eCommonSense Comment: Q1 2022

While significant financial investment in cutting edge technology is unobtainable for many small to medium sized merchants, digital solutions are necessary to make their business attractive in an increasingly competitive labour market. In fact, digitalisation is a cultural journey as much as a technology one and to navigate it, the right talent must be attracted to provide the diversity and skills required to be successful.

For businesses looking to attract the best millennial and Generation Z talent, misconceptions around a lack of career progression and out-dated processes are a common problem. According to one PWC study, opportunities for career progression is the top priority for graduates considering a workplace, while over half said that an employer’s provision of state-of-the art technology was an important factor.

Flexible working is increasingly important to younger generations or those with family commitments. Whether prospective employees are looking to work from home on a full or part-time basis, employers will struggle to meet this demand with technology systems that require full time office attendance.

As highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of specialist technology facilitated a transition to remote working across the merchant sector, allowing many staff to successfully undertake their role from home.

Being able to log-in to business systems from any location allows all departments to view key business data and do their jobs, at least in part. While this might have taken some getting used to, this shift has highlighted the fact that many prospective employees now expect and demand it.

Career advancement opportunities are of vital importance for young people, with many seeking ongoing training opportunities within their role. Without a robust digital infrastructure, we can’t convey the image of a progressive and adaptable industry which is committed to improvement, and younger recruits will be deterred.

From attracting the best talent, to scaling and opening new sites, digital solutions are increasingly being viewed as the key to future success and arguably the best way to combat the lack of diversity within the sector, without which any aspirations of digitalisation will not be successful.

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