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Ecommerce & Digital Marketing Talent in the Post-Pandemic Market

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Trainers of an ecommerce employee working from home

Ecommerce Pre-Pandemic

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe, ecommerce pure-plays were already becoming a bigger part of the economy and ecommerce (as a share of revenue within multi-channels) was also increasing rapidly.
  • There was a steady supply of digital talent as the volume of fresh graduates/college leavers were attracted to digital/ecommerce roles.
  • Progressive retailers saw their future growth lying in ecommerce or multi-channel. In turn this meant these roles were elevated up to senior director/VP and also to ‘C’ level.
  • These new 'C' level hires had more ecommerce and digital experience than previous generations - changing the shape of company boards for the future.
  • Wage inflation for the best candidates outstripped many other industries.

Ecommerce During Pandemic

  • Multichannel retailers with bricks and mortar stores were hit hard BUT those with strong ecommerce teams capitalised and saw huge online growth - some saw between 1 and 5 years growth in a single year.
  • Homewares did particularly well as people were in their homes 24/7 and decided to renovate/decorate.
  • Pure play ecommerce had a 'field day' and experienced huge successes.
  • Companies that weren’t already selling online pivotted quickly to ensure their survival. Many saw significant growth.
  • Amazon and other marketplaces became a rapid and easy place to shift stock.

Demand for Ecommerce Talent During the Pandemic

  • Over Summer 2020, there was a huge demand for front line ops - warehouse, drivers etc.
  • Towards the end of the year a lot of permanent digital hires were made at a junior/tactical level as firms began to re-organise.
  • We noticed a flood of new roles on the market just after the schools went back in September 2020 and managers had time to begin a hiring process again.
  • Each month roles are becoming steadily more senior and firms are making more strategic, long-term decisions about their org chart.
  • Demand for talent is now higher than ever - up to around £80k mark.
  • The demand for roles at £100k+ is picking up fast.

Current Availability of Digital Talent

  • The travel and leisure industry shed a lot of great ecommerce talent during the early/middle parts of 2020 as tourisim closed it's doors - most of the middle/junior people were hoovered up straight away.
  • ‘Active’ talent is thin in the ground but headhunting does work when the role and brand is strong enough - make your business strong enough! 
  • There is still some fantastic digital leadership talent available and motivated to move - people are more receptive when the risk is minimised.

Recommendations for Digital Talent Planning

  • Plan ahead, hire constantly.
  • Pro-actively manage your org chart as opposed to reacting (look at pros and cons of retaining a specialist agent to actively talent search for your business as you boost your digital team).
  • Pay well to attract AND retain the best talent.
  • Offer more remote/flexible working but ensure you have ways to cement your culture and relationships. 
  • Consider a London hub.

Need help building your digital team? Visit our hub for digital marketing clients now.

You can also view our current digital marketing and ecommerce vacancies.

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