What it Takes to Succeed: Hiring Criteria for E-Commerce Employees
A successful e-commerce business is built on a strong foundation, with a talented team. In order to build something sustainable, you need to be sure to hire capable people who can grow a business.
Before proceeding with the actual hiring process, you will need to specify your hiring criteria so you know who you're looking for to help scale your business. This will help you better gauge and qualify which candidates should you be working with.
Hiring Criteria for E-Commerce Teams
Aside from the technical skillset that your team needs (ie. copywriting expertise for marketing, programming knowledge for developers, etc.) each member on your e-commerce team should have a few characteristics to look out for.
Has an aligned vision
You need employees who radiate and help mobilize your vision for the company. Every company has its own respective vision of how they want to the company to grow, and you'll need a team who understands the vision in order to make it a reality.
E-commerce businesses often have comprehensive processes that require people who share the same goals and objectives in order to reach the company’s goal. If every employee’s objective is to help the company grow, then everyone will be willing to contribute the best of their abilities to achieve the shared vision.
E-commerce businesses often have comprehensive processes that sift out people who share the same goals and objectives in order to reach the company’s goal. If every employee’s objective is to help the company grow, then everyone will be willing to contribute to achieve a shared vision.
In addition to understanding the company's vision and mission, it's important for their own personal and professional goals to align with that of the company’s. Good employees don't just work to get paid, they take pride in the “ownership” of their work.
Whether good or bad, your employees must proudly represent your business and not hesitate to give the best service possible. If they make mistakes, then they should also be able to own up to it, take accountability and responsibility for their actions.
The best employees are those who think like stakeholders, because they are.In a sense, they are.
A good employee delivers quality work. E-commerce businesses are made in the details; happy customers are those who feel you've gone the extra step.
Two important factors affecting quality of work are focus and dedication. If your employee consistently delivers high-quality work, it shows they aren't easily distracted, can pay attention to the details, and are dedicated to their work. It’s important to have an employee who doesn’t get easily distracted with work especially since e-commerce businesses always require detail-oriented people who can dedicate their time.
Eager to learn
Since the e-commerce landscape is constantly changing, try to hire team members who can learn and adapt with it. The best employees are detail-oriented, open to 360 feedback, willing to devote time to learning and mastering efficient processes, and continually improving/adding to their skills. Your best team members will have the flexibility to improve with every step, and learn quickly from previous mistakes.
E-commerce, when it first surfaced, was an innovative idea that changed the landscape of sales. Online businesses have so much room for creativity and innovation that your ideal team member will know how to leverage this.
Certain processes and workflow often take an innovative mind to mix and match methods to come up with the most efficient ways to do things without sacrificing quality. Look for the employees who can spot opportunities and new ways to do things better.
Hire team members who are updated on (or at least willing to learn) the latest tools and online business trends. They should be quick to spot and utlize the latest tactics and tools that will help them do their jobs better.
Ferocity and the ability to incorporate enthusiasm in their work is another great sign of an excellent e-commerce employee. You want an employee who is fierce and pumped to work for the business success, and the results will show from their performance. Look for someone who is not only enthusiastic about their work but also able to take actionable insights into sustainable processes for the success of the business.
Able to Execute
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Execution is crucial; even with all the planning in the world, execution is needed to make things happen. Look for someone who is able to execute ideas with finesse for your team.
Finding someone who can not only visualize and put together a plan but can also lead others with smooth execution would make an ideal employee for e-commerce businesses.
Sometimes, it's easy to get team members who are overly eager but lack a plan for execution. These employees need guidance and direction, which could take time. It is therefore extremely important to have an employee knows their own strengths and weaknesses and is willing to learn how to work around them to get a job done.
It's important to have an employee who has a good head on his or her shoulders. Dealing with a fast-growing online business requires accuracy because if a mistake is made online, it could reach the ends of the Internet (and your potential clients). Your employees need to be meticulous about their work, know what they are doing, have proper training, and be able to execute meticulously yet efficiently.
Capable of scaling
In larger businesses, teams begin to break up into departments so that everyone has a clear, exclusive, and defined role to take care of. However, for small or growing businesses, you need team members who know how to scale. This includes being able to handle growing responsibilities, knowing how to delegate and learn about tasks outside their department as needed, and juggle between work without losing sight of the big picture.
Manages time well
Your team members need good time management skills and an efficient work ethic in order to handle the fast-paced processes in retail business. This is even more true with online stores because products are dispensed and processed quickly.
Aside from the ability to handle the pressure, you need an e-commerce employee who has the ability to take a hit and can manage conflict with high levels of professionalism, especially when dealing with customer complaints.
Such situations may be tough for some to manage, so it is important for an employee to be level-headed and have the ability to take on criticisms as a challenge to improve. It is crucial that your employees know how to take “no” for an answer and be able to work with irate customers.
Having excellent communication skills is extremely important for e-commerce employees as they will not only deal with your team, but possibly customers as well. It's crucial to find employees who can communicate clearly and effectively, whether dealing with an in-house team, brand partners, or your clients. Ideally, these employees will be able to handle concerns, complaints, and inquiries to turn them into business opportunities with finesse.
Employees tend to do better work for causes that they believe in. You can't sell wine if you don't like it, and similarly, it's hard to get others excited about a business that you're only so-so about.
In the busy e-commerce world, employees may have to accommodate customers beyond their usual hours, or who will need to go above and beyond their roles. Passion steps in when regulation steps out. How will an employee behave when something comes up that's outside of his or her area of responsibility? Hire someone who will rise to the challenge, because he or she is passionate about the work.
Hire with the end in mind
One of the crucial foundations of a successful e-commerce business is its ability to hire and maintain great roster of employees who do not only share the company’s vision and mission but also have equally great execution skill.
Business success depends on the collective efforts of the people behind it. Those who do the legwork are the ones who ensure that the operations go smoothly. In the fast-paced environment of an e-commerce business, where things move at an extremely rapid pace, you need capable people who can handle the speed, pressure and maintain professionalism in the process.
Having specific hiring criteria and knowing the crucial skills needed to grow and scale your business will help you better assess who will help your company reach greater heights.
Also check out our guide on how to retain e-commerce employees for more info on e-commerce employee management.
Chad Rubin is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Skubana, a multichannel e-commerce software the enables brands to unlock growth by unifying their back-office operations.