Having looked in our previous pieces at some of the major skills changes seen across the country this year, and then in some selected geographies, in this final piece in our series on Changing Skills Demand we’ll look at the question from the employer perspective. As we mentioned in those previous pieces, our Job Postings Analytics (JPA) data is tagged to our Skills Library, which currently contains over 33,000 skills terms, and this enables us to extract skills from employer job postings for analysis.
To show this in action, we’ve picked three high profile competitors in the same sector: Aldi, Morrisons and Tesco. The chart below shows the Top 20 most sought after skills by each of these companies since the start of the year, measured by the proportion of job advertisements that each skill shows up in. The three charts are on a slide deck, beginning with Aldi, followed by Morrisons and then Tesco. To start, click on the play button, and once it has finished, toggle between the supermarkets by clicking on the arrow at the top right hand corner and pressing the refresh button to start the moving chart:
Although many of the top few skills are similar for all three companies, with things like Customer service, Sales and Management all high up the chart, the data reveals some interesting nuances, which may give a glimpse into the differing priorities and focus for each company.
Beginning with Aldi, the first thing to notice is that of all three supermarkets, this is the one with the least change throughout the period. The top skills in particular — Customer Service; Sales; Dealing With Enquiries; Management; and Balancing (Ledger/Billing) — are steady throughout. There is, however, an interesting increase in Warehousing from 2.7% in January to 3.8% in April, which may well be reflective of the increase in online deliveries at that time. There is also an increase in demand for Business development, which appeared in no job adverts from January to April, but in 1.9% in July.
Another point of interest is that compared to both Morrisons and Tesco, Aldi’s skills demands tend to be more process-oriented throughout the period. For instance, skills such as Operations, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Excel all appear in the Top 20 for most months, whereas with Tesco none of these skills makes it into the Top 20, and with Morrisons they decline in importance over the seven months.
One of the most striking things about the data from Morrisons is the increasing importance of Enthusiasm over the course of the seven months. Whereas the skill appeared in 10% of online adverts in January, it has since grown to 19.6% in July. Somewhat surprisingly, this very generic skill does not even make it into the Top 20 for Aldi or Tesco, but whether this is an indication that Morrisons staff are more enthusiastic than those of its competitors, or whether the others might claim they don’t need to include it on account of it being obvious that you must be enthusiastic to work there is not for us to comment on!
Other trends of interest in the Morrisons data are the growth in demand for Leadership from 7.9% in January to 15.3% in July, as well as the increase in Food safety (0% to 11.7%), and Scheduling (4.2% to 10.9%). Some of these increases are likely to be a result of the huge change in circumstances during the crisis, in which these sorts of skills have become more important.
Finally, looking at the data for Tesco, we can see that although the top skills, such as Customer service, Communications and Management, stay roughly constant, a number of skills that may be connected with the crisis have grown in importance over the period. For example, Calmness under pressure, which feature in neither Aldi nor Morrisons Top 20, has grown from 5.6% to 11.2% between January and July; Time management has also grown significantly during the year, from 12.0% to 30.6%; there was also significant growth in Fundraising, from 0.1% in January, peaking at 5.9% in March, which may well again be a reflection of the circumstances during the period.
The data also shows demand for Skills in Tesco’s Pharmacy, such as Blood Pressure, Blood sugar and Pharmaceuticals, whilst none of these are in the Top 20 for Aldi and Morrison.
As you will hopefully see, this highly granular dive into the skills employers are demanding can reveal some fascinating data and trends. And of course this can be done for any organisation that has been placing job postings online, and for any geography in the country. The benefits of this are manifold. For instance, education providers and economic development organisations could use the data to understand more about the skills demands of local employers before engaging with them, whilst employers can use it to understand more about the skills their competitors are looking for.
To find out more about how our data can help you your organisation understand employer skills demand, get in touch.