Amazon will pause corporate hiring for months as it rethinks how to retain its millions of current employees.
Amazon.com Inc plans to pause hiring permanently as it grapples with a shortage of low-paid, entry-level employees. The Seattle retailer has faced a series of challenges with its hiring practices, including a chronic shortage of workers with college degrees, and questions about whether it should give current employees more time to look for new jobs, according to interviews with more than a dozen people involved in Amazon’s hiring decisions.
As part of the new plan, Amazon will suspend hiring “in all locations” and make workers in affected offices available to jobs that do not require a college degree for 60 days, the company said in an email to employees. Amazon also will require workers to take college classes in any majors or trades that they want to take, and for at least half of college credit that they earned from Amazon’s school credit system. Employees will be given 30 days to complete the courses if they choose not to do them or if their grades drop.
Amazon is working to increase worker diversity, according to three current and former employees. Amazon declined to provide an exact number of people currently employed by the company as part of the new plan. But the company did say that the plan will be announced this week.
“This is something that we’ve been working on for some time” and “not a one-off,” said one current worker with Amazon. The company has been considering the idea of a “path to work” for some time, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plan was still being worked out.
Another former employee said that the plan was already under discussion, but the company needed to take action because of the shortage of entry-level workers.
Amazon declined to provide estimates of how many workers the company lost because of the change. While Amazon has not provided an exact number of employee departures, people who have spoken with people inside the company said more than 6,000 workers have left Amazon this year.
For Amazon, the plan to hire more workers is “a little puzzling,” said a fifth former Amazon employee, who asked to be identified only as Adam. �