DALLAS: Supermarket giant Tesco claims it isn't struggling to find skilled IT personnel, even though many organisations in the UK and wider world are currently finding it hard to fill vacancies.
Tesco believes that a combination of highly competitive career paths and its strong links with UK universities means it is currently able to find all the IT talent it needs.
Tesco's supply chain programme manager, Duncan Apthorp, explained why his firm's hiring schemes seem so effective.
"There's the term ‘data scientist': we hate it with a vengeance," he began, responding to questions from V3 at the Teradata Partners conference in Texas. "We look to hire smart, numeric people. They may be mathematicians, scientists, engineers - we even have one who did geography.
"We typically hire them straight out of university - we work closely with all the university career teams and so far we've not had a problem," he said.
Apthorp did admit that economic conditions could influence Tesco's hiring patterns if many more businesses suddenly start having a need for big data analysts - a trend which according to many reports will arrive within the next four years.
This, coupled with Gartner estimates predicting a 75 percent worldwide shortfall in big data analysts, makes the employment market highly competitive.
"If you get a big uptick in the UK economy it will get harder, for sure," he said, adding: "It's worth saying why we don't have a problem hiring people. Where else could a graduate go and save a business £10m per year? When you present smart people with opportunities like that, they jump," he concluded.
Tesco currently employs 530,000 people across the globe, and has annual revenue of £72.4bn. Its big data analytics extends to ultra-specific studies that monitor such things as how different weather patterns influence buying habits.
Tesco's CIO told V3 last month that the firm also expects 3D printing to play a part in its future, saying that it would likely benefit its business and consumers.
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