Caldon Henson joined our E-commerce Team last year and is now stepping up into a Recruitment Manager role. His department recruit for Client side businesses, anything from fashion e-commerce to fintech startups.
He took time to sit down and talk to us about E-commerce Recruitment and the flourishing e-commerce fashion industry in the North West.
What are your current thoughts on the e-commerce industry?
Right now there is a clear boom in the e-commerce fashion market and we have loads of talent on our books who are waiting to be snapped up. There are always different skill requirements within each e-commerce fashion company as some will need creative candidates and analytical data crunchers. This is showcased through the emergence of new roles like CRO Managers and other analytical positions, to give insight and drive data led marketing strategies, which is required due to the maturing ecommerce industries.
These roles demonstrate that our clients' businesses are growing and the need for careful analysis on conversions and customer behaviour are essential. It is really rewarding to have grown with our clients, where a number of them initially came to us as start-ups and are now leading fashion e-commerce retailers. Due to their success, we are now sourcing pan-European candidates to help them achieve their plans for international expansion and I love being able to contribute to our client's success.
So Caldon tell us about yourself and your team?
I am a Senior Recruitment Consultant at The Candidate and I focus solely on client side/ e-commerce recruitment. My background is B2B and B2C e-commerce sales, where I learned to understand the supply chain element and how the product gets to the market. In addition, the marketing side and all the intricacies and digital cogs that need to turn for that to happen. In my role at The Candidate, I have been able to use these skills and knowledge to support our clients and candidates in this industry.
Our department consists of recruiters from sales, digital and general recruitment backgrounds, but we all work well together because we have the energy, drive, and enthusiasm for what we do. For me it is all about energy, loving my job and the industry keeps me motivated. I work with great clients, whom we have strong relationships with and when they call me up with a role, where I look forward to help them find a good candidate. If I have worked with them before, I know their requirements and already have a thorough understanding and knowledge of their industry.
What kind of clients do you deal with?
We are lucky to have a diverse selection of clients from world leading e-commerce fashion retailers, to new starters on the market and many other exciting interesting industries. The type of business they are, will affect what type of service they require. For the leading brands, it will be the best fit for skills and personality, but for start-ups it can be a much more consultative approach.
This means that we will know which candidates are available and advise them on the best roles that match their requirements. I pride myself on the fact that we provide market intelligence based on our customer engagement and knowledge of trends across the sector, so we can advise on best available candidates. It is often the case that we have some very good candidates for our clients before they have got in touch and we can only do this because we know their business and what they are focussing on.
How do you know what your e-commerce businesses need?
Our role is to find out what our clients need and the key to this is meeting with them. I always say the perfect candidate is comprised of 50% suitable skills and experience and the other 50% is perfect fit for the business. The only way for me to do this is to sit with them in their workplaces and teams to better understand their business ethic and culture. However, it is furthermore important that they trust me and my team. I do this by being honest, I'm not just telling them what they want to hear, but what they are up against including insights into the current market conditions and who is out there. For me, the biggest challenge for my clients is the digital skill shortage which is struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital market and it is important that they understand this and how it affects them.
How do you find good Candidates?
That is the name of our game, 'The Candidate' and my team have a hawk eye for talent. We listen to our candidates to understand their requirements and are careful not to push them into jobs that they don't want to do, as they won't be happy and neither will the client. The core of the job is honesty and helping them genuinely develop through preparation and feedback. It goes without saying, that this is the main factor in sourcing best fit for the clients and the candidates.
Alongside the success of The Candidate, the E-commerce team has seen massive growth and success, what do you think this is down to?
Firstly the quality and knowledge of the department and our ability to be reactive to changes and needs. As we have all worked on the front line of these industries we have first-hand experience and in-depth knowledge of what our clients are looking for and also what their challenges and limitations.
I would also say our work ethic. The standard business hours of 9-5 is when our clients are most busy with their customers so we are flexible and make ourselves available when they needs us the most. The fashion industry certainly isn't a 9-5 business they operate long hours so it makes sense that our services complement our client and candidates hectic schedules.
It has been very helpful that The Candidate launched the Technology department earlier this year, as we have been able to provide a full recruitment spectrum to our clients including Digital/Graphic Designers, Software Developers and Test Analysts. As many of our clients are recruiting both digital and technology candidates, we have been able to provide a one-stop recruitment package, all delivered through one set of terms and conditions making life much easier for our clients. Also, we have a great understanding of the transferability of skills and we have been able to place people in peripheral roles that fall slightly outside our remit, such as sales and customer service. As always the key way to doing this is to understand the requirements of our clients and candidates.
What are your key tips for e-commerce clients who are looking for talent?
- Be flexible. Once people have core skills it can be surprising to clients how many of these are transferable. Sometimes candidates that are enthusiastic and eager to learn the ways of the business are better for the role than those that have experience doing it.
- Choose who represents the recruitment for your business carefully. It is essential that they know your needs and wants and are on the same page. Many of our clients come back to us time and time again as we have built strong relationships and have provided a high-quality service. So the more your recruiter knows about you and the business, the better they will be able to get you the right people.
- No job is too big or small. We find that some of our clients have struggled to fill a role, contact us and we are able to do this with ease. Many businesses are reluctant due to previous experiences or fear of being hassled by constant phone calls and CVs. A good recruiter will do all of this for you, as they should be on this day in day out and be experts.
If you would like to speak to Caldon or any of the e-commerce team members about a role or putting your name forward as a candidate, please do not hesitate to contact us today on 0161 833 1045 or email [email protected] or [email protected].