It’s still a robust hiring market for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors looking to hire a business-to-business e-commerce executive. It’s also still a strong market for workers with a proven skill set and a successful track record looking to find new jobs with opportunity in B2B e-commerce.
The strong demand has resulted in large numbers of openings for listed by companies across various industries and caused annual pay packages for e-commerce executives to increase 10% or more in recent years, experts say.
Thousands of job site listings
Today, there are about 5,000 full-time job openings for a wide variety of B2B e-commerce jobs with listed salary ranges from $55,000 to more than $125,000 on the employment site Indeed.com. On other jobs websites such as Monster.com, there’s also in excess of 5,000 online job postings for B2B e-commerce with companies looking to fill a wide range of positions from e-commerce analyst to various e-commerce sales, marketing and technology titles.
Lots of companies are looking to fill B2B e-commerce positions. For example, Amazon.com Inc. last week posted 111 job openings for various B2B e-commerce positions including in sales, advertising, business account management and software development and software development. At its suburban Chicago headquarters and at various other locations, W.W. Grainger Inc., which generates more than $2 billion in annual web sales and operates one of the biggest B2B e-commerce sites for purchasing maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products, has about 60 corporate openings for customer service, product marketing/merchandising and information technology and web design positions.
For more experienced marketing, technology and business development executives with experience in running or managing most if not all of an e-commerce operation, Simply.com now has 157 B2B e-commerce job openings ranging in annual pay from $110,000 to $150,000. For vice presidents of e-commerce or where managing B2B e-commerce is a main area of responsibility, SimplyHired.com has 14 jobs posted that pay from $120,000 to $200,000 annually.
There are many companies of all sizes looking to hire more B2B e-commerce employees. But for upper-tier e-commerce jobs, such as director or vice president of B2B e-commerce or higher, corporate hiring managers and job candidates are becoming more choosey before making a final decision.
‘Someone who can understand all digital channels’
“For many companies looking to hire someone to run B2B e-commerce, the candidates they call in will have the experience to drive traffic, improve conversion rates and average order values and generally grow e-commerce,” says Ecommercerecruiter.com founder Harry Joiner. “But the skill set most sought after by companies is someone who can understand all the digital channels of where their customers are living and how they live.”
Many older manufacturers and distributors are still in the early stages of B2B e-commerce, or have yet to build a commerce-enabled website and aren’t hiring for e-commerce. For example, a search by B2BecNews on the websites, jobs pages and listings for 40 of the oldest distributors of industrial products revealed only about 250 jobs. None of those jobs were for directors or vice president of B2B e-commerce. Among those distributors is Airgas, which employs more than 18,000 workers in the business of supplying industrial, medical and specialty gases, ammonia products and process chemicals.
“There’s still lots of companies in B2B that still haven’t gotten started because they still live in a legacy world and don’t think their business customers in their space are buying online,” says Jerry Bernhart, principal at Bernhart Associates Executive Search. “That’s reflected in the job postings in companies such as Grainger and Amazon that are doing e-commerce and older distributors that have only a few or no openings—it’s a bit of a dividing line.”
The compensation packages for a B2B e-commerce director or vice president are getting bigger, depending upon the level of experience of the job candidate and the skill set and job specifications the employer wants, Bernhart says.
For some, base bay begins at $200,000
For a small to medium-sized company with annual sales ranging from $10 million to $50 million, annual salaries for an experienced e-commerce executive that can launch and grow a digital channel or take an existing e-commerce operation to a bigger and better level ranges from $150,000 to as high as $200,000. For bigger companies, especially for big companies with annual sales of more than $100 million, base pay can begin at $200,000.
There are many variables that go into salary ranges for B2B e-commerce executives, such as the size and location of the company looking to hire and the specific job requirements each employer sets, Bernhart says.
But in general, the demand by more companies for experienced B2B e-commerce executives is resulting in annual compensation packages that are “10% to 15% higher than a couple of years ago,” Bernhart says.
Many companies that sell primarily to business buyers still look to executives and employees in business-to-consumer e-commerce for hiring for top digital positions, Joiner says.
B2B job performance differs from B2C
But the job performance expectations for B2B e-commerce are different from B2C, which many job candidates need to keep in mind when taking a new role in a new environment, Bernhart says.
“Off the bat, the right job candidate needs to be a change agent, have a business track record and be willing to hit the ground running,” he says.” B2B is a lot more complex e-commerce market and there will be different responsibilities and expectations.”
Many companies hiring a B2B e-commerce vice president or even higher are placing an emphasis on hiring the right executive who can build a digital business that addresses all of the ways its customers want to interact with it. “It’s all about the candidate that can come in and understand and build the complete user experience, and make it better,” Joiner says.
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