Why Top B2C Companies Recruit In-House Talent

3 mins

The world of online retail has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and B2C e-com...

By Eda Osman

Marketing Manager

The world of online retail has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and B2C e-commerce brands have strived to adapt their sales, marketing, and recruitment strategies to compete in an increasingly digitised era. B2C companies are leveraging modern technologies to reinvent their in-house recruitment tactics, ensuring a wider talent pool and speedier hiring processes. 

Owing to the widespread usage of online job portals and economic factors, many industries are seeing an unprecedented rise in applications, and online e-commerce is certainly no exception. Wading through vast numbers of candidates to find the perfect applicant is no easy feat, and B2C brands are implementing new, technologically-driven ways to optimise their in-house talent acquisition strategies. 

While hiring contract workers has advantages, many top B2C companies focus on recruiting in-house talent. This guide will look at some of the leading B2C brands and the innovative talent acquisition strategies they implement to source the best and brightest in-house talent. We’ll also take a look at the benefits and pitfalls of hiring in-house staff to give you an idea of why top B2C opt for an in-house recruitment model. 

How Top B2C Companies are Reshaping In-House Recruitment 

Today’s top B2C brands are always on the lookout for forward-thinking recruitment strategies. The rapid advancement of technology has revolutionised the way that businesses hire in-house talent, and the world’s most influential B2C companies are looking to transition away from traditional hiring techniques in favour of technologically driven alternatives. Let’s take a look at the cutting-edge talent acquisition strategies leading B2C companies use to source high-quality candidates for in-house positions: 

1. Amazon 

Amazon is one of the most talked-about B2C brands globally, not least because of its pioneering business model. Their emphasis on facilitating exceptional customer experiences through speedy online ordering and hassle-free returns has helped them to stand out from their competitors. Not only has Amazon revitalised the online retail space, but they have also earned a reputation for championing unique talent acquisition strategies. 

Their peer-reviewed hiring policy is a prime example, a strategy that enables existing workers to be involved in assessing shortlisted candidates. This is part of the company’s so-called ‘bar raiser’ program, where employees interview candidates and submit their evaluations to colleagues. This innovative hiring technique allows the company to recruit outstanding in-house talent and create a culture of continuous improvement and exceptional performance.

2. Netflix

 Netflix is a giant in the online streaming world, and their successes don’t just end with the popularity of their platform among television users. They also have an impressively high employee satisfaction rate, with a survey from 2019 showing that they had the highest percentage of happy employees in the US. Company culture is important to them, which is certainly reflected in how they recruit. 

They have refocused their hiring efforts toward in-house recruitment in recent years, a strategy that has helped them to build such a satisfied workforce. With the concept of emotional buy-in at the heart of their talent acquisition strategy, they have amassed a workforce dedicated to maintaining the company’s collaborative and inclusive culture. They also make it easy for candidates to provide frank and honest feedback via a recruitment software called Lever, a handy platform that allows interviewees to swiftly offer feedback to hiring managers. 

3. Ikea 

As one of the world’s leading furniture retail companies, Ikea is a brand that loves to promote innovation. With branches in more than 20 countries across the globe, Ikea is passionate about harnessing technology to attract in-house talent. 

They are at the forefront of leveraging the powers of AI during their recruitment process and have recently piloted using an intelligent hiring robot for interviews. The pilot study was essentially a test to see whether using an AI robot in the initial selection phase could free up valuable time and resources from the HR department. One of the study’s most interesting findings was that candidates were more willing to provide criticism to the robot than to human recruiters. 

While the use of intelligent hiring robots isn’t standard practice for Ikea just yet, the pilot study demonstrates the company’s commitment to taking advantage of emerging technology for recruitment purposes. 

4. Unilever 

Unilever is a top multinational company that produces consumer goods for various brands, from Ben and Jerry’s to Domestos. Given their global influence, it is unsurprising that they adopted a forward-thinking hiring model that prioritises potential over experience. With an enviable company culture defined by innovation and collaboration, they focus on an in-house recruitment model that attracts candidates whose values align with theirs. 

Rather than just shortlisting who have the largest CVs, Unilever are committed to focusing their recruitment efforts on graduates. With this in mind, they established their Future Leaders programme, a scheme that aims to employ 800 in-house staff members from a talent pool of 250,000 candidates. 

Like Ikea, Unilever has also used artificial intelligence to screen and assess large amounts of applicants. Having partnered with AI recruitment specialist Pymetrics, they harness AI technology to identify the best candidates and streamline the recruitment process. 

5. McDonald’s

 McDonald’s is another leading brand that has modified their talent acquisition strategy to draw in younger candidates. In 2017, they saw an opportunity to utilise the instant messaging app Snapchat to attract younger applicants and released an instant application service called Snaplications. 

This inventive hiring tool enabled candidates to apply for jobs at McDonald’s by recording a 10-second video talking about themselves without needing CVs or cover letters. The campaign reached 304 million people within a matter of days, and thanks to its success, Snaplications was rolled out across Australia and the US. 

Now we have discovered how the top B2C brands have redefined in-house recruitment, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of in-house recruitment to see if it is right for your business. 

Pros and Cons of Hiring In-House Staff 

Choosing whether to hire in-house staff or outsource talent is one of the most significant decisions hiring managers must make. Is it better to nurture and develop an in-house team with a specialised skill set and in-depth knowledge of the products? Or is the short-term convenience and flexibility of recruiting agency workers preferable? Ultimately, whichever you choose depends on your business needs. Here is a rundown of the advantages and pitfalls of having an in-house team: 

3 Pros of Hiring In-House Staff 

If you feel that your business would benefit from having an in-house team of professionals who know your products and services through and through, then you’ll be able to take advantage of the various pros that come with that. You can expect a better workplace culture, long-term savings, and a higher degree of colleague loyalty with a dedicated in-house workforce. Let’s delve into 3 of the biggest reasons to opt for in-house recruitment:  

1. Better Team Engagement 

Various surveys have shown the clear advantages that excellent team engagement can bring to a workplace. For instance, a Gallup poll revealed that engaged employees are 21% more productive than less engaged employees. By choosing to develop an in-house team, improved collaboration and engagement will naturally follow suit, and this will help to create a vibrant office culture that aids your brand identity. High employee satisfaction rates will help you retain the best workers, boost customer satisfaction, and improve productivity. 

2. Intellectual Property Protection 

It’s only natural that you want the details of your upcoming projects and product launches to be treated with a level of secrecy. Keeping your ideas hidden away from your competitors is an understandable concern, and if you have an in-house team who are loyal to your company, the chances of your intellectual property being protected are much greater. 

You are entitled to include a non-compete clause in employment contracts for in-house employees to prevent them from revealing project details to other companies if they leave. In contrast, contractors will only be with your business for a set amount of time, so it’s unlikely they’ll have the same level of commitment as their in-house counterparts. 

3. Improves Quality of Services 

Having a close-knit team that regularly meets in person to exchange ideas is bound to generate greater collaboration and creativity. If you foster an environment that emphasises the importance of teamwork and initiative, you can expect to see a boost in the quality of your products. Given the on-site availability of your in-house team, you'll be able to carry out quality checks more frequently, ensuring that projects are running on schedule and in line with the budget. 

3 Cons of Hiring In-House Staff

While there are numerous advantages of recruiting in-house staff, there are also a few potential drawbacks that you should take into account. The cultural and creative benefits that come with employing in-house teams are undoubtedly appealing. Let’s explore some of the main factors that need to be reconsidered: 

1. In-House Recruitment Process Can be Costly 

We have established that in-house teams are perfect for nurturing a collaborative workplace culture and on-site availability. However, the in-house recruitment process has the potential to be expensive. Not only will you have to allocate significant funds to hire and train new staff, but you’ll also need to budget for other factors, such as pay increases to retain existing staff and the cost of workplace equipment. Recruiting the wrong person also has serious financial risks, with the average cost of a wrong hire costing the business more than three times the person's annual salary.

2. Risk of Staff Turnover 

While the cost of in-house talent acquisition strategies can be hefty, a high staff turnover rate is also expensive. Despite the range of pros that in-house teams can bring to your business, high staff turnover rates lead to additional hiring costs and a slowdown in productivity. Adopting an in-house model may also negatively impact staff morale and the social capital you have nurtured. 

However, there are certain policies that you can implement to avoid the pitfalls associated with staff turnover, including having a reward and recognition scheme or introducing development programs. 

3. Lack of Different Perspectives 

Although having a dedicated in-house team who knows the ins and outs of your projects and workflows can improve quality, this model may suffer from limited diversity of opinion. There is a risk that close-knit in-house teams may become set in their ways and not ask the key questions that a contractor may ask. A possible solution could be to institute a hybrid model consisting of an in-house team with some support from outsourced talent. 

The Final Word

In the ever-evolving landscape of B2C e-commerce, the recruitment strategies of top companies have undergone remarkable transformations. Harnessing the power of technology, these brands have embraced innovative approaches to secure the finest in-house talent. Amazon's peer-reviewed hiring, Ikea's AI-driven interviews, and McDonald's’ use of Snapchat exemplify the diverse ways these giants are reshaping their talent acquisition.

While it has its drawbacks, in-house recruitment is proving to be a go-to hiring strategy as it results in better team engagement, quality of service, and intellectual property protection. In a landscape where adaptation is paramount, the journey toward optimal in-house recruitment continues to be a dynamic and strategic pursuit for B2C companies worldwide.

Discover More About Our Work in Digital Recruitment 

At Sphere, we are passionate about providing digital recruitment services for clients and candidates throughout the UK, Europe, and North America. Whether you are a professional looking for the latest jobs or a company that wants to hire fresh talent, we are here to support you. 

As an award-winning recruitment agency, we have a team of accomplished recruiters who take pride in filling vacancies and helping businesses save time and money. We invite you to explore our recruitment services page, where you'll be able to learn more about what we can do for you. 

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