As a recent book by Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek makes clear, Amazon.com is a challenging place to work and get ahead. Every aspect of their performance is measured and workers must prove their worth every day. A new Wall Street Journal piece says that getting hired at the corporate level of the e-tail giant is no walk in the park either.
According to the Journal, Amazon's legendary need for speed when it comes to serving its customers doesn't apply to its recruitment process. The company makes use of "hundreds" of current full-time employees from across the organization to serve as "bar raisers," individuals skilled in evaluating whether prospects not only have the skills necessary to make it at Amazon, but will fit with the corporate culture.
The Journal reports that bar raisers may assess as many as 10 candidates in a week, with two to three hours spent on each. They do this with no additional compensation.
Candidates, according to the report, run an obstacle course of sorts, going through a series of phone interviews and face-to-face meetings. Interviewers write evaluations of the potential employee and then get together to compare notes. When all is said and done, five or six Amazon employees will have spent a couple of hours each evaluating the same applicant.
"You want someone who can adapt to new roles in the company, not just someone who can fill the role that's vacant," said John Vlastelica, a former Amazon employee who helped develop the program. "It can be an expensive process because it takes longer, but think of how expensive it is to hire the wrong person."
Is Amazon.com's process for evaluating and hiring corporate employees more or less thorough than other top companies in retail and related industries?