Buoyed by 2020 growth in ecommerce and the wider economy not doing so well (compounded by low interest rates and the threat of negative interest rates), we have seen a rush to invest in ecommerce related businesses. Based on data from Square, the share of the retail businesses that continued operating throughout the pandemic and accepted an online payment went from 38% in February, before the pandemic, to 51% in July 2020. Mobile retail commerce sales grew 31.5% in 2020 and are expected to surge another 28.8% this year. By 2022, mobile retail revenue will pass $432 billion, a 25.1% increase over 2021.
Retailers that embraced ecommerce during the early days of the shutdown will likely not revert to operating models that don’t include ecommerce once the pandemic is under control, as consumers will continue to expect these options to be available.
This makes recruiting for ecommerce positions difficult, as some retailers have eliminated in-store roles and need to hire talent that has experience in the digital space, as well as hire at a higher volume for roles that support ecommerce along the supply chain, like warehouse, fulfillment and logistics positions. Market experts do not expect the demand for these roles to decrease as vaccines roll out and bricks and mortar retailers re-open. Adding to the challenge: Employers in grocery, retail and big-box chains have raised entry-level starting wages for front line employees, which means that recruiters have to be able to sell their open positions — particularly those that are not remote.
Keys to Recruiting Ecommerce Employees
Recruiters in the retail, logistics, fulfillment and warehousing industries have had to pivot to recruit for digital roles in e-commerce. We’re now also looking for roles like software developers, engineers, data analysts, customer service and support, as well as experienced marketers and salespeople to operate at scale throughout 2021.
When there are skill shortages in a particular sector, such as the digital market, hiring the best before your competitors do can make a real difference when it comes down to overall business success. Your metrics really matter, your time-to-hire must be quick and your best source of hire today can change overnight. Time is of the essence because candidates aren’t waiting for one company to make an offer before moving on to the next.
Job Postings That Sell Your Ecommerce Roles
Your job descriptions and postings are the best place to begin. This is where you can differentiate your company and employer brand from your competitors. Here, we’ll go over some solid best practices for creating and promoting job postings in ecommerce.
Start with your headline.
You’re looking for skilled and entry-level candidates in the digital space and primarily entry-level candidates in warehousing, logistics and fulfillment. These are two different candidate personas and your headlines should make that distinction. The former tend to search for job titles, while the latter searches by geographic area or industry. Your headline should include important keywords based on what each candidate persona searches for when seeking a job, and they will be different for each.
Try out hiring events.
Particularly for roles in the digital space that will be fully or partially remote, consider virtual hiring events. They’re easy, low budget, and can bring in hundreds of candidates in a single day. For your supply chain support roles, many companies are now holding day-long in-person hiring events during which candidates can meet directly with hiring managers and get offers on the spot.
Showcase your brand on social.
Share real photos and videos on social media along with your job postings to help give candidates a snapshot of what working for a specific location looks like or how your company engages its remote workforce.
Differentiate yourself from the competition.
Look at what your competitors are posting. How are they differentiating themselves from your company? And how can you do the same? If every company in your sector is following the same format for job postings, change yours. It could be small wording changes or something more specific that your company is doing; you want your job postings to stand out.
Strengthen your career site.
While you’re doing competitor analysis, take a look at what the largest online retailers are doing to recruit for these positions. Companies like Amazon, eBay, GrubHub, Chewy.com, Walmart, and Etsy put culture first on their career sites, with reviews from happy employees (work from anywhere!) and promoting safety protocols for warehouse and logistics roles. Even if you don’t have an Amazon-sized budget, your career site and email content marketing are easy to change and it costs nothing to A/B test subject lines and job post headlines.
Give candidates what they want.
You don’t have to guess what candidates want. They want the same thing we all do: competitive pay and benefits, a safe workplace, work-life balance, career development opportunities, appreciation for hard work…it sounds simple because it is (at least relatively so compared to the rest of the work we do in recruiting!).
Refine your wording.
It might sound counterintuitive, since your primary goal is to “sell” your job openings, but get rid of any language that sounds like an opinion. You have to be able to describe the role in your job posting, but using language like “amazing opportunity” or “exciting new technology” can take away from your point. Amazing and exciting are subjective; stick to the objective.
As companies struggle with hiring in e-commerce, we need to focus on our job postings to ensure they are optimized for the best possible reach. Remember the goal is to increase candidate flow into hiring funnels, so understanding exactly how the demographic you want to reach searches for jobs is crucial. Localization is important for filling entry level positions along the supply chain and job titles are important for skilled (and entry-level) digital roles that support online and in-app ordering.