Shortage of web developer talent causes retailers to struggle

United Ambition says retailers are missing out on multiple channel interaction with customers due to a lack of UK web developers

A shortage of UK web developers and IT professionals is causing retailers to miss out on engaging with their customers through multiple channels, according to recruitment firm Uniting Ambition.

Lisa Holmes, director at Uniting Ambition, said technological advances and increased demands from customers are seeing retailers move towards omnichannel platforms, but a lack of available talent will cause them to struggle.

“Retailers are playing cat and mouse," she said. "Everyone is trying to be more innovative and more creative than their competitors with their customer offering. The secret to retail success in 2014 will rely on a great web and multichannel experience.

“Retailers can no longer survive off their brand alone. An effective digital marketing strategy will prioritise customer experience through outstanding design and development."

According to research from professional programmers forum Stack Overflow, nearly half (47%) of UK web developers are open to new opportunities, but 34% admit never having visited a job board.

These figures suggest web developers are not active job seekers, with most claiming only to consider positions if they are headhunted directly or have inside connections at a company.

Holmes added: “When you are recruiting, it is vital to be transparent. Developers like the facts and no typical recruitment jargon. A senior web developer will expect a salary of £50,000 to £70,000 depending on the intricacy of the role.”

Holmes pointed out that Stack Overflow’s research showed 60% of web developers are more likely to consider a new role if the company culture, working environment and team are explained fully, with no ambiguity.

“As the stats show, developers just won’t go looking for jobs," she said. "It’s time to be more proactive and more assertive when engaging in the market. After all, the talent and demand are there.”

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