10 tips on how to build an e-commerce team for your business

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According to Market Research Indonesia, e-commerce is the fastest growing segment of the retail market in Indonesia, with entrepreneurs from legacy brands to online startups racing to capitalise on the growth of digital sales. While there’s no denying that e-commerce presents expansive growth opportunities, it also requires human resources, infrastructure, and logistics strategies that differ from traditional brick-and-mortar wholesale businesses. Managing your business’ staffing structure effectively, including an e-commerce team, requires a lot of work. But it does not have to be challenging.

We’ve put together a list of tips to help you build an e-commerce team for your business so you can reap the rewards of the digital gold rush. 

1. Success begins with your staff 

For an e-commerce business looking to scale, it’s important to determine staffing needs accurately. This simply means knowing which roles to hire for, when to do it in the business life cycle, and where these e-commerce specialists belong in your team structure. Whether you engage the services of a traditional recruitment consultant or reach out to potential candidates on your own via LinkedIn, you should always keep in mind the value they will add to your e-commerce business. 

2. Hire people based on your business’ needs

A carefully chosen core team can directly and positively impact and scale your overall e-commerce business.

It’s better to hire motivated individuals, especially when recruiting talents for your e-commerce business. For instance, even a geographically remote team can form a well-coordinated powerhouse if its members are passionate to learn and excited enough about their work. One thing to note is that you should keep your team structure lean and tactical.

In addition, e-commerce startups should also choose talents with the necessary skills your business needs for growth. If  you’re focused on pushing up your Google rankings, you can choose to hire an e-commerce SEO specialist. Or, if you need to build an attractive, user-friendly website, you can hire a web engineer to help you build one. Alternatively, you can also leverage existing e-commerce platforms to build your site. 

3. Leverage social media to stay attractive 

Many employers and recruiting agencies today use social media platforms to share job opportunities and openings in order to gain more reach as well as attract suitable job candidates. So, if your e-commerce business has social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, then share new jobs and career opportunities regularly. Through these posts, you can subtly highlight your business’ success by stating that you’re growing, hence the hiring process. 

4. Your network can build your business’ net worth 

For many small to medium-sized e-commerce business owners, networking and word-of-mouth recommendations are still one of the most trusted and effective ways to find talents. So, ask your colleagues, team members, or even friends in your industry. And who knows, maybe you’ll find a candidate that’ll be the right fit for your business. 

5. Skills can always be nurtured

Many recruiters recommend looking for e-commerce talents or specialists with skills across many areas. For instance, a basic understanding of website development and analysis, knowledge of e-commerce business models and KPI metrics, and experience in e-commerce operations like online orders, shipment returns, and payment, are all employable assets. It’s even better if these talents also grasp digital marketing tools and techniques well. 

But, no candidate can have all these skills nor meet your every expectation and requirement. You can, instead, outline what is necessary, and what is good to have. So, if you come across a potential candidate who has the important competencies that your e-commerce business needs, hire them, even if they don’t tick all the boxes on your “good-to-have” list. You can always develop their skills further once they’ve joined your company.

6. Beware of fish that’s too big for your pond

Don’t be rash in hiring a candidate with a stellar resume. Instead, keep calm and use the interview to explore their work attitudes and values. They might be great at what they do, but if they cannot work collaboratively with the rest of your team, then it might bring down the motivation levels in all parties. Furthermore, if you’re running an e-commerce startup, an experienced marketing specialist or e-commerce director may not understand your business’ and budget constraints – leading to potential misalignment of goals in the long run. 

7. Establish a framework for team productivity

Before beginning your recruitment process, it’s important to visualise how the e-commerce team structure will fit into the wider business and how you envision it growing. During the interview, you’ll also have to share with the candidates about your business goals and how you expect them to help you achieve these targets. 

If you already have a team in place, then be sure to set clear goals regularly so that everyone involved knows what they are working towards. This will allow your people to stay focused on moving in the right direction so that you can focus on the more important aspects of your business. 

8. Organise your e-commerce team across performance and creative specialists

Having your e-commerce team organised into two distinct parts of marketing – performance and creative. Having the right specialists focused on functional areas allows you to gain the expertise needed to succeed. At the same time, this also presents a natural growth path for the team, allowing them to become a bigger part of the business. 

9. Don’t simply settle for anyone

When your e-commerce business is experiencing budget constraints, it’s best to take a step back and think about who you can afford to employ. Instead, you can consider hiring freelancers or contractors who can instantly add their specialist skills to your in-house teams without worrying about the full-time overheads.

Alternatively, you can also consider sharing the workload part-time or leveraging digital connectivity by offering opportunities to work remotely. Instead of hiring a logistics manager for other time-consuming tasks like fulfilment, transportation, or delivery of goods, you can outsource these tasks to logistics partners such as DHL Express

10. Retain talents with career growth opportunities

The consistent thread here is that the quality and effectiveness of your e-commerce business comes down to its people. To allow for continued growth, it’s always best to level up the team and retain top talent by offering career development opportunities as part of your day-to-day team management. 

As a leading global logistics provider, we at DHL Express also understand the importance and struggles of building an e-commerce team from the ground up. You can focus on searching and developing your talents, while leaving the logistical groundwork to us with our suite of shipping solutions. 

Open a business account with DHL Express today and find out how we can add value to your e-commerce business.