UPDATED 20:22 EST / OCTOBER 04 2022

POLICY

Amazon puts the brakes on corporate hiring in its retail business until next year

Amazon.com Inc. has stopped hiring any new workers for its retail business for the rest of the year as part of its efforts to ride out an increasingly rough economic climate that has slowed its sales growth.

The hiring freeze relates to corporate and technology positions within Amazon’s retail business, which accounts for the vast majority of the company’s sales, the New York Times said in a report today. However, it’s not a total ban on new hires.

Amazon’s profitable cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, is not included, and neither is the company’s warehouse network. Student hiring and field positions are also said to be exempt from the pause.

Amazon hasn’t made any official statement, but the Times reportedly saw an internal memo sent to Amazon recruiters. The company is apparently trying to frame things differently, as the memo told recruiters not to tell potential candidates that it’s temporarily pausing new hires. It also said that any open positions would be closed soon.

However, Amazon is currently planning to resume hiring after the new year. The Times noted that any candidates who were interviewed before Oct. 15 can still be offered a position, but they wouldn’t be able to start until 2023. Amazon reportedly had about 20,000 openings within its retail business before the hiring freeze was initiated.

Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told the Times that the company still has a “significant number” of open positions available across its various businesses. “We have many different businesses at various stages of evolution, and we expect to keep adjusting our hiring strategies in each of these businesses at various junctures,” he said.

In other words, the situation appears to remain fluid. That said, Amazon notably canceled its annual “career day” event, which was due to take place in September. Traditionally, Amazon uses its career day to recruit about 10,000 new workers each year.

Amazon isn’t alone among big tech companies that have revisited their hiring policies in an effort to reduce costs. Last month, Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company was also going to stop hiring new staff, and admitted that it may even reduce its total headcount in 2023.

Amazon’s hiring freeze is just the latest measure put in place by CEO Andy Jassy in response to the company’s slowest growth in more than 20 years. Slowing retail sales and rising costs are eating into Amazon’s profits, and Jassy has responded by closing some of its facilities and delaying the opening of new buildings. Amazon has also reportedly closed almost all of its U.S.-based call centers, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.

Photo: Amazon

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