Mumbai: With rapid expansion of the E-commerce industry, there are thousands of new job openings in the sector, especially at the mid and higher levels, according to Elixir Consulting.

"This trend of manpower movement to the E-commerce and online retail areas began in the early 2009, when most of the large global online retailers set up shops and gained a substantial consumer-base," the recruitment process outsourcing firm's Manager - Leadership Hiring Prateek Srivastava said here.

It has grown substantially compared to last year and the overall hiring for this year is at least 150 per cent more than what these companies hired last year, fuelled mostly by substantial customer acquisition by consumer Internet
companies and funding by private equity players or venture capitalists, he said adding "In 2012, hiring is expected to grow by 45-50 per cent."

Srivastava also said, these talents are also getting decent hikes on being hired. "Salary offered in the sector is also very competitive. People at leadership levels typically get a 40-60 per cent hike and very lucrative stock option plans."

Most of the people moving in are at a leadership level as it is an evolving vertical in terms of job opportunity and has the potential of higher growth, similar to that of IT services, which was witnessed a decade back, he pointed out.

Mainly, leaders from the IT services industries are moving towards the E-commerce, as both the industries require similar skills, he said.

These mid-to-senior-level employees are usually from top B-schools, with exceptional sales skills handling business development, sales and strong technology and product engineering are high in demand in the sector, Srivastava said. However, most of the sales talent are being hired from the FMCG and telecom sector, he added.

The domestic E-commerce space, which is right now in chaotic growth stage, but with the growing Internet consumer base, it is bound to be the game changer for at least the next five years, Srivastava said.

In this segment, the junior and mid-level contributes to about 85 per cent of the overall talent, while the top level (predominantly AVP or director and above) contributes to about 15 per cent.

While recruiting is a catch-22 situation for companies as there are not enough talent to choose from, he also said, "The firms are being choosy for sure."

"E-commerce organisations have understood the aftermath of having a wrong hire on board. Most of them do not compromise on culture, integrity and make an offer only after a very strong reference check," he said.

According to a study, there are an estimated 6.5 crore active Internet users in the country, up from 28 per cent over the past year.

The overall domestic E-commerce market grew from Rs 8,146 crore in 2007 to Rs 31,598 crore in 2010 and is set to cross Rs 46,000 crore, on the back of a robust 47 per cent growth in 2011.

"Going by these statistics, companies need to scale up quickly to ensure that they match up steps with the industry growth," Srivastava pointed out.

This growth is driven primarily by the travel industry, which contributes to 76 per cent (Rs 14,953 crore) of the domestic E-commerce market and at this rate, the country could become one of the top 10 E-commerce hubs in the
world by 2015.