Personnel consulting E-commerce
Electronic commerce or E-commerce is growing so rapidly across the world that it takes the top position when it comes to the average salary of employees and attrition rate. This makes the job of HR professionals very difficult to get candidates who perfectly fit in the e-commerce industry. In this industry we come across many start-ups and it has become really challenging to draw public attention and quality employees toward such start-ups. Moreover, it is an astounding task to control the disintegration of E-commerce companies in this highly competitive world. Therefore, there is little doubt that HR specialists have become one of the most important stakeholders in this business.
The success of E-commerce projects largely depends on the skills of an individual or as a group. So, for an HR professional in this industry, you should be well aware and have broad concepts about the functioning of E-commerce. You should know the management and staffing in E-commerce as well as the process of organizing a project work. If you gain the skills in managing the staffs in a project and measuring the outcomes, you can achieve your HR goals in this field.
Qualities required in a successful HR professional in the E-commerce industry
Given below are the qualities desired in an HR professional in the E-commerce industry-
- The HR professional should be able to keep their employees happy and satisfied-
While working for a fast-growing company, or in an atmosphere of tough competition, the HR managers come across quite a few challenges in retaining the best talents in the organisation. In such cases, HR professionals should follow strategic planning and keep a focus on giving an open work culture. They also need to provide good work-life balance and foster friendly relationships among the employees.
- The HR professional should be dynamic and flexible–
HR professionals do not follow any definite processes/standards in the E-commerce industry. Their objectives changes according to different hierarchies and growth plans. The growth of E-commerce companies depends on their seamless and 24/7 operation throughout the year. Also, E-commerce companies are synonymous with a fast working culture. To be accustomed to this culture, HR professionals have to be flexible. At times, there might be abrupt changes in the recruitment policy and HR operations and the HR professional should adapt to these quickly.
- The HR manager should be well-versed with technology and logistics operations-
The working profiles of HR managers in the E-commerce sector are quite different from that of other industries. The E-commerce companies use progressive technology and systems in their operations. The HR managers must be capable of hiring qualified candidates who possess relevant technical know-how and are experts in the field of E-commerce. In the E-commerce industry, the HR managers should work in collaboration with business heads of various fields to find the most eligible employees. They need to use innovative ways to hire the best talents to fit the needs of the company. Successful HR managers of today are selecting candidates through social media as well. In some cases, the HR managers are taking the help of recruitment specialists too. Such methods are not only helping the HR managers in concentrating on their employee development programs but are also fulfilling their hiring needs in the most efficient and economical way.
In the field of E-commerce, back-end supply chain management is one of the essential components for businesses. A third party is essential for storing or shipping of products if there are no brick and mortar storehouse. This is also necessary for basic time management. Thus, The HR managers in the E-commerce industry should have adequate knowledge of logistics as well. Then only they will be able to hire talents to suit the organisational needs perfectly.
- The HR team should be able to implement employee development programs–
In this fast growing E-commerce industry, relentless changes are also seen in terms of innovation and disruption. Hence, there comes a need for regular employee training and development programs. This will help the employees to upgrade their skills and keep themselves updated to the latest developments. The old-school methods of training and development policies will not work in this sector. Rather, the HR managers should take responsibility in inviting relevant experts who can provide thorough training for enhancing the skills and aptitude of their employees. Knowledgeable sessions with the industry experts/experienced professionals will broaden their outlook and bring some much-needed variations into their thoughts. Hence, HR managers should care about employee development programs to nurture the employees. This will also make the employees more loyal to the organisation.
How work scheduling is done in E-commerce
Before knowing about how to engage staffs in the E-commerce industry, it is important to have knowledge about the scheduling and assignment of work among the staffs. For every department, there will be a different set of workers assigned to carry out their scheduled tasks. There are a definite set of rules that the workers from every department have to follow.
As an organizational unit, the E-commerce industry holds the responsibility for creation and maintenance. The capabilities of the E-commerce industry cannot be explained in terms of project activities as happens with IT organizations. No such definite organizational work pattern is observed in when it comes to the E-commerce industry. The different set of projects /programs/work assigned in different departments depends on the overall E-commerce objectives of the organisation. The nature of E-commerce sites also varies according to the mode of work or the type of projects being handled. These sites are dynamic in nature and are prone to frequent changes.
There is not a single pattern that describes the method of hiring employees for the E-commerce industry. Selection is done on the basis of their capabilities. However, depending on the type of projects, the nature of requirements differs. For example, the IT-based E-commerce industry will be more concentrating on the employees having greater knowledge in the field of technology. However, the success of any project not only depends on technology but also on the business skills of the company. The combination of both business talents and technology can contribute to the successful completion of a project. In most cases, the organization forms new working operations for their new businesses. This can also be called as the hybrid behavior of the E-commerce industry. It will be great to observe if the recruitment programs of an e-commerce project resemble the other either in structure or content without considering parameters of departmental governance. The type of governance is selected on the basis of the skills of the employees, project needs, the mode of work done and the outcomes required from a particular set of projects.
Challenges in personal consulting in e-commerce
Though the E-commerce industry has evolved as a fast-growing industry, it has to overcome a few challenges in personal consulting. These are described below-
- Technology challenges- For an e-commerce firm to achieve success in today’s highly competitive world, technology is the most important factor. So, the firm should be able to accept new innovations and technological expertise, which will allow them to overcome threats/hurdles in time.
- Uncertainty challenge– There is no specific model for an e-commerce firm to get going. The already settled E-commerce organizations also do not have ‘strait-jacket’ corporate mind-sets that hold them back from fulfilling their dreams. There will always be an uncertainty challenge for this industry. This challenge can be overcome if they are able to invest in new innovations, experimentation and also if they are able to tolerate failures.
- Integration challenge– To meet the demands of this fast-paced consumer-centric world, the e-commerce industry needs to integrate various systems, the people working therein and different processes in a seamless manner. The personal consulting processes in this industry need to keep this in mind while formulating their HR policies.
- Speed challenge– The speed of a firm increases very rapidly with the changing demands of people and technology. The traditional businesses consume more time to adapt to these changes but not the ecom businesses. Therefore, the HR operations in the e-com industries need to be more pro-active than their other business counterparts and should be able to adapt to these changes much faster.
- Project structure challenge– No two projects in the e-commerce industry are the same. Hence the firm should be able to construct a perfect group of individuals for a particular project to ensure efficiency. This may involve constant shifting of people from one project to another. This is bound to put an extra burden on the HR team.
The success of the E-commerce industry not only depends on its demand but also on how it will be able to withstand the HR challenges that are so unique to e-comm operations.
Logistics and of E-commerce: their inter-dependence
The term Logistics means management of the path through which various resources are obtained, gathered and then shipped to their respective destinations. Well-managed plans need to be in place for controlling the mobility and placement of the goods. All these plans and processes come under a system that is designed to obtain the desired organisational goal.
A proper logistics management can help the e-commerce industry in the below-mentioned ways-
- To find out capable suppliers and distributors.
- To determine their accessibility and efficiency for the need of business production.
- To form valuable relationships and discover the most economical solutions for the success of the business.
Role of HR personal consulting in logistics/supply chain organizations
Here we will discuss how crucial the role of HR personal consulting can be in different facets in a logistics/ supply chain organization-
- Keeping an eye on the overall performance parameters–
The role of supply chain management is to bring the goods in and to keep them ready/forward them for the next phases in the pipeline. In the same way, it is the duty of an efficient HR management to ensure that every employee gets the inputs in a proper manner so that he can execute his assignments properly. This will make both the organization and the employee to grow together in their respective operational areas while keeping a close bond with the values and culture of the organisation. HR does the important function of supervising this entire process. He also ensures that each and every manager is competent enough to understand various processes prevailing in the organization. The HR prepares a periodic MIS on the performance of the employees and also that of the ongoing processes in the organization.
- HR Role in streamlining the hiring process–
We are well aware of the critical role played by the SCM department in bringing in and sourcing out raw materials. In the same way, HR has to take the responsibility of bringing in outstanding talents which are very essential for ensuring smooth operation of the business. HR teams need to carry out the necessary brainstorming with other departments to make sure that all the significant processes are taking place as per the schedule designed before the functional department makes the all-important final selection. The critical task the HR needs to do here is to make sure that a well-designed and standard capability framework is followed across the organizational lines. The HR needs to keep an eye so that the hiring of deserving talents moves through a consistent process, adhering to the well-established benchmarks of cost-effectiveness.
- Play the role of a quality checker
In a logistics business, it is absolutely essential that the goods should go through a proper quality test before the all-important delivery to their respective destinations. It is the duty of the SCM team to ensure quality assurance before the goods are transferred to the next step in the pipeline.
In the same way, the HR team has to check whether the entire transformation of input to output is happening as per the prescribed design and expectation of the organization. It needs to assume the role of a quality enforcer in some critical business checkpoints. In this way, it can increase the efficiency of every individual.
- As a Conscience keeper–
HR plays another important role as a conscience keeper of the organisation. It keeps an eye on the organisational operations and does a periodic assessment on whether they are carried out in conformity to the stated organizational values. He should use his authority and intimate all concerned if there is a marked diversion from established organisational objectives. The HR function should be given the authority required so that it can work in close collaboration with the CEOs /top management/leadership teams and convey its findings in a ‘no-nonsense’ manner.
- To keep pace with the industry compensation benchmarks
HR plays an important role in keeping a track of the compensation benchmarks in the industry and to keep the organizational policies in sync with them. It is also their responsibility to implement policy changes in a seamless and consistent manner. Overall, the HR functionalities in logistics and e-commerce are largely multi-dimensional and are not restricted to their core competencies alone.
Benefits obtained by SCM after applying effective HRM methods
In the above section, we have seen that there are some similarities between the HRM and SCM functions. Some benefits of implementing effective HRM practices can be as follows-
- SCMs can use ‘people’ in a more efficient way-
The supply chain is a highly complicated structure which includes the raw materials distributors, suppliers of raw materials, the service providers etc. It is a well-settled fact that the success of a logistics organization depends heavily on the success of the people involved in every step of the supply chain management. The evolving field of HR has initiated some effective methods and processes that not only help the people but also the organization as a whole. These methods and processes can also be applied in the supply chain management as well so as to attain their desired goals in every phase of their operations.
- HRM methods can make the supply chain systems more collaborative-
Today’s business environments have become highly complex. This may be due to the globalization of the inventory market, products having smaller life-cycles, product generation and so on. Effective HR methods can ensure high-degree of collaboration between different SCM stakeholders, foster better inter-firm alliances and design valuable knowledge sharing techniques. By this process, the organisations can have a more up-to-date and organized supply chain and achieve the competitive advantage they are vying for.
- To receive proven benefits of HR strategies
HR strategies are concerned about establishing highly flexible organizational policies and systems and to strengthen the business actions of the company. An amalgamation of these HR strategies in SCM will provide significant benefits such as better coordination with SCM associates, better prognosis of the supply or labor demand across the logistics operations and many more.
Organizations have realized that chalking out a clear career path and providing diverse development opportunities for employees can help a great deal in retention of quality employees in today’s competitive environment.