Amazon currently employs 647,000 people worldwide (full-time or part-time), which is 50% more than Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft altogether. Among the US companies, only Walmart, with 2.3 million employees, has more people, but Walmart’s total workforce has not changed significantly in recent years. Amazon is often cited as an incredibly efficient, fast-growing, innovative business. It really changes the world, dictates trends in IT, and sets the pace of the industry. Is working at Amazon a good career choice for you? Let’s figure it out.
What does the employment process look like?
If you open any job search site and look up the career options at Amazon, you will probably find hundreds of ads in different countries of the world. If a certain full-time vacancy has caught your attention, you will have to pass through the employment process. The Amazon hiring process is simple, and almost all is delegated to the computer system:
- You fill out the necessary forms;
- Send screenshots of the documents that you were asked for (usually SSN and driver’s license);
- Allow their security service to check your background;
- Then you come to the office, take a drug test and take a photo;
- After that, you watch videos about harassment, safety in the workplace, corporate code of conduct, use of the phone at your workplace, etc.;
- As soon as you finish with the video, you receive an invitation to the training, which is usually paid;
- Then, you receive an official offer with all the details about the hourly rate, responsibilities, etc.
Amazon pays handymen 17.75 an hour, which is not so bad if the shift is 8 hours. For the first month, you are allowed to work four times a week for four hours. However, during preparations for Christmas and the New Year, when there were a lot of parcels, you could add hours and turn your four into a full-fledged eight working hours.
What does the workflow look like?
All Amazon warehouses are open 24 hours a day. At night, no one sleeps and does not sit idle. If you work as a handyman at one of the Amazon hubs, your workflow usually looks like this:
- You enter the room, pass through the turntable, check the temperature, then check in on a special device;
- Then you need to look at the huge screen and find your data there – where exactly do you work today. After that, you can go to your workplace;
- When entering the Amazon premises, you must wear a mask and a bright vest with reflective stripes;
- Everyone who works for Amazon must download a special A to Z application on their phone, intended only for company employees for internal communication.
Amazon jobs are not automated jobs. Employees have special scanners at their disposal that work like mini-computers. You scan your badge first and start scanning boxes and packages before putting them on the right pallet. The system does not let you make a mistake: each pallet is a different zip code, and if you put the box in the wrong place, the scanner will beep.
Amazon is trying its best to let you know that it values each employee and helps you grow. Indeed, there are bonuses: for example, if you stay in the warehouse for a month, you can change the schedule or location. Worked for three months? You can change positions and, for example, go to a training center where those who have just been hired are trained. Worked for a year? Amazon will pay 95% of the cost of training if it is somehow related to the company’s activities.
However, a seasonal worker can be fired without giving a reason. However, the employee himself can quit very easily – it is enough not to go to work three times and not warn HR about it, and that’s it – your badge is blocked. By the way, it is hard to take a break from work during the day. That is, the warehouse is huge, but there is no place to hide.
Bonuses and benefits
First, you can get a 40K plan on Amazon, there is medical insurance and paid vacation, but that’s all for full-time employees. As for the bonuses, you can also get free t-shirts or shoes for work for $110. They give you access to Zappos, where you can buy, for example, excellent Timberland boots with armor-piercing toes, which perfectly protect your fingers from hits.
There are also 20-minute breaks, not counting lunch (from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the time of day). These breaks are given every two hours and are a good distraction from the monotonous conveyor. You can spend time either in a special area with tables, a microwave, the opportunity to make tea and coffee or buy a chocolate bar or chips. Or you can just sit on a chair in the middle of the warehouse and use your phone, which is what everyone does.
Before Christmas and New Year, Amazon warehouses allow winning free prizes. Someone wins a huge TV with 55 inches diagonal, someone wins a vacuum cleaner, and the other prizes are also very nice.
If you are a student or have decided to grow up to be the head of a warehouse department, then this place is for you. Alternatively, you can also consider other Amazon vacancies, for instance, as an HR or AWS developer. Working for a big company is a big plus for your CV, so if you are currently searching for a job – Amazon can provide plenty of options for people with different backgrounds.