The New York Times gave us a look at Amazon’s hiring strategies and approach to workplace culture when they published Inside Amazon’s Employment Machine.
It was shocking and raises serious questions about Amazon’s view on employee retention. Using their own analysis, The Times calculates that Amazon has a 150% turnover rate. Managers fear they’ll eventually run out of people who are willing to work for the company.
But it wasn’t all bad.
Mixed into the article are hiring strategies any business can use to attract top-tier talent. Then, if you avoid the 3 major mistakes Amazon makes when it comes to employee retention, you’ll create a vibrant, positive workplace.
3 Amazon Hiring Strategies That Make Talent Acquisition Easier
1. De-emphasize specific credentials
Some full-time positions at Amazon don’t require a high school diploma, GED, or any experience at all. It’s a refreshing take on hiring and opens the door to non-traditional candidates.
Advanced degrees don’t guarantee success
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two of the most famous, successful college dropouts. What they lacked in degrees they made up for in determination and work ethic. While you probably won’t uncover the next billionaire when you loosen requirements, you will considerably widen your talent pool. This makes it likelier that you’ll find the perfect skillset and mindset match for the role.
Focus on qualities, not credentials
When you have a vacancy, look beyond credentials. Think about the qualities you want the candidate to possess. This is the first step in our process when clients partner with us to find top talent for their organization. To gather the information we need, we sit down with clients to discover their:
- Company values and story in the market
- Business structure
- Compensation and benefits
- Non-negotiables and ideal requirements
- Training plan
The candidate profile that emerges from this discussion is our roadmap for sourcing and qualifying candidates for the position. Because it’s rich with information about the organization’s culture, it becomes a template for future vacancies.
2. Make it easy for people to get a start
To prepare for a holiday-fueled surge in online shopping in 2020, Amazon implemented an interesting hiring strategy. It eliminated resume requirements. Interviews disappeared. Workers submitted an online application and, if accepted, could start immediately.
As far as hiring strategies go, that’s a tad extreme
Don’t completely abandon your qualifying process. The idea here is to take a step back and ask what’s vital or if any steps can be combined. For instance, if you usually have 3 people conduct separate interviews with candidates, try a panel approach instead.
3. Offer competitive benefits and wages
Healthcare coverage starts immediately for most full-time Amazon employees. A few other perks and benefits eligible employees reap include:
- 401(k) plan
- Short-term and long-term disability paid for by Amazon
- Adoption assistance
- Paid maternity and paternity leave
- Paid time off and holidays
- Career Choice program
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You don’t need to match Amazon’s benefits package
Amazon has the financial power to offer perks that are beyond the reach of most businesses. To compete in your market, gather two pieces of information:
- What your competitors offer
- What it will take for candidates to leave their current job
As you figure out your formal benefits offer, don’t overlook workplace culture as a talent-acquisition tool.
How workplace environment can aid talent acquisition
By “workplace environment” I don’t mean the types of snacks you set out for employees or what gadgets you have in a breakroom. Some will find that a bonus, at first. What will really help you attract and retain talent is your ability to sustain a healthy, positive workplace.
Don’t believe me? Just look at Amazon. The company offers top-notch benefits and perks and still suffers a 150% turnover rate.
How to Retain Employees
Happy, engaged employees are one way to avoid Amazon’s turnover rate. Another way is to have career paths for everyone at your company.
Give everyone a chance to grow at your company
When employees realize you have no way to support their ambitions, indifference seeps in. If the issue is widespread, you’ll gain a reputation as an organization with high turnover. This will make it harder to attract new talent to replace the employees who quit. Promote from within, whenever possible, and have job paths for your employees.
You want to make it clear that growth opportunities exist. Clarity in all communications will help you retain employees, too.
Don’t cause confusion
During Covid-19, Amazon inadvertently fired people.
One of the largest employers in the country accidentally sent notices to employees that they no longer had a job. That’s not the only instance of mixed messaging from the retail giant in 2020.
For health and safety reasons, Amazon provided unpaid leave for employees in a New York warehouse. Those workers were also informed they were expected to show up for mandatory overtime. Later in 2020, Amazon canceled the leave policy. Workers had to show up or give up their job.
Set clear expectations
Throughout The New York Times article, the frustration around the lack of transparency, clarity, and consistency was palpable. Preventing these issues starts with documenting and reviewing policies with your team. Then when a change takes place:
- Hold meetings or town halls about what is happening and why
- Give employees a chance to offer feedback
- Encourage and answer questions
- Be willing to alter your plans when your people raise valid concerns
Make It Easier to Hire and Keep Top Talent
Finding top-tier talent takes time. We make the process easier. Organizations across the country trust us to find the talent they need while they focus on their business. Call us and get started.