- The volume of web developer roles posted by the retail industry between January and October increased 55% compared to the same time frame in 2018, data from recruitment software firm iCIMS shows. It was the fastest growing category retail sought to hire.
- Demand for the next-closest role, sales representatives, grew 30%. Three of the top five roles the retail industry sought to fill were related to technology, with demand for graphic designers growing 25%, and computer system analyst roles increasing 23%.
- For the retail industry, which is focusing growth strategies on boosting online sales, filling open roles in accordance with demand has proven elusive across the board. While open roles rose 13%, hiring is up just 7%.
Lagging tech talent attraction means industry could fail to meet technology goals and falter in the face of competition from e-commerce natives, with Amazon at the head.
The pressure to maintain e-commerce systems online will increase this holiday season. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, Adobe predicts Americans will spend $143 billion in online sales, up 14% year-over-year.
"The story this holiday season is not just about how much Americans shop – it's how they do the shopping itself," said Al Smith, CTO at iCIMS, in an email to CIO Dive. "With e-commerce assuming a greater role in retail as much as any other industry, it's no surprise that web developers have seen the fastest growth in job openings this year."
In a digital-driven context, retailers staff up physical stores with traditional sales people, while also filling more technical roles like web developers, graphic designers and computer system analysts, Smith said.
The disparity between jobs already filled and those still open signals a tough final push for holiday talent in the retail industry, iCIMS said in its analysis.
Risks of outages at moments of peak demand are to be expected, as today's retail locations feature an increased quantity of systems in stores, as well as increased workloads, said Ralph Jacobson, Global Retail & CPG Sales Strategist at IBM, in an interview with Retail Dive.
Brands are called to devise "mini-disaster" plans for contingent operations continuity in case of outages, Jacobson said. As the web becomes increasingly intertwined, outages plague even the biggest brands. Most recently, outages clouded the launch of Disney's long-awaited streaming service.