Thursday, June 04, 2015

E-commerce firms eye big hiring in 2015

Several players look at more-than-doubling employee base; majority of hiring focused on tech, marketing roles
Despite being more technology-driven and less labour-intensive, the Indian e-commerce sector remains bullish on hiring and might continue with its fast pace of bringing more people on board through 2015.

Backed by robust growth, the leading 10 companies in the sector are themselves looking to absorb at least 15,000 professionals by December.

A major chunk of the hiring, which will include more of college graduates and less of laterals, will be in areas relating to technology, sales and marketing.

The top three are set to expand their employee base significantly. Delhi-based Snapdeal looks to double its employee base in 2015 from the current 5,000. Bengaluru-based
 Flipkart plans to double its technology team from the current 1,000 over the next 12-18 months. expects to continue its pace of 30-35 per cent expansion in employee base this year as well.

“Our current team strength is 33,000 and with the business and e-commerce industry expanding at a rapid rate, the hiring will be aggressive, with a prime focus on technology,” a Flipkart spokesperson said.

According to the sectoral body, Nasscom, the e-commerce sector in India has been growing at a compounded annual rate of 25 per cent since 2010 and has a market size of around $14 billion currently.

Recruitment in big numbers is not limited to large multi-category entities. Several vertical-specific e-tailers are also looking to aggressively ramp up their teams. Fabfurnish plans to expand its employee base by end- 2015 to 4,000 from around 1,000 currently. Others in the same category also plan to do so. Urban Ladder is looking to hire 1,400 employees in 2015, as against a total employee base of 600 now and PepperFry plans to recruit 500 more. jewelry retailer Bluestone is looking to expand its employee base by 600 persons in 2015, from around 250 currently.

While tier-I colleges like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) remain a preference for hiring senior leaders, most e-tailers have also tapped into tier-II engineering and management institutes.

According to human resource leaders at several e-commerce companies, students from tier-I colleges are being hired for “complex and challenging roles”, while those from other colleges will be for positions relating to “general business activities”.

Fabfurnish said 10 per cent of its senior level hiring will be from IITs and IIMs.

Beside expansion of senior leadership, which most e-commerce companies are looking at, a large part of recruitment is focused around bringing on board employees in smaller cities and towns, to expand seller and buyer footprint. Large entities, especially, are eyeing regional hiring in a big way, to ensure deeper penetration into untapped towns and cities.

Snapdeal, in the process of setting up regional teams to bring local sellers to its platform, is looking to hire aggressively for these teams. Additionally, Snapdeal will be hiring for its new Bengaluru center.

“Snapdeal is growing at a rapid pace and, needless to say, we are expanding our team as well. We are looking at doubling our team strength in the coming year,” said Saurabh Nigam, vice-president for human resources.