Hiring ecommerce talent: what you should look for in a recruitment agency

Jul 16, 2019 11:32:08 AM

When it comes to hiring in ecommerce, there are some vacancies that are more challenging to fill than others. That’s not down to a lack of talent – believe us, the talent pool now is huge! However, it can sometimes be hard to find the people with those niche skills that the vacancy requires.

Even if you find the perfect handful of potential employees, it’s then time to sell the role and the company to them. With so many exciting opportunities out there, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

Do you feel now is the time to use that extra support when it comes to hiring? If only there was an ecommerce recruitment agency out there that could help you…joking aside, we want to help you discover how an agency can help. We’ve put together a list of questions for you to ask, which will determine what agencies can offer to you!

Questions to ask your potential recruitment agency

What makes you a specialist agency? Many recruitment agencies out there define themselves as specialists in their field, but what makes them specialist? Is it because they only work on certain types of roles? You should try to find out the background of the team; like if they have a background in what they are recruiting for or if they’ve recruited in this field for a long time.  

What are your thoughts on the market right now? This is to follow on from the previous question – they’ve given you the background of the company and team, but what’s going on right now? Get their thoughts on the current market, be it ecommerce or recruitment in general. You’ll soon realise how much they involve themselves in their industry and how much knowledge they have of what’s happening now. For example, do they have an ecommerce salary survey & insights report?

What placements have you made recently? Asking this will give you more visibility on the candidate pool they are working with. The network of people a recruitment agency knows is so important, and it’s not just about knowing great candidates. You will also want to know how they nurture this network; for example, are there previous candidates who are now using them for hiring too? Any candidates they have helped from the start of their career to now? Don’t be afraid to ask these questions, as the right agency will be delighted to share their successes with you.

What kind of companies are you working with/have worked with? Now that you know all about the candidate pool, it’s time to learn about the companies they have worked with or are working with right now. A good place to start is asking about companies similar to your own and what they have done for those teams. However, don’t limit the conversation to this as it’s great to hear about other challenges and successes across the industry. From start-ups to multichannel retailers, the more range a recruitment agency has, the better!

What does your recruitment process look like? You know how urgent the vacancy is and when you want it filled. You also know the workload of the team and what you will need to manage alongside the search for a new employee. So, asking about the timelines and process of the agency will give you an idea of how much support you will have, or how much you will potentially need.

What can you do to make us stand out to the top candidates? It’s important to understand that a recruiter you’re speaking to for the first time won’t know every detail about the company. A knowledge of the industry and some top line details is a good start, so it’s your job to talk them through benefits, company culture and the juicy aspects of the role. Once they have this information, ask them how they will use this to attract their best talent. It’s important to get their opinions too – the best agencies will be honest if they think a particular benefit, or lack of, will make it a trickier search. However, they should still show you the confidence that they can do it.

Are you hiring ecommerce talent?

We think the questions above will make for a great first conversation and will hopefully help kick start your hiring process. If you’re hiring ecommerce talent right now, we can help. Click below to visit our employer hub, which is full of hiring advice and resources. We hope to hear from you soon!

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