Space48 Logo
September 20, 2017

How to hire the right people for your ecommerce business

Space 48 Founder, Jon Woodall, knows a thing or two about hiring the right people. Having started up his own ecommerce website development company with his friend, Tony Brown, (now a Magento Master) in 2008, he’s grown the business into one of the leading ecommerce consultancies in the UK.

He also turned Mage Titans from a local Manchester event into a global conference, with regular events in Italy, Spain, Mexico and America!

Jon shares his formula for striking the right balance in recruitment and development and offers his tips for finding the right people for your ecommerce business:

Define and embody your brand culture and values

It’s important to define your business culture and embody it in everything you do. This helps you to communicate your vision and encourage people to believe in your project and your brand.

So, let’s take my business as an example:

What is the purpose of Space 48?

We’re in the business of helping people. We’re all about enabling retailers to become successful retail brands.

Our brand culture is about leadership, learning and innovation, whilst our brand values are trust, listening and support. However, it’s crucial that your culture and values are tangible.

What does it feel like to work for Space 48?

At time of writing, we’re about to move to our new office in Manchester and felt it was vital to embody the culture and values we’ve built at Space 48 in our new home. We briefed the office designers about how to reflect these in the look and feel. We wanted an innovative, open working environment, which is ideal for collaboration and learning.

This is exemplified in our new “Learning Lab”, which is a dedicated space for research, training, learning and events. We’re committed to continuous improvement and this is the perfect way to physicalise this.

Create a company DNA and stick to the blueprint

We’ve devised a company DNA, which is a combination of our brand culture, values, action and belief. This blueprint runs through everything we do. Our purpose is to help retailers to become successful global brands.

I think it’s vital to put a stake in the ground and be very clear about what you want to achieve and where you want to go, to convince others to join you on that journey. Our belief is that we work with the brightest people and our action is continuous improvement every day.

When it comes to recruitment, we want prospective candidates aligned with this blueprint. We want the 1 percenters!

Invest in personal development

Personal development is very important in ecommerce. As it’s such a fast-moving business you need to continually learn and develop to cope with the demands of the industry. Psychometric tests are a good way to understand your personality type in the context of the working environment.

Knowing these details about yourself and the individuals within your team helps to get the right balance and reveal where you have gaps. We use a DNA Profile Tool at Space 48. It categorises people into four colour personality types; red, blue, green and yellow.

A successful ecommerce business requires an even balance of personality types, as too many of one colour (such as reds) will result in conflict, whilst too many of another (such as yellows) will result in lots of ideas and no implementation.

Different personality types can complement each other and help to drive the business forward, due to strengths and weaknesses in each area.

Communicate more effectively

Knowledge of the personality types of your ecommerce team can help you improve communications, enabling you to adapt to have better conversations and develop your leadership and teamwork skills.

Effective communications are crucial for meetings, workshops and project planning. We use group flow decision making sessions, which take ideas and planning through the filter of each of the four main personality type perspectives (as detailed above), in 5-10 minutes loops. This ecology check gives you the full picture, taking into account all perspectives – each of which can highlight potential issues or legitimise certain ideas.

Recruiting the right people

Invest time in getting out in your community and industry, as the ideal people may not be looking for a job. However, they may want to be part of something special. If you can translate this in your communications within your industry, you may inspire them to join your ecommerce business.

It might sound simple, but you should map out exactly what you’re looking for in terms of skill set and attitude, put together a clear and progressive job spec, find the right recruiter and look for good networking opportunities.

In summary

The key to hiring the right individuals for your ecommerce business is to have clarity in your vision, company DNA and communications. Getting everyone in your existing team onboard with the brand’s vision and aligning themselves to the blueprint, with the help of the right working environment, will help you pinpoint the best people and, in turn, attract these people to your business.

Space 48 is a leading UK ecommerce consultancy, specialising in Magento website development. Our experienced industry experts have helped countless top retail brands to improve their ecommerce strategies and create award-winning websites.