Amazon’s headcount jumped to 575,700 people worldwide in the second quarter, but that figure isn’t rising as fast as it has in recent years.
Headcount is still up 50 percent over a year ago, a remarkable figure for a company this size, but a lot of that came when Amazon integrated Whole Foods Market and its 87,000 employees into the company late last year. Year-to-date, headcount is only up about 2 percent, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said on a call with reporters Thursday.
Olsavsky explained that Amazon has slowed its external hiring in favor of filling some positions with internal transfers.
“What we are doing is probably hiring and transferring more people internally in the last six months, so the net hiring hasn’t been driven by external hiring, it’s been more by internal transfers and re-leveling in some areas and seeing where we maybe need to add back,” Olsavsky said.
On a separate call with analysts, Olsavsky said he doesn’t necessarily see this hiring practice as a long-term trend but it “certainly creates a lot of operating efficiencies.”
Amazon has 18,268 open positions listed on its jobs website as of Thursday afternoon. More than a third of them are for Amazon Web Services. Olsavsky added that the company is hiring aggressively for the Alexa and Echo teams as well as the video department.