eCommerce Leaders: how to attract and retain eCommerce talent

Dec 5, 2022 10:32:56 AM

Have you been struggling to keep tight hold of talent in 2022?

In October, we sat down to enjoy our eCommerce brunch with Reload Digital and many eCommerce leaders including those from Victoria Beckham, New Era Cap and Daisy London just to name a few, to discuss the importance of talent retention.

Conversation starter

Due to the condensed candidate market that we are experiencing at the moment, there is a widespread reduction in team sizes, resulting in many eCommerce companies opting for a restructure.

This conversation starter got us all thinking, with responses bouncing from person to person:

“Redrawing your team’s responsibilities based on skill sets rather than channels. For example, if somebody in your team is good at writing for the customer, get them to do the same for all channels – whether that be email newsletters, paid ad copy or social media.”

“Process mapping! It might be the least sexy thing you’ll hear today but it could help to ensure your team is focused on the important tasks and projects, instead of simply the most urgent.”

“Being transparent with your agency partners about the reduced amount of time you have to work with them, to see if there are any efficiencies that could be made in communication, reporting or general requests which chew up your teams’ time.”


After a short refreshment break, it became clear that these are short term business solutions.

But what hiring advice can we offer to businesses long term?

Channel Specialists vs T-Shaped Marketers

The competition is hot for marketing specialists these days, which not only means that they need to be on top form when it comes to understanding market trends and strategy, but it also means businesses need to be savvy when choosing the right marketing path to take.

Gone are the days where one marketing channel was enough. eCommerce businesses need specialists in SEO, Digital PR, Affiliate Marketing and more to ensure that every channel is getting the love, time and care it deserves.

Prioritising which channel contributes to the best revenue, versus highlighting which ones cost the most to maintain is important.

This will set you up for success with a well-rounded marketing strategy year on year, but you should remember that specialists tend to stick with what they know. Channel Specialists can sometimes become too engrossed in their own work, that they’re unable or unwilling to see the bigger picture, which can become conflicting in a team setting.


In this instance, it is worthwhile to have what we call ‘T-Shaped Marketers’ on board who may specialise in one channel but are also experienced with a handful of others.

These types of hires are like gold dust, and while these more senior individuals can be costly, they will add incredible value to your business and may be most suited to a management route further down the line.

Attraction and retention

Our group of eCom leaders produced a number of candidate attraction and retention strategies that must be in place to have any chance of fighting off competition and holding onto top talent.

  • Progression opportunities – growth and progression opportunities are at the forefront of eCommerce candidates’ minds - particularly Gen Z hires.
  • Demolition of hierarchy – involving your team in business plans can make them feel apart of something and portray a sense of equality through the business.
  • Strong work relationships – your candidate will be looking to work for someone approachable and somewhere where they feel comfortable speaking their mind.
  • Flexible working – something we were not surprised to hear was that candidates are looking for flexible working opportunities now more than ever.

As we finished up this insightful session with more knowledge, and not forgetting a food coma - we took away some crucial information that will help with mindful hiring in 2023.

We concluded that 90% of hiring managers are still recruiting based on a candidate’s skills, rather than their behaviours or values. This advocates the idea that there is a serious skill shortage in the eCommerce industry as we leave 2022 behind and head into 2023.

A big thank you to Reload Digital for organising a brilliant event and thank you to everyone who joined our eCommerce brunch - we look forward to taking part and hosting more in the future.



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