Retail decision-makers are keen to deploy generative AI, but hiring the right people may prove trickier than expected

June 18, 2024

Call it curiosity, FOMO, or a strategic imperative, but retail decision-makers overwhelmingly want to integrate generative AI into their businesses… yesterday. Except, most businesses' plans will likely hit an unexpected (and challenging) snag.

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81% of respondents to a Google Cloud survey of 378 business and IT decision makers conducted in partnership with NewtonX urgently want to deploy generative AI. And the majority are going on hiring sprees to ensure they have the right skills to make the most of their investment.

77% will be prioritizing hiring data scientists over other roles. Other in-demand AI roles include machine learning engineers (69%), prompt engineers (57%), and AI-related product managers and developers (78%). 

There’s just one problem. Demand for these positions far outstrips supply. 

According to a 2024 study, there may be as many as 85 million unfilled roles globally by 2030. And with prospective employees very much in the driver’s seat, businesses that are unable to attract good candidates risk falling behind. 

So what will it take to persuade the best and brightest to come work for you?

Needless to say, the salary and benefits package is a key factor. But the type of work, resources available, and company culture are also critical.

Anupam Khare, CIO at specialty equipment manufacturer OshKosh, says that, to attract top AI talent, you need to be “…the place where you can bring ideas to life… get to use new tech and get [your] hands on cool technology…

Similarly,  Chandana Gopal, research director for industry analysis firm The Future of Intelligence at IDC, notes that “If [data scientists are] bored with what they are doing, they will not stay.

For those who can’t offer high-end salaries and groundbreaking work using cutting-edge technology, though, not all is lost. The stratospheric growth of the AI job market means more and more people are keen to learn and upskill. So, your next AI hire may very well be already on your payroll. 

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