Does Amazon hire certain candidates only to fire them later?

Nick Dimitrov

Nick Dimitrov

07 March, 2022


Do Amazon's hiring managers hire certain candidates only to fire them later, in order to meet their turnover quota?

Hello, everyone, I'm Nick.

Today I'd like to answer the question 'Does Amazon and do Amazon's hiring managers hire certain candidates only to fire them later, in order to meet their turnover quota?'. And the answer to the question is absolutely not. This is a myth that has been propagated by a bunch of online sites and journalists, who are looking for clicks and bombastic headlines.

Amazon does not hire to fire candidates. I repeat that emphatically. There might have been certain outlier cases where that might have happened. Obviously, making a categorical statement that something never occurs would be inaccurate. But I can assure you that hire to fire is not an Amazon practice.

There are three specific data points that quickly come to mind that would make such a practice completely outlandish.

One, at Amazon, new hires are subject to being employed for a certain number of months prior to be eligible for a review. Usually, that's about 12 months of full employment until someone can be eligible to receive a review (a performance review), new stock grants, so on and so forth.

So, frequently (about 50% of the time) a brand new hire would not be eligible for a review, and therefore to be terminated until more than a year and a half after they're hired. So, hiring somebody in order to fire her almost 2 years down the line, would be an incredibly wasteful proposition.

Two, the hiring process at Amazon, as a lot of you know, is built upon the premise of the Bar Raiser having outsized authority in making the hiring decisions. So, if the hiring manager wants to hire somebody who is lowering the bar, in order to let her go at a future point in time, the Bar Raiser would be there to check that practice.

Again, I'm not saying that there's never been a case of a pushy hiring manager working with a weak Bar Raiser, where the hiring manager strong arms the Bar Raiser into hiring a person who would not be raising the bar. But this is definitely not a widespread practice at Amazon.

And three, hiring at Amazon, and also at a lot of other technology companies is hard. It's not unusual for a job opening to exist for 6, 9, 12 months, sometimes even longer. So, if a hiring manager is planning to fill the position, in order to vacate the position, in order to meet a quota, that is an incredibly suboptimal setup.

Because, in the interim, the goals for the team, and for the hiring manager are going to keep going. This person is going to be held accountable for meeting their goals for the month, the quarter, the year. And, hiring and wasting such precious resources in order to let them go, while all these deliverables and pressure continues to build up, is quite wasteful, and it's, in a way, playing not to lose, instead of playing to win. And given all the other alternatives, the opportunity cost of such a practice would be exorbitantly high.

I hope hope this clarifies the issue. Best of luck to you with your Amazon interviews. You got this. Bye bye.

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