.

For large retailers in tier one, where the talent needs are larger, the scale problem can be solved by going to the big consulting and services firms like TCS or Accenture who can bring mass scale to the table.

But big numbers does not necessarily translate into securing the required expertise and innovative thinking that retailers need.

Another aspect holding back the retail industry is the entrenched view of it being best to own their resources, which makes them reluctant to move away from operating with in-house people. This highlights the ongoing desire for control and ownership. But this approach limits agility and the ability to react to a fast moving project pipeline, where the skills needed may be far broader or niche than those available in house.

The reality is that, today, technology is at the heart of all retail businesses and is such a central requirement that somebody needs to be focused on talent acquisition in each organisation. To this end they also need to work closely with key sourcing partners, who are absolutely vital. Such is the importance of this to the future success of retailers that the fundamental question facing every CEO in the industry should be – how good is my talent pool?

Simon Curtis, Chief Commercial Officer

As Chief Commercial Officer at PMC, Simon Curtis oversees Account Management, Sales and Marketing, and our Partnership program. Simon has worked extensively in the retail sector for many years. Holding previous leadership roles in the retail technology industry including; Head of Large Corporates at WorldPay, Commercial Director at YESpay, and Managing Director at ITIM. Prior to the retail software, Simon spent time at Price Waterhouse Consulting, where he advised clients on the selection and implementation of retail technology and process re-engineering.

Simon Curtis, Chief Commercial Officer

As Chief Commercial Officer at PMC, Simon Curtis oversees Account Management, Sales and Marketing, and our Partnership program. Simon has worked extensively in the retail sector for many years. Holding previous leadership roles in the retail technology industry including; Head of Large Corporates at WorldPay, Commercial Director at YESpay, and Managing Director at ITIM. Prior to the retail software, Simon spent time at Price Waterhouse Consulting, where he advised clients on the selection and implementation of retail technology and process re-engineering.