Article: Skill gap in the B2B commerce industry


Skill gap in the B2B commerce industry

The technological disruption observed in the B2B ecommerce segment has ushered in a series of changes that warrants newer resources and major up-skilling of existing resources in the segment.
Skill gap in the B2B commerce industry

India might have to forfeit a whopping $1.97 trillion in its GDP, if the skill gap situation is not addressed soon, says a report published by Accenture early this year. The report reinstated that the required skill revolution in India can be further fuelled by new age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and Blockchain technologies. Additionally, the report also emphasized; skills such as complex reasoning, socio-emotional and sensory perception and creativity cannot be taught through traditional teaching and learning and that, these technologies will help people learn new skills quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. 

Evolution of B2B ecommerce space 

While this applies to every business operating in the Indian economy, the complicated and evolving procurement landscape of India need these technologies more than ever before. The technological disruption observed in the B2B ecommerce segment has ushered in a series of changes that warrants newer resources and major up-skilling of existing resources in the segment. For instance - Changing buying behaviour of the B2B customers, where they function very similar to B2C consumers. Technology in the B2B ecommerce space has equipped customers with additional information, which they can use to evaluate products or services offered. Additionally, B2B e-commerce players are also integrating AI in their sales strategies, owing to its ability to predict sales, optimize prices and calculate discounts based on similar customer profiles. Such developments in the sector need newer skills and up-skilling of resources.  

Emergence of HR-Tech 

Led by such emerging tech-trends in the B2B space, the HR experts have come to realise that they need technology to tackle issues pertaining to technology. Led by this realisation, HR professionals in the segment have started leveraging HR-Tech solutions in a bid to improve recruitment and up-skilling processes. 

To give a quick trivia, the emerging HR-tech market is currently valued at $14 billion. However, factoring in the growing necessity and the pace at which HR-Tech solutions are being adopted, the market is anticipated to grow up to $34 Billion industry by 2021, says a report by Gartner. 

With firm technological footing, the B2B ecommerce space is all set to address the elephant in the room viz., the skill gap! Talking on a surface level, HR-Tech has not only enabled searching the right candidate for the right job, but has also automated the preliminary stages of hiring. What’s more? HR-tech makes the entire recruitment process efficient and cost-effective and most importantly, employers are also utilizing HR-Tech to create a positive impact on candidates. Nonetheless, the question that continues to daunt some employers is, can technology actually give them thinking HR machines or is it just a flight of fancy? 

To answer the question, let’s briefly take you through some aspects on how HR-Tech is transforming the recruitment lifecycle: 

Employee forecast & analysis 

New Age technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is highly regarded in the HR-Tech space. More so because the modern-day employee planning tools aided by AI helps employers predict impending work-force demand and even forecast attrition. These technologies very well serve the evolving and highly demanding B2B ecommerce space. In addition, these tools are also proficient in analysing skill gaps that help organizations manage their internal talent by up-skilling. Organizations using HR-tech have also saved immensely by using technology to plan their workforce. 

Profile scrutiny – intelligent screening software 

The B2B ecommerce space has its own set of unique skill requirements and therefore finding the right talent at the right time is a major challenge. Sifting through thousands of resumes to find the right match is a passé today. Advanced technologies such as intelligent screening software have automated resume screening, using machine learning. To give a better perspective, such software utilise the knowledge it has been fed about the existing employees in terms of skills, experience and other capabilities, while short listing new candidates. Adding to the insights, these screening capabilities of the software have been taken a step ahead and today candidate profiles can be ranked according to the requirement match, thereby saving a lot of time.    

Effective targeting through programmatic advertising

Advertisers in the ecommerce space, using cookies to track browsing history of any user to make targeted advertisements is known to all. Similarly, a lot of employers in the segment are using cookies alike to track candidates who visit firm’s career page. Using these records recruiter’s compile a target set and plan a highly targeted hiring.   

Relationship management with prospective employees 

Gone are the days when only the employees would make an effort to keep in touch with HR professionals for future job requirements. In view of the evolving job market in India, especially in the B2B ecommerce segment, where skill requirement is constantly evolving and increasing, recruiters have adopted relationship building activities with prospective candidates, before and after the hiring process is over. Through the use of AI, Machine learning and Cookies, recruiters have started designing targeted marketing to attract talent and maintain a talent pool, using content, social media and other mediums. Practices such as these not only help recruiter identify where they are losing prospective candidates, but also helps source top talent even before the need arises.

In the whole scheme of things one must note that these tech solutions can not only integrate and automate processes like identification of profiles and hiring, but can also ease out processes like performance assessment, compensation, payroll etc, making the recruitment lifecycle more efficient and productive.   

As we step into the future of workplace, we as organizations must prep ourselves up for the enormous changes, which will be brought in by tech. The ‘work architecture’ needs to be revisited to reconstruct and rearrange, to make the most of technology and people in the future. 


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Topics: Skilling, #SkillUp, #GuestArticle

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