August 24, 2001, 12:00 AM

Search times get shorter for employers with e-commerce jobs to fill

Following dot-com layoffs of nearly 83,000 since January, positions filled in an average 2.7 months in the second quarter, says Challenger, Gray & Christmas

Due to e-commerce workforce reductions – including more than 82,000 job cuts at dot-com companies from the first of the year through July, according to the Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas – search times are shorter than average for e-retailers and others offering jobs in e-commerce. In the second quarter of this year, CEO John Challenger tells Internet Retailer, it took an average 2.7 months to fill such positions. Normally, he adds, search times average about 3.2 months.

Despite the availability of fewer jobs, however, compensation and human resource consultants say it’s still not completely a buyer’s market for e-retailers looking to recruit and retain staff. Some workers with business and technology skills that are readily transferable to other industry sectors outside of retail are finding employment there. “Many people are getting picked up by companies out of the dot-com realm and going into the rest of the economy,” Challenger says. And competition remains stiff across industries including retail for IT workers with so-called “hot skills;” typically, those with expertise in newer or more popularly used programming languages. “We’re seeing relatively short search times,” says Challenger. “Talented people are still in demand.”



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