Amazon is hosting a ‘Career Day’ on Tuesday across six cities — Seattle, Arlington, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Nashville — in a bid to fill more than 30,000 job openings.
The first thing you need to know about Career Day is that Amazon is really excited to meet you. In fact, they’re so excited that Allison Flicker, a Amazon spokesperson, reiterated how excited the company is eight separate times during a 10-minute interview with GeekWire at a media preview Monday afternoon.
The event is billed as an “informational opportunity” rather than a chance to interview for specific jobs. Amazon is pulling back the curtain (on itself) to answer job-seekers’ questions and explain how to approach the job application process.
It’s a high-touch, human process for a company that’s best known for automation.
“Everybody hears little bits and pieces of how [our recruiting process] works and how it would be to work at Amazon. So we want folks to have that kind of one-on-one, personal experience with learning a little bit more about the process,” Flicker said.
About those jobs: there are 31,822 of them, although the exact figure appears to change by the minute. More than 13,000 of the jobs are based in Seattle and Washington state.
“Don’t think of this as just coming for one single job,” said Flicker. “Come to this event knowing that you can learn about a lot of different opportunities that Amazon has to offer and a huge wide variety of opportunities that really no other company can compare to.”
There is a range of job openings — from fulfillment centers to the Prime Air team — but more than a third are in software development or IT. Amazon has added around 300,000 jobs since 2010 and finished the second quarter with a worldwide headcount of 653,300 people, up 13 percent year-over-year. The company is also spending $700 million to retrain about a third of its workforce.
Amazon declined to say how many people had registered for career day. The weather forecast for Seattle, where rain and high winds are expected, may dampen the turnout. But “rain or shine, this event is on,” Flicker said. “If it doesn’t rain a little bit at an event in Seattle, then really what’s the point?”
In inviting people to “come build the future with us,” Amazon also embraced the chance to tout its job-creating prowess, pushing back against the image of the company pushed by democratic presidential front-runners: Bernie Sanders and others have jabbed at the company for not paying federal income taxes; Andrew Yang said the company was responsible for the shuttering of malls and stores across America; Elizabeth Warren has made “breaking up big tech” part of her rallying cry.
When asked if the event was part of a larger public relations effort, Flicker mentioned the company’s long-term commitment to Seattle and its financial support of the public transit system and homelessness nonprofits Mary’s Place and FareStart.
The event has a Prime Day feel to it — except in this case Amazon is the one doing the shopping. It’s also reminiscent of “Amazon Jobs Day,” an event in 2017 that was used to fill 50,000 new positions in its network of warehouses.
But there are some aspects of the day that are decidedly un-Amazon. Dogs, while welcomed in droves at the company’s Seattle headquarters, aren’t invited to Career Day.
The events start in each city at 11:30 a.m. local time and job seekers can register here to attend.