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With employees increasingly expected to fulfill broader functions on the shop floor and retailers needing to more efficiently manage the talent they have available through different in-store trading periods there is a growing need to bring more science into the equation.

It has been a perennial balancing act for retailers ensuring they have the optimum number of people available in-store. They have to avoid the issue of too many bodies around during quiet times while also having sufficient resources in place for the busier times of days and peak periods.

Among the businesses that are bringing some science and automation into the process of retailers staffing up their stores is Catapult that is working with various major retailers. Its automated vetting technology filters candidates and matches them to relevant roles in real-time.

These individuals are invariably more suited to certain retailers, which leads to them being able to pick-off available shifts with these retailers whenever they make themselves available for work on the Catapult website.

The solution provides retailers with the flexibility to better manage their in-store talent levels and ensure they have individuals on the shop floor who are contributing much more to the business because of their proven cultural fit. This has enabled labour productivity to hit an average of £150 of sales per hour from these employees compared with the typical £75 per hour. This proves the point of having the right people employed at the right time.

To further improve the vetting process a new tool that has been developed by Catapult’s data and behavioural scientists using machine learning technology. Using a Tinder-style left or right swipe potential candidate answers various questions. The answers are combined with the subsequent performance of the individual in-store. The results from this feedback loop have significantly boosted the accuracy of retailers finding suitable people for their specific requirements.

This is an example of the intelligent mixing of people with technology that we will undoubtedly see much more of in the retail industry. It helps deliver greater operational efficiency for the business, improved service to customers, and greater work satisfaction for employees.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider

K3 Retail partners with businesses to provide connected technologies based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 so retailers can reach their goals now and in the future. In a size that best fits future plans wherever you need it – Cloud, Hybrid or On-premise. Our solutions drive more than 800 international retail brands from Charles Tyrwhitt and The White Company to Ryman and Sue Ryder, Hobbycraft, Wasabi and Ted Baker, K3 Retail is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the UK’s leading Microsoft Dynamics retail partner.