Hiring for Growth: Market Conditions and Lean Teams with Andy Davies, Vertical Advantage (episode 455)

Andy Davies is an eCommerce recruitment specialist working for Vertical Advantage and Nurture Talent. Working across Europe he’s helped brands big and small to grow their teams the right way, including everyone from Nestle, to DTC brands making their very first hire.

Andy Davies Vertical Advantage on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[04:09] Tech impact on market not as pessimistic.
[06:48] Finding value in recruitment, particularly in Amazon.
[10:24] Why big brands not always worth the cost.
[18:52] Growth role in companies are not linear
[22:36] Tips for hiring: define needs, understand growth and use LinkedIn for networking.
[25:09] Top Tips.
[29:30] Eco-friendly email from small business.

The Shift in eCommerce Job Market Trends

In the last eight years, eCommerce recruitment has changed significantly, and part of this is the pandemic’s influence. Despite the current quietness in the market after a phase of rapid growth, there’s a sense of returning to more typical levels.

News regarding layoffs has had an impact on how people view the job market. However, Andy says this has affected the tech industry more than eCommerce. Salary growth has slowed, and big brands attract candidates directly, which has impacted the role of recruitment agencies. Instead, the focus is shifting towards lesser-known but successful and growing brands that require agency support.

Value vs. Cost of Skill Sets

Andy says there is a discrepancy between the value and cost of skill sets. He likens it to the “Moneyball” theory of recruitment, where you look beyond the surface to identify the true potential.

In the Amazon space, there’s often a premium placed on candidates from big brands, leading to inflated salary expectations. Andy suggests looking for candidates with practical operational skills and a deep understanding of the industry, even if they don’t come from big names. This approach can help build more efficient teams.

eCommerce Team Structure

Andy says eCommerce teams vary a lot nowadays. Teams are leaner and often have to cover more areas due to the competitive market. There’s also a challenge in finding people with the right skills, like those who understand growth and can manage various aspects of marketing and tech.

It’s important to note the difference between performance marketing and growth. The role of growth within teams is in high demand, emphasizing a holistic approach to marketing, performance, and product development.

Remote Work and Hybrid Models

The prevalence of remote work during the pandemic is gradually shifting towards a more office-based model, with hybrid setups becoming popular. About 70% of businesses are embracing a two to three days per week office presence.

Fully remote jobs are becoming less common compared to a year ago, and while some companies are fully remote, they are rarer to find.

Hiring Strategy

Andy’s hiring tips for 2023 include defining specific deliverables and understanding candidates’ contributions to growth. He emphasizes getting into the details of how growth occurred rather than just acknowledging numbers on a CV.

For early-stage businesses, he suggests proactive networking on platforms like LinkedIn to engage with potential hires and build a network for future recruitment needs.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Andy emphasizes the importance of word-of-mouth marketing. However, he also mentions the need for a strategy to actively encourage this. You need to create a plan to motivate satisfied customers to become advocates.

Tool Top Tip

  • Andy’s tip is to use LinkedIn tools for efficiency. The “follow” feature specifically is a useful way to keep updated on profiles, either for job seekers interested in certain companies or for businesses looking to hire and build pipelines of potential candidates well in advance.

Carbon Top Tip

  • For Andy, it’s buying secondhand items. He also mentions using smol products that are eco-friendly.

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