Every retailer is looking to increase their e-commerce business and drive better results with their digital marketing. Since e-Commerce is expected to grow by 8-12%+ over the next few years, it’s no surprise that companies will be hiring more marketing professionals with e-commerce and digital marketing experience. When looking for your next e-Commerce Director, how do you avoid hiring the wrong one?

1. Don’t hire an e-commerce Director when what you need is a Digital Marketing Director.

The biggest thing to consider when hiring an e-commerce or digital marketing director is to truly understand what you are looking to achieve. These titles are often used interchangeably and that’s where a lot of companies can attract the wrong candidates. You may think you need an e-Commerce Director but what you’re really looking for is someone with CRM, SEO, Paid Media, e-mail, banner, and social media experience, skills a Digital Marketing Director would possess. On the other hand, if you need someone with more operations, merchandising, site-management, replatform, Amazon selling, loyalty, UX experience an eCommerce Director is the way to go.

2. Don’t write a job description that includes the kitchen sink.

If you know what problem you want them to solve, then write the job description to solve for those problems. Don’t write a checklist that looks like a wish list. If you want someone to replatform your website, increase customer acquisition by 10% or create a better customer experience, state it clearly. You’ll attract more  candidates that are up for the challenge and can excel in the role.

3. Don’t ask vague or yes/no questions.

Once you are clear about what you want the e-Commerce Director to accomplish, prepare the right how & what questions based on your needs and use these to build an interview process to vet them properly. Unemployment is at an all-time low and you can’t afford to lose a candidate due to an interview process that is vague and confusing. Ask them how they would approach your current e-Commerce challenges and how would they analyze the data? Uncover what their thought process is and if their Digital Strategy is in alignment with yours. 

4. Don’t judge a person by their title.

Since every company buckets their e-Commerce / digital marketing responsibilities differently, they also title things differently. Performance Marketing, Growth Director, Director of Acquisition & Retention, Lead Generation, Product Marketers and Director of Customer Experience, to name a few. Title aside, it’s important to assess what unique skill set each candidate possesses. You may find they encompass more qualities you’re looking for than their position may have indicated. Dig into someone’s title to understand who they report to, who reports to them and what roles they play. What were their responsibilities? And most importantly, what did they actually accomplish and how can they do it for you? 

5. Don’t judge a person by their industry.

It would be great for them to have exact industry experience but don’t overlook someone just because they may not have luxury, beauty, fashion, travel, or the like. Have they increased e-commerce sales? Have they increased the shopping cart size? How have they improved the customer experience on the site? And most importantly do they want the job? Do they have a passion for what you are selling? You can’t teach passion but you can teach them about your industry.

6. Don’t hire a mini-you.

We usually like people like us. However, if you really want your eCommerce business to grow, you have to hire a candidate that brings something else to the table. Someone that has a different digital marketing skill-set, an innovative way of thinking or an interesting way to position your brand. Do you want someone with a merchandising, operations or customer experience background? Find people who compliment your weaknesses and cherish them. Together you create a more complete picture and a stronger team.

7. Don’t expect them to double your revenue overnight.

e-Commerce Sales account for about 10% of total retail sales therefore unless you are a new brand or a digital-only brand then you cannot expect huge increases in e-Commerce revenue. What are you looking for your e-commerce Director to achieve in 30, 60, 90 days and then after a year? What does success look like? Be clear and realistic on your expectations and goals, then support them however you can to achieve those goals. If they succeed, so do you!


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