Amazon’s Christmas Hiring Explosion

By Julian Thumm | 22 Oct 2015

In the wake of a New York Times exposé on worker conditions, Amazon is set to hire a crazy number of seasonal staff to help deal with the increased demand over the Christmas period.

Amazon has announced that it is creating 100,000 seasonal positions across its US fulfilment centres to meet Christmas demand. Amazon has also hired tens of thousands of regular full-time employees in the lead up to the holiday period.

In the wake of a bruising exposé on the company’s apparently brutal workplace culture published in the New York Times, Amazon looked to be in full damage control mode while making the announcement.

“We’ve hired more than 25,000 full-time associates across the US in recent months and we’re looking forward to adding 100,000 seasonal employees for the upcoming holiday season,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations.

In the press release announcing the Christmas hiring, Amazon was careful to lay out in detail the “competitive wages and comprehensive benefits” available for its full-time employees, including healthcare, stock and bonuses, as well as the opportunity to take college classes, industry certification courses and business seminars onsite.

The number of seasonal hires is up 25 percent on last year, when the world’s largest online retailer hired 80,000 temporary workers.

So how do other major retailers stack up compared with Amazon’s massive seasonal hiring burst? Wal-Mart is looking to hire 60,000 seasonal staff, with Target US taking on 70,000 and Macy’s aiming for 85,000, with those figures all roughly in line with the previous year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is continuing to expand its fulfilment infrastructure as it seeks to speed deliveries and lower shipping costs. In order to meet its massive Christmas logistics goals, Amazon has grown to 173 facilities worldwide, up from 155 warehouses last year.

In July, Amazon surpassed Wal-Mart as the world’s biggest retailer by market value after a surprise second-quarter profit sent stock prices skyward. While innovation remains Amazon’s calling card—and seems to keep investors happy—the retailer has continued to struggle with its workplace image.

 

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