Creativity is in short supply, research reveals
Creativity in the retail and consumer sectors is severely lacking, according to recruitment and talent management company, Futurestep.
Research from the group revealed that creativity was cited as the competency in shortest supply, identified by more than one five organisations (21 per cent), while a further 24 per cent named it as one of the skills that are most difficult to develop in new recruits.
The findings were disclosed as part of Futurestep's annual talent study, surveying more than 1,500 learning professionals across five continents and looking at attitudes towards measuring the impact of talent.
With the economy still in a gloomy state, Futurestep has identified creativity as paramount to success. The view is supported by more than a fifth of businesses, with 21 per cent naming it among the most valuable competencies of retail sector talent. Despite this, 70 per cent of respondents reported that they have no budget for innovation.
Discussing the creativity predicament, Jonathan Brown, EMEA RPO operations director at Futurestep, said: "The creativity crisis that we are seeing in retail is being heightened by the economic climate. Budgets for innovation are squeezed, making creativity with limited resources even more vital.
"The economic situation, however, makes creativity increasingly vital as competition for consumer spend is greater and the expectation of those consumers is higher. Apple is a prime example, reinventing the store in an approach admired by competitors. Retailers that are attracting top creative talent by maintaining a focus on innovation are reaping the benefits by differentiating themselves and creating a competitive advantage, not only in store but across multiple channels including mobile."
The global study found that customer focus is the most readily available competency among new retail hires, with a quarter of respondents (25 per cent) naming this as easy to find. Functional and technical skills were also cited by 20 per cent of organisations as the easiest competency to develop in new recruits, skills that pose a sharp contrast to the complexities of creativity.
Brown added: "The challenge for the retail and consumer sectors now is to adopt the mechanisms to address it the creativity crisis. An organisation is only as good as the people within it, so without this critical component many businesses may well struggle to deliver upon the high demands of the road to recovery."