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The Five: An “Outside In” Look at Digital Talent Trends

At Herbert Mines Associates, we understand today’s rapidly changing retail landscape.   As the trusted executive search partner to consumer-facing brands for over 40 years, we are uniquely positioned to observe trends as they influence our clients and their talent needs.  As companies respond to an increasingly digital environment, anticipating the impact of digital disruption is a key focus.

Five Key Trends from our Recent Observations of the Digital Talent Landscape:

1. Digital Leadership is a key strategic initiative for retailers today. As an increasingly necessary business priority, digital talent is now in high demand, and short-supply. Digital / E-Commerce leaders with omni-channel experience and a proven track record represent an even smaller pool in this highly competitive arena. Top talent will be attracted to organizations where there is broad focus on building customer intimacy via aligned engagement, product management, and technology solutions.

2. With the need for seasoned digital leaders increasing faster than the amount of qualified executives, retail organizations should expect a broad spectrum of digital acumen in the prospective digital candidate landscape. Even though the digital skillset is transferrable across consumer facing businesses, retailers should also anticipate there will be “trade-offs”.


3. As consumer facing business are in different states of capability building, the structure of digital commerce teams varies between organizations. There is no clear “one size fits all”.  Titles for top talent can range from “Chief Digital Officer” to “Executive Vice President, Digital” to “Senior Vice President, E-Commerce” to even “Chief Technology & Digital Innovation Officer”.


4. Regardless of official title, the most successful digital leaders are those who create and foster agile environments for their teams to enable continuous innovation.  These leaders leverage the use of big data and analytics to be more nimble, provide faster outcomes and stay on top of customer trends and demands. Sophisticated leaders will further utilize analytic engines to fuel customization and personalization strategies across shopping platforms.


5. Top digital leaders focus on effective integration through the development of a seamless customer ecosystem across every device (tablet, mobile, Smart TV) and enable shopping anytime, anyplace. They drive the improvement of m-commerce via mobile apps that are user-friendly, fast and secure, while maintaining the brand’s overall customer experience.


We invite you to begin the conversation with us so that we might share our expertise and help craft an approach that is customized for your company. To connect live, contact Coleen Hollywood at chollywood@herbertmines.com or (212) 652-0353.

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