As high street retailers face collapse, eBay pledges to recruit "thousands" globally within three years

David Woods , 28 May 2012


Online retail site, eBay plans to recruit “thousands” of people globally over the next three years as it seeks to redefine commerce.

Despite UK unemployment figures standing at 2.65million, eBay has admitted the war for talent is still well and truly on.

The announcement was made by the company as it accepted its award in London as one of this year's Best Workplaces in the UK by The Great Place to Work Institute, securing a spot firmly within the top 10.

Widely acknowledged as a key barometer of an economic downturn, the retail industry is on the cusp of a further technological revolution, with new third wave technologies set to give a potential direct boost of £2.4 billion to the industry by 2014.

Future adoption of these new retail technologies, including augmented reality, image recognition and smart devices have led to a renewed focus by the company to attract top talent and bolster its marketing, technology and payments teams to enable retail businesses to succeed in this new digital age.

Aileen O'Toole, HR director for eBay Europe said: "We're delighted that both eBay employees and The Institute have recognised eBay Inc. as one of the best places to work in the UK. We will continue to make eBay an inspiring and fun place to work and enable our people to innovate and be an integral part of the changing face of commerce.

"We're not resting on our laurels as the war for talent heats up. As an enabler of commerce, eBay Inc. is recruiting across many disciplines for individuals to provide better insight, innovation and specialist knowledge to empower retail businesses to succeed in this new multi-channel age."

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The importance of onboarding

Colette Wade 29 May 2012

The retail industry has really struggled during the economic downturn and therefore it’s really positive that eBay has announced such a major recruitment drive. It indicates that businesses are showing signs of adopting a more of long-term approach to recruitment, opposed to ‘just’ surviving. For any company looking to onboard a large number of new employees, it’s critical that they don’t think short-term and ‘just’ fill gaps, as the risk when hiring such large numbers is forgetting to put in place a long-term strategy, giving the new hires suitable, targeted training and induction programmes. For such an innovative online brand, it would be great to see eBay embrace social networks as a recruitment tool. Whilst in the past, social media and HR have struggled to find a common ground; the increasing popularity of LinkedIn has helped to demonstrate the positive opportunities. Social networks represent a goldmine of talent and with the cost of employee acquisition in the UK increasing by 6% in 2011, utilising new channels has never been more important. Not only do social networks provide access to a large candidate pool, but employers can gain much more insight from social media than from a CV or standard application. By linking social media to the sourcing process, employers can find out much more about a candidates references and authenticity and easily carry out thorough background checks. Colette Wade, Regional VP, EMEA marketing and Business Development, Cornerstone OnDemand

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