Many of our customers are faced with the challenge of recruiting an eCommerce Manager. This person usually has to build a new sales channel for your company. Especially companies from the B2B sector enter today’s online world rapidly and are in need of new competences. I gathered some tips to help you in recruiting an eCommerce Manager.
Past Accomplishments of eCommerce manager
According to several sources, the most important thing in the recruitment of a person related to the sales sector, is to pay attention to the person’s past successes. Unfortunately, in the case of eCommerce there aren’t too many of such documented successes on the market. Most companies are in the process of a digital transformation. Our search should therefore start from people working in typical Internet companies – the so-called ‘Pure Players’. These companies are usually ahead of the traditional business market by 3-5 years.
A good candidate will also be a person who managed to transform another part of the traditional business into the digital form, in the past. Such individuals can be found in the media and advertising industry.
Ask Your Partners
The lack of an eCommerce Manager often halted the start of our projects. Thus, in Divante we run a up-to-date database of people who are planning to change jobs. Usually we are able to recommend 2-3 interesting candidates for the position. So your other partners are probably good in the market recognition. This is the fastest way.
Legitimate Support from the Board
I know examples of good managers who fell, because the Board did not give them the support they needed, and was somewhat hostile towards change.
Good managers will be very attentive to this aspect. It’s worth noting that fact when starting the first stage of the recruitment process. One practice is to use the account of the CEO of the company on LinkedIn to conduct a pre-recruitment of candidates. The response rate will be much higher if a candidate receives a message on LinkedIn from the CEO or a Board Member.
All successful transformations to eCommerce / Omnichannel have one thing in common – Manager responsible for those reports directly to the Board. It’s worth taking care of that and thus convince the best candidates.
Clear Objectives and Remuneration
The key is to set clear objectives for the project – measurable and objective. Meeting these objectives should be remunerated. The candidate must know that the stakes are high and he’s responsible for the results. This will motivate the best to think creatively and work hard.
The eCommerce / Omnichannel project usually takes 3-5 years so for the Manager to stay motivated he needs to keep the long-term objective in mind and must follow the progress throughout the implementation. This will also allow him to appreciate and celebrate small successes throughout the process.
A while ago one of our clients organized a big party and issued a press release, once online sales exceeded 50% of total sales. That was when the company realized they were transforming into an eCommerce company. It was also an opportunity to appreciate the work of the eCommerce Manager.
Very often, the internal IT department is not interested in the eCommerce project as their main focus is maintaining core systems like ERP or CRM. In this case, the implementation of eCommerce can take a very long time. Also hosting implemented by the IT department, aimed at maintaining the ERP application will not work as an environment for an online applications. All of this will sabotage the work of the eCommerce Manager and the results of his work.
A good eCommerce Manager will expect the possibility of building his own team of IT competence. Ultimately, eCommerce departments often have their own strong IT teams, dedicated to online tasks. The same holds for marketing as this aspect also requires online dedicated resources. Restricting the Manager from the start, may cause the hinder the development of the project.
In the case of one of our customers, the entire eCommerce department was based at a different location. This helped them to hire the best people (they did not want to commute to work on the outskirts of the city to the headquarters) and gave a sense of greater freedom.
Another customer created a separate company for the eCommerce sector, which helped to further advance the eCommerce Manager to the Management Board of this company.
Summarizing, the search for people with successes among allied companies. Show your candidates a clear vision including the direct support of the Management Board, setting clear goals and the freedom in their execution.