Amazon’s new ‘legal shoplifting’ venture sent everyone into a tizzy when the news of its release first came out. Imagine, a shop where you just pick up your stuff and walk out! It’s like something straight out of Back to the Future. However, now that the concept has started to sink in, retailers are taking the idea seriously.
As the Guardian says: “the number of retail employees in Britain currently stands at 2.8 million. Stores like Amazon Go could therefore mean many job losses. Retailers could realise savings of something in the order of 15% of running costs, an amount that is likely to make the technology very attractive.”
This means that recruiters should take it very seriously too.
In a world where Tesco stores are further evolving into a series of self-service checkouts, and where contactless card payments are making chip and pin obsolete, recruiters need a game plan. Whereas the retail industry was always seen as a solid foundation for workers, it’s now increasing possibly that that reputation is at risk.
So what can recruiters do?
It seems as though a major plan of action would be to encourage candidates to look into developing their technology skills. With broadband being equated in importance to gas and electric, and free coding courses popping up everywhere you go, it’s important for people looking for work to keep their skills updated and constant.
No one disputes that advanced technology is the avenue retail will be taking in the near future, with the Guardian also claiming that “Amazon Go, along with businesses like Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, and even Google and Facebook, are part of a fundamental restructuring of the economy and the work that goes with it. It is not simply that the technology is causing jobs to be lost… We are moving from a globalised world of manufacturing giants to a networked one of technology giants”.
While we do like the notion of a wide variety of skills being used in the workplace, Amazon Go’s imminent popularity proves that neither candidates or recruiters can rely on a solely traditional skillset – we must move with the times and ensure we aren’t losing touch with the current work landscape. After all, we all want the best for our candidates.