While several startups have been in the news for downsizing their workforce, Snapdeal has hired over 2,000 people in the last seven months and is looking at hiring 500 more people at the executory and administrative levels; the new recruits are for the Gurgaon and Bangalore branches. Snapdeal’s upcoming hiring will happen across functions – design, supply chain, technology and other important departments. Most startups are increasingly slashing their expenses in order to be able to run a sustainable model. As many of the Indian startups are opting for operating lean and laying off several of their employees, e-retail companies small and big alike are expanding their workforce to take care of their increasing business needs.
It has been learnt that Ecommerce is India’s fastest growing sector. Snapdeal has been competing e-retail brands like Amazon, Jabong, Flipkart and many others shoulder-to-shoulder. Morgan Stanley estimates India’s e-commerce market (revenues) to grow to over $100 billion by 2020, making it the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world. This fact echoed in Satya Nadella’s statement today at Microsoft’s Future Unleashed, “It is mind-blowing to see how e-commerce is progressing in India.” Keeping the business dynamics and needs in mind, it is only natural that employees working for e-retail companies in India are going to be subjected to perennial organizational pressure. It is important that as employers, these brands positively influence their employees to be productive. HR professionals and line managers must help employees to constructively handle the limitations of working for a fast-paced organization. For this to happen, it is essential that ecommerce companies have an innovative and sound onboarding strategies to retain their hires.
With so many well-funded start-ups failing soon after entering the market it is apparent that start-ups cannot simple make do with the traditional business and HR strategies. Organizations in ecommerce ecosystem, especially, must follow their own set of management rules for surviving in a volatile market. Saurabh Nigam, VP-HR, Snapdeal says, “HR in e-commerce is a challenging portfolio because of the sheer diversity in the organization.” Earlier this year, Snapdeal introduced a new performance review system in which the company decided to undertake appraisals every trimester instead of annual performance reviews. The new system also encourages employees to give their feedback as an effort to manage their expectations. With this engagement strategy, Snapdeal hopes to retain its high-potential employees and keep attrition under check.
With increasing competition and talent scarcity, it is necessary for e-commerce companies to retain their employees. Employee engagement is an enabler for increasing productivity. It is understood that engagement programs are far from inexpensive but looking at the larger picture they make worthwhile contributions towards reducing employee turnover thereby averting other unwarranted recruiting costs. It is imperative for fast-paced organizations to care about employee well-being as unhappy employees are often unproductive.