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Top 5 Digital & Ecommerce Workplace Trends set to Dominate in 2021

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Organisations are, and continue to be, desperate to strengthen their digital teams - and for good reason. 

2020 "the year of the COVID-19 pandemic" threw us all a curve-ball and sent us into an area of the unknown; facilitating global digital transformation and workplace shifts at a pace no one could have possibly foreseen.

The changes that happened over 2020 will continue into 2021 and will result in new workplace & digital trends across this year. 


"Only agile and digitally savvy businesses have survived the storm so far, and will continue to do so. The battle to keep ahead in an environment of rapid technological, market and consumer behaviour changes has caused businesses to rush to hire digital talent that has enabled them to shift the way they operate."

Patrick Tame, CEO


Top 5 Ecommerce (& Recruiting) Trends for 2021

Think, lightbulb

1) 2021 – the year of ecommerce investment

2021 will see a rush to invest in ecommerce related businesses buoyed by its growth in 2020. This naturally means we will most likely see both over valuations and bad investments this year, as well as profitable ones, as a result.

2) The emergence of product roles at C-level

A particular trend our sister company, Hannington Tame, has noticed in recent months is the rise of product roles at C-level - from the customer experience on the website, to the way the customer journey is handled both on and offline, all the way through to post-purchase and logistics. This role fits under a number of different titles including: Chief Digital Officer, Chief Customer Officer, CMO or CTO; however, is increasingly coming under a ‘product’ related C-level title. 

3) A myth: 2021 will see ‘the death of the office’ 

The idea that we will never return to the office again is overblown. We think we are about to go through ‘The Commute Revolution’ and as a result there will be an acceleration to more flexible working. This will still involve working from home but could also include going into the office at staggered times in a bid to miss out the mass rush for a 9am start.

The rise of flexibility in the workplace will create opportunities for multi-site, multinational business in terms of decreasing the amount spent on property and rent. As a result, it is likely we will see an emergence of new micro-office spaces across the country, particularly where retailers have moved out throughout 2020. 

Whether businesses had a working from home policy before or after the pandemic, it is likely businesses will offer at least double the number of days of remote working than they previously had in place. This is also going to be a particularly important factor employee’s look for when searching for a new role next year so it’s certainly something businesses looking for the very best talent should bear in mind.

4) We have a long way to go before relying on automation for talent acquisition

According to a CareerBuilder survey 72% of employers believe that within the next 10 years some roles within talent acquisition will be automated. However, most businesses are a long way from completely wiping out roles and relying on automation for organisational design. 


"The only time a human recruiter can be replaced effectively is when a human role is replaced with technology. An experienced consultant is able to uncover an applicant’s suitability for the company, its culture and the role from the start, saving both the business and the candidate time and energy, something that technology doesn’t have the capability of doing at present."  

Patrick Tame, CEO


5) Universities will react to the lack of digital skills across the country

The pandemic has really highlighted the lack of digital skills across the country and it is very likely far more universities will be offering digital courses or white-collar apprenticeships to students (as long as it is a quality offering and they learn from their latest mistakes).

In addition, with young people being one of the hardest hit groups by the pandemic from an employment perspective, it is likely we will see this age group seek out routes that will ensure they are in a tech-focused role, in either ecommerce or digital marketing. 


“It goes without saying that 2021 really did cause a shake up for businesses of all shapes and sizes and consequently, next year businesses will begin to really find their feet in their new operations. Businesses will need to be mindful of employee’s expectations in regard to the times they work as well as where they work from. Due to the acceptance of remote working and the use of tools such as Zoom or Slack, we are constantly talking to clients who are now much more agnostic about where someone lives, resulting a far more flexible hiring process.

James Minter, Partner at Hannington Tame


The businesses that have invested significantly in shifting their operations will be keen to ensure they don’t go back to their old ways of operating and instead capitalise on the investments made throughout the pandemic. As a result, top digital talent is going to be crucial for businesses in 2021 – particularly those with more traditional business models – if they are to compete in very competitive markets with ever changing consumer demand.”

When there are skill shortages in a particular sector, such as the digital market, hiring the best before the competition can make a real difference when it comes down to overall business success. So, if you're after a team of consultants who boast priceless depth of industry knowledge and mastery to give you a competitive edge on your hiring, we'd love to hear from you


Associated PR Coverage

Key e-commerce, digital marketing and recruitment trends set to dominate in 2021- Retail Times

The death of the office is a myth - The HR Director

The recruitment trends set to dominate this year - HR Zone

Ecommerce predictions for 2021: Seven experts have their say - Verdict


Image - Unsplash AbsolutVision & Alex Rosario

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