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19 people found this helpful

I would stop my friends from working here, unless I really hated my friends

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Senior Recruiter in Seattle, WA
Current Employee - Senior Recruiter in Seattle, WA

I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than a year)

Pros

* Good experience for a junior recruiter looking to learn the ropes -- suck it up for 2-3 years

* Great for an agency recruiter to make the transition to corporate

* The business (in theory) has ownership over the recruiting process ((in theory, recruiting is not a back office function)

* Take your dog to work

* The pay is okay, but you have to negotiate for it (including an additional week of vacation in the first year. And go for a high salary because you won't want to stay long enough to get your stock.)

Cons

* Recruiting leadership at the executive level is non-existent. There are a number of peers and no one on the "leadership team" is having the tough discussions about how to build a scalable recruiting org. They openly dislike each other so the opportunity to build a world class recruiting org is lost. The solution continues to be "hire more recruiters" rather than build a flexible, scalable org with the right recruiters and leadership.

* Recruiting leadership at the business level is poor. There's favoritism, lack of transparency, lack of strategic direction, no investment in the development of current team members, plus avoidance of conflict and lack of pushing back on the business. In Retail recruiting, morale is worse than it has been in years.

* HR does not value recruiting.

* Retention is terrible and you won't be able to develop and get promoted without a strong manager being supportive of your promotion. So you're basically screwed.

* There is an absolutely enormous amount of duplicate work because of the poor org structure.

* There is an absolutely enormous amount of internal competition (and by competition I mean fighting) over candidates -- tech recruiting is the worst and if you are a tech recruiter your career will be ruined working here.

* You have to work in three ATS programs that don't integrate well (this is the most manually administrative job I've had in my entire15 year career). This is the worst reporting I've seen in my career. For a metrics-driven company, everything has to be done manually. Crazy.

* In appropriate/unethical things go on but there is no where to turn because upon starting you are told that "HR for HR" is terrible and not to trust them with anything. Wait? You're in an HR function and you're told not to trust your HR person? Disgraceful, yet true. So sad.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

* Recruiting is broken because of lack of leadership-- hire a VP of global talent acquisition IMMEDIATELY and allow them to do their job.

* Have a tough discussion on recruiting org structure and fix it. Centralize some sourcing. Centralize research. Standardize process across businesses. Ensure compliance.

* Audit the quality of recruiting leadership and hire/fire as needed. Assess morale on each team. Assign new HR for HR for recruiting in order to earn trust and work on fixing what's broken.

* Make candidate experience a priority. If we treated our candidates like customers, we would allow them to decide on their career path, rather than secretly fighting over tech candidates who get no say about the job they are interviewed for. Craziness.

* Standardize metrics across the org -- time to fill, conversion rates, etc. -- and get an ATS that will actually report on it. Hundreds of recruiters reporting manually because the three systems we have don't work is a huge waste of salary time.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO
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  1. 16 people found this helpful

    Stock price tripled while I was there; lots of hard work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    By far the biggest pro is the stock price: stock tripled while I was there. Also, at Amazon I had the chance to to work with some of the most dedicated and hardest working individuals in my life. This can be good or bad, but I am putting in the Pros: everyone I worked with at Amazon is very smart.

    If you work incredibly long hours after a few years you may get promoted. And if the stock price is moving in your favor, this could be a big chunk of change in your pocket.

    Cons

    I also had the opportunity to work with some of the meanest, most selfish, most back stabbing individuals in my life. Lots of stress and turnover.

    I am putting the following on the cons (for some people it may be a pro) - Amazon is a high performance, high energy company. This means lots of long hours; once you are not performing you will be out the door in 3-4 months no questions asked. This applies to new hires as well as "tenured" employees.

    I am also putting this in the cons (for some people it may be a pro) - as you stay in the job and as you are performing, your job will get progressively harder and harder and your responsibilities will progressively increase. But you not get any pay increase or bonus for years to come.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to people who are thinking to work for Amazon - read the job description carefully. This will be what you will do for the first couple of quarters. After that, the job will become progressively harder, and harder. Compare that with what you get from other companies and make up your decision.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 76 people found this helpful

    Face paced, ever changing company with a start up feel and plenty of room to explore and learn.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com

    Pros

    FOCUS ON COMMUNICATION: Amazon does a good job communicating at the employee level. At many large comanies, the sheer size of the company means things slow down. Amazon does a great job focusing on communication tools to ensure information is disciminated as needed. Use of email, OCS, IRC, multiple ticking systems, and ancilary tools to find people help ensure information can get to where it needs to be now.

    OWNERSHIP OF TASKS: Each department has authority to do what it needs to do without excessive input from management. Even during major issues, regular employees can make the call to execute large scale solutions without having to go to management for approval. Teams themselves own day to day tasks and are responsible for them, often operating as a small business within the company . This allows each team to support their internal customers quickly with out office politics and meddling by multiple levels of management.

    LEARNING ABILITY: There is so much to do that after 1 or 2 years in a position, you are encouraged to move to another department if you so desire. This allows you to take your current skills, build on them, and grow into a new job. However, if you decide to stay put, technology changes so rapidly that you'll be constantly learning new programming skills, new operating systems, and new tools.

    MANAGEMENT OF POOR PERFORMERS: Up or out. It's that simple. Not performing, improve or you're gone. Poor performers cannot hide and are not tolerated. Managers have to fight for their employees every year and explain why everyone is valuable and should stay. If you don't perform, you'll be at the bottom of the pool and looking for your next job.

    KNOWLEDGEABLE CO-WORKERS: Although Amazon does not focus on education but multiple factors in hiring, it seems as if most people have advanced degrees. Not just that, but everyone is a super-star. If you think you know all there is to know about your job and are the top person in your company, Amazon will show you there are plenty of people better than you. That provides the drive for employees to learn, grow, and improve.

    FOCUS ON EMPLOYEES: Of course, this depends on the department as well. But, most departments do a great job of focusing on employees. Many jobs can be stressful and hectic at times. But, management takes care of their employees. Some teams have a cereal breakfast bar available every day, a Friday afternoon happy hour with food, beer, and wine (yes, in the office!), and quarterly fun events / outings. This is in addition to the Director or VP walking the cubes just to pop in and say hi and see how things are going.

    Cons

    DRIVE TO PERFORM: There is a constant drive to perform and produce. What you did last year or last month no longer matters. What benefit will you contribute to the company this week? If your answer is "I want to sit back and relax", this isn't the place for you. The drive to perform can be overwhelming for some as it requires constant work and improvement.

    POOR DOCUMENTATION: Amazon is a software company that moves fast. Documentation is an after thought. That causes problems when you don't understand something. Granted, there are internal help documents that any employee can create or update, but that doesn't get done regularly. You'll have to have a keen eye at understanding that a document from 4 years ago that contrasts a document from another department from 2 years ago may be 1/4 right and the new document 1/4 wrong. And, I guarantee once you figure it out, you probably won't go back and update the documentation for the next guy.

    A LITTLE TO FAST PACED: Things happen so rapidly that it is sometimes counter productive. That software you just wrote or the fix you are being asked to do may only be in production for 2 months. Then you'll have to completely rewrite it. Amazon uses the excuse of the sheer size of operations to justify projects that only have a life span of a couple of months.

    ONCALL: Not use to on-call? Get use to it. No matter who you are you WILL be on-call at sometime. Some teams make it easier by having a "follow the sun" approach (you might be on for 12 hours during the day and someone in India on for 12 hours during your night time). Others give you a day off to "compensate" you for having to work on the weekend. Regardless, if you don't think you will be on-call or don't think you'll get paged, change your mind set - it will happen!

    FRUGALITY: One of Amazon's core tenants. However, it almost goes to far sometimes. You'll have everything you need to do your job (pens, markers, computers, even multiple monitors if you're in the right job slots), but don't expect other employee perks like free shirts, a mug, or something else. Think of it this way - if it doesn't directly benefit the customer, it's not going to happen. So that "company wide free day off because you're so cool" - nope. A nice Christmas present? Ha. Your anniversary gift - well at 5 and 10 years each you get a new badge, but that's it.

    Do I like it here? YES. Are the "cons" worth the benefits? HECK YEA. Will I get burned out? Most likely, but at lest in the mean time I'll have fun and make history.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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