Article: HR strategies in e-commerce industry

HR Technology

HR strategies in e-commerce industry

The role of HR in the e-commerce sector is best described in terms of agility, quirkiness and thinking out of the box when it comes to hiring, retention and rewards and recognition policies.
HR strategies in e-commerce industry

E-commerce business is on the rise, as online shopping is predicted to increase by 45% in 2016  in the U.S. To stay ahead of the game or to grow an online business, one needs to benchmark against the latest growth rates, both for overall business in a category for specific devices and then implement marketing strategies and tactics that work to achieve business goals. The good news is that there has never been a better time to be in e-commerce. Online sales are going to continue to grow, and if one wants to be part of the new wave, then preparation has to be done. E-commerce technologies are changing the way work tasks are conducted and thus have significant implications for the way organizations manage their human resource functions. Although the impact of IT on work and employment has been the subject of research, little attention has been paid to e-commerce and its effect on work organization and HR management. 

  • At the point when a business first chooses to actualize e-business methodologies and operations, it regularly utilizes the personnel it has for doing so. However, as the strategy increases in magnitude, the organization will need to change in order to create a more efficient and productive organizational restructuring for maximum desired results. In doing as such, the human resource for the organization can turn out to be critically imperative to achievement. The quantity of required experts expected to cooperate with a specific result to expand capability turns into a great test.
  • Using the learning of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to help train other representatives is an incredible approach to augment assets and expand aptitudes limit through broadly educating endeavours. For eg., the Snapdeal Academy has trained 2,400 employees  over the last few months in behavioural and functional skills crafted for each level.

The First Time Manager trains those who get into supervisory roles for the first time. Giving the capacity to extend worker obligations and opportunities through new learning encounters help to keep talented staff drawn in and energetic about their work. Vital objective that must be tended to in setting up the fitting blend of experts inside of an e-business structure includes adaptability. Adaptability implies that the framework or organisation must have the capacity to handle any alterations in requests being asked. For eg, like a spring however inverse in development, the e-business framework (counting the organization) must have the capacity to contract or grow as required by the interest on it.

  • The general perspective is that bigger firms more often than not have spending plans that are more vulnerable to all choices. Since staff pros with e-business learning and experience can be popular with the huge number of transitioning organisations, it turns into a test for organisations to retain skilled people. It can likewise turn out to be extremely costly as experts usually demand hefty salaries. Creating and holding such staff can be such a colossal test and potential budgetary presentation, a developing pattern among organisations is to outsource the work. 

When Amazon Inc. bought online footwear and clothing retailer Zappos in 2009 for $1.2 billion , they thought it could continue the unconventional approaches to online retail that helped the 15-year-old company grow gross sales to $70 million in its first four years. Now, nearly four years after the acquisition, Amazon has adopted one of its subsidiary’s unconventional human resource strategies, paying recent employees to quit.

Hiring and retaining good workers is a significant expense for companies, enough that offering these mini-payouts is viewed as a way of weeding out workers who might not be completely committed for the longer run.

  • In addition, human resource departments need to establish a sense of collaboration and commonality among whatever system or combination of systems is chosen.  This can be done by not only making roles challenging and stimulating, but also by sharing skills and cross training employees. In many of the conventional sectors, HR is supposed to be very process driven and rigid. There are companies, which are ready to let go of a talent but not bend rules. Such rigid HR policies are a complete ‘No’ in the e-commerce sector. Keeping in mind the thinking process and the behaviour patterns of the young, aspirational, socially overactive and highly opinionated workforce today, E-commerce firms are coming up with market- leading and differentiated people practices. Organizations in ecommerce ecosystem, especially, must follow their own set of management rules for surviving in a volatile market. Earlier this year, Snapdeal introduced a new performance review system (GROW - Goal setting, Regular feedback & appraisal, Own your development and Win with the company) 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.

  • "From employee-friendly maternity benefits policies to an environment promoting workforce flexibility, with no time or location constraints, what were traditionally thought to be superfluities, are now being viewed as hygiene factors,” says, Vishalli Dongrie, senior director and head of human capital consulting, Deloitte. Chief people officer Mekin Maheshwari at Flipkart says, that employees will now be able to take continuous six months unpaid leave for a career break or any other commitment. The leave can also be taken if the employee wants to recover from any personal loss and then re-join work but can avail this after completing two years work span in Flipkart. This is mainly to allow employees put in their best focused work commitment to the organization. 


A big challenge for the e-commerce industry is that it doesn’t have a readily employable workforce to bank on.  This means, it has to employ people who are the closest fit, train them, make them conducive to the new environment and also constantly motivate them to be able to retain them for the longest period. The role of HR in the e-commerce sector is best described in terms of agility, quirkiness and thinking out of the box when it comes to hiring, retention and rewards and recognition policies. HR in the e-commerce sector has to be always on their toes. The e-commerce industry works 24x7, 365 days, which means that the workforce is on the job round the clock. In such a scenario, HR in this sector is no longer defined by pre-determined office hours. Since the employees in e-commerce work round the clock, it is the duty of HR to support them with everything that keeps them motivated. 

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Topics: HR Technology, Strategic HR, #HR Ready

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