Amazon HR staff shift from hiring to looking for work themselves

With job cuts mounting in the tech industry and beyond, even Amazon recruiters are activating LinkedIn’s green “open for work” badges before they’ve been formally laid off.

With job cuts mounting in technology, finance, and other industries, why wait to get laid off when you can jump straight to being hired?

The move, called “career buffering,” involves lining up a Plan B while you’re still fully employed, especially when job cuts are imminent. Usually this is done discreetly, perhaps a networking call made over lunch or taking time to connect with old colleagues.

Some Inc. employees go a step further and publicly post that they are #OpenToWork on LinkedIn while still employed by the company. Everything is available for everyone, including your bosses and the bosses’ bosses to see.

One of those Amazons is Kayla Look, recruiting coordinator. In an interview, Look said her anxiety was running high when her layoffs were announced in November: Her vacation was coming up, she had just graduated from college the year before, and she was planning a wedding. Expenses and uncertainty were mounting.

The concern began when the Seattle-based company had a hiring freeze a couple of weeks earlier. He thought he could relax when he survived the initial round of job cuts, but when the company said it would cut 18,000 jobs, instead of the initial 10,000, the sense of relief evaporated.

I knew it was time to be proactive. “It has been two and a half months since the concern of being fired began,” she said. “I’m tired of being anxious.” Her managers don’t know any more than she does, so there’s no one to answer her questions, she said.

Amazon says it was a “tough decision” to cut jobs.

“We do not make these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they could affect the lives of those affected,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in the latest note about the upcoming cuts, which will focus especially on your People. Department of , Experience and Technology. “We are working to support those affected and provide packages that include a severance pay, transitional health insurance benefits and outside job placement support.” Amazon declined to comment further.

When one of Look’s team managers posted that he was #OpenToWork on LinkedIn last week, it was like a green light. “She’s one of my leaders, I should follow her if she doesn’t seem to trust our odds,” she said. “Because I’m still new to the workforce, I felt like if I do this, I’m not showing loyalty and therefore I’m going to get cut. But no, she reassured me that it’s okay to take care of yourself.”

The banner, which LinkedIn introduced in 2020 after the Covid-19 hit, has become an increasingly common sight on the platform as layoffs spread through the tech industry.

Although he wants to stay at Amazon ultimately, Look has been sending out resumes.

Robin Ryan, who works as a career consultant across the lake from the e-commerce giant and has advised many people looking to join (or leave) the company, says she sees the posts as a kind of pushback, a way of saying ” Hello”. , I can go elsewhere.’”

At Amazon, which has 1.5 million employees, the recruiter’s job is challenging: “The turnover there is incredible. Most of it is quitting, it’s a very stressful place to work,” Ryan said. Recruiters have many roles to perform, many of which are highly technical and involve extensive and rigorous interviewing.

Those subject to months of uncertainty tend to feel some resentment, Ryan said. And like Look, many in recruiting are entry-level professionals who don’t receive the huge salaries experienced engineers earn. After rent, car payments, and other expenses, they often don’t have much left, making the prospect of losing their job that much more daunting.

Look’s was one of more than half a dozen #OpenToWork posts from current Amazon employees seen by Bloomberg News. Other employees, some of whom have accepted voluntary purchases, wrote similar messages last month.

“In this case, you’re trying to bring people into the organization and you just got kicked out,” Ryan said.

Look is hopeful that the waiting game will soon come to an end. “They are supposed to start sending letters next week,” she said. “Honestly, I’m excited about it, because I’m ready to know if I’m here or not so I can move on.”

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