How to Write a Job Description for an eCommerce Director role in FMCG

6 Tips to help you attract top-quality candidates

When hiring an eCommerce director in FMCG, arguably the most important step is composing a job description. If you get it wrong, you are unlikely to hire the talented individual you seek. The cost of this could be astronomical.

According to analysis by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 could cost a business more than £132,000. As if this is not eye-watering enough, the REC research also found that 85% of HR managers admit that their organization had made a bad hire.

Can you afford a poor hire into your eCommerce role? The fact is that if you compose a poor job description, you will receive inadequate candidates – and this will lead to either no hire or a poor hire.

The challenge you’re facing

“Working with a range of large and small FMCG businesses, we get to spot trends as they are developing. One of the big trends we’re seeing this year is brands expanding their D2C (direct to customer) offering. This is especially true of the more agile challenger brands,” says our Director and Co-Founder, Dan Hodge.

This shift presents you with some serious challenges. These include:

  • You need to hire a person who knows how to manage digital agencies. This is key to drive awareness through PPC and convert to your website.
  • You need talent with experience of eCommerce platforms (especially Shopify, which most small to medium-sized businesses seem to be heading toward).
  • The role of eCommerce Director is relatively new, but with so many businesses hiring for the role there is a lot of competition for candidates.

“One of the things that several businesses have told us is that they don’t know half the stuff their digital agencies are telling them,” explains Dan. “They are in desperate need to hire someone who can hold digital partners to account. Hence hiring for an eCommerce Director. However, because it’s such a new role for many businesses, they are having trouble writing a job description that attracts the best and brightest available.”

The negative effects of a poor job description

A poorly written job description costs more than money. If you have suffered any of the following during a recruitment campaign, it is likely to be because of your job ad:

  • Ill-suited and underqualified applicants

If you leave potential applicants confused, you may receive a flood of underqualified applicants for your vacancy. Those you are trying to attract are less likely to apply because they can’t see the connection between their skills and experience and your eCommerce management role.

  • A slow recruitment process

With postbags full of inadequate candidates to screen, your recruitment process slows to a crawl. If you have managed to entice the perfect candidate to apply, you’ll probably find that they will have accepted a position elsewhere by the time you invite them to interview.

  • Poor interview process

Without a properly defined job description, interviews can go awry. How do you ask the questions you need to if you don’t know the exact requirements of the job?

  • A bad hire for your company culture

You only described the hard skills and experience you need. You included nothing about your culture. You make the hire and soon discover that your new eCom expert just doesn’t fit in.

  • High employee turnover

Is your employee turnover rate higher than the industry average? Your hires have accepted a role that doesn’t match their expectations in a company in which they don’t fit in. They relied on your job description, which just didn’t tell the full story. There’s a knock-on effect here too: your best employees leave your team because they become disillusioned with your recruitment results.

6 best tips to compose an effective job description for an eCommerce Director

It’s essential that you compose a job description that attracts and engages the best marketing talent. This will ensure that you receive only those candidates who have the experiences and skills you need, and who have a desire to work with your company.

A well-written job description will market the role and your company. It will also rule out underqualified applicants. It must combine the promise and challenges of the role, the skills and competencies required (and the ‘nice-to-haves’), and sell your company’s culture. Include all of this, and you should avoid making a bad hire.

Here are our six tips to help you compose an exceptional job description:

1. Get the job title right

Ignore the temptation to advertise a position for an ‘eCommerce guru’. Keep your title simple and descriptive as to the role.

2. Develop a sense for the role

A few sentences that describe the responsibilities of your eCommerce director. Explain how they will contribute to the company’s success and use this part of the job description to explain a little about your culture. Be selective in your language. For example, ‘You will be leading a creative team that is devoted to growing the brand…’

3. Explain the key challenges of the role

You have sold the role to potential candidates. Now it is time to ‘unsell’ it. Do this by highlighting specific challenges. This will help weaker candidates to deselect themselves.

4. Describe the skills required

List the key skills that the candidate must have to hit the ground running. Follow these with the ‘nice-to-have’ skills that would enhance their productivity. Be diligent when composing this list of skills and think about the future requirements of the role and how it may expand.

5. Remove biases

Before you post your job description, make sure you have removed any sense of bias, especially gender bias. A 2016 study by ZipRecruiter found that by removing gender biased keywords from job descriptions, hiring companies received 42% more responses.

Here are a few examples of male-biased phrasing:

  • Strong (instead, use ‘exceptional’)
  • Someone who ‘thrives in a competitive atmosphere’ (instead, use ‘is motivated by stretching goals)’
  • Assertive (instead, use ‘confident’)

Removing bias from your job description is more difficult than you think, but ensures you don’t rule out up to 50% of potential candidates.

6. Focus on the finer details

Last but not least, focus on the finer details

  • Keep the format simple, clean, and crisp
  • Don’t forget to include the location and salary range
  • Do make sure you have included details of your company culture, values, and mission
  • Do ensure that you have kept the use of jargon to a minimum
  • Do ensure that you have checked grammar and spelling

Make your eCommerce Director job description easy to compose

Getting a job description right requires a lot of time-consuming hard work to avoid poor hires. But it doesn’t have to.

We have put our many years of experience into practice and done this hard work for you. Our template will help you compose the perfect job description that will attract the best candidates to your eCommerce role. It’s simple to use, makes sure you hit all the points you must, and that your job ad does the job you want it to do. Best of all, our job description template is free, complete the contact form below to receive the template.