SUNNYVALE, California: Walmart Labs has launched a major hiring effort for technologists, an employment push that highlights companies' quest to scout for tech talent in the Bay Area.
The retailing behemoth's tech unit wants to hire 150 technology workers in the Bay Area, bolstering its efforts to deliver new digital solutions to its customers and to meld advanced technologies with its existing brick-and-mortar operations, such as stores, warehouses and distribution centres.
“The Bay Area has some of the biggest tech companies, some of the best minds, and some of the most awesome technologists in the world,” said Jeremy King, chief technology officer at Walmart Labs. “The fact that Walmart can attract the same caliber of talent as these tech giants is a testament to the scope, breadth, quality, culture, and impact of Walmart's technology operations.”
The Walmart Labs careers site listed hundreds of openings on Tuesday for technology workers at its Sunnyvale and San Bruno locations, where the company maintains major research and development hubs.
Arkansas-based Walmart, confronted by the same profit and revenue squeeze that has besieged other retailers, hopes to tap the skills and brainpower in Silicon Valley to enhance its offerings and deliveries of products and services, as well as to improve its retail and distribution efficiency.
“As the retail industry transforms, so does Walmart,” said Blair Bennett, vice president of Walmart Talent Acquisition.
That transformation reaches the width and length of Walmart's operations, company executives told this news organization.
“In stores, online, through mobile devices, voice, pickup options and delivery services, Walmart Labs is really here to power our entire customer journey,” Bennett said.
Much of that is being driven by a growing number of retail customers who have become adept at obtaining products and services through a diversity of access points.
“We have to become more and more innovative to serve our customers,” Bennett said.
For the most part, these technologies are operating behind the scenes, which is the nature of tech. But in some cases, the Walmart push for advanced solutions can become visible.
Earlier this year, Walmart and San Francisco-based tech startup Bossa Nova Robotics began testing at some of the retailer's Bay Area stores intelligent robots that can meld artificial intelligence with autonomous movements to assess inventories on store shelves.
Walmart Labs is attempting to hire many different kinds of workers at its two Silicon Valley locations.
Software engineers, back-end technologies experts, data scientists, product managers, mobile developers, systems engineers, artificial intelligence experts, cloud engineers and data science experts are among those that the company wants to bring on board this year in the Bay Area.
“With the retail cycle, it is important that we work to hire individuals early in the year so we can ramp up working on technology throughout the year,” Bennett said. “We are working as quickly as we can to bring talent on board.”
Walmart Labs, which now has roughly 2,000 employees in the Bay Area, believes that it can dangle in front of recruits the challenge of pitting their skills against tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, as well as delivering the fruits of their labors to a huge organisation.
“Developers want to be challenged and recognized for their ideas and hard work,” King said. “They want to work on a variety of cool projects, using the most cutting-edge technologies. And, they want their work to matter.” — The San Jose Mercury News/Tribune News Service