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Good Ecommerce Help Is Hard to Find

January 25th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you having trouble finding employees to run your ecommerce site? You’re not alone. While the nation faces widespread unemployment, qualified ecommerce employees are not among those looking for work, according to Forrester Research data reported by Internet Retailer.

The Forrester report Trends 2011: Staffing and Hiring For eBusiness found that a whopping 83 percent of e-commerce businesses lack adequate staff; just 17 percent say they have all the employees they need.

The situation is going to get worse before it gets better, Forrester cautions. With more companies getting involved in ecommerce, the demand for experienced ecommerce employees is only going to increase.  “The supply problem is simply an issue of time,” the report notes. “E-business has not existed for long enough to produce many employees—especially good ones.”

What area is the most challenging? Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said they have the most trouble hiring customer experience workers. Forrester theorizes that’s because these types of workers prefer to work for advertising/marketing agencies, where they can work with a wider range of clients and get more experience.

Another tough market exists for companies seeking business analysts; 53 percent of respondents said it’s hard to find this type of worker. A good business analyst has experience in both business and data collection, which can be difficult to find and costly to hire.

While developers and engineers are not as difficult to find, ironically, the most competition for these workers is in tech-centric regions such as the Silicon Valley. Smaller companies have difficulty competing against big companies like Google or Facebook with their perks, prestige and opportunities for advancement.

So how can you find qualified ecommerce workers? Forrester suggests three steps:

  • Use outside recruiters with specific ecommerce recruiting expertise. Finding the right candidates from the beginning can save you time and headaches.
  • Be ready to pay. The cost of ecommerce employees is not going down anytime soon, so don’t expect to get these workers cheaply. Glassdoor and PayScale are two sites Forrester suggests using to benchmark compensation in your region and industry.
  • Mentor employees. Once you get some good ecommerce workers on your team, having them mentor younger workers can help build your “bench” so you don’t have to go outside the company to hire quite as often.

Image by Flickr user Daniel Broche (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Small Business, small business, Technology, Workforce | 1 Comment »

  • Bonnie Dorais

    This is our reality in the ecommerce business. Good people with the right skills and the right attitude for your
    company are hard to find. Flexibility and innovation must be key words in your recruitment
    strategy.