Business

Amazon needs warehouse workers so badly it is sending recruiters to American high schools

Business Insider US
Amazon is reportedly planning on sending an army of recruiters to schools across the country.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • Amazon is seeking to recruit recent American high school graduates before the northern-hemisphere summer break.
  • The Information reported that the company intends to send recruiters to schools across the US.
  • A spokesperson told Insider that the move is "one of many hiring efforts across the company."
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Amazon is looking to unlock yet another US labour recruitment pool: recent American high school graduates.

The Information reported on Tuesday that the tech giant plans to send recruiters to high schools in the US and Canada. Back in December, The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that Amazon is planning to set up "mock fulfilment centres in high schools to plant the seeds of future careers." The media reports also indicated that Amazon will look to entice young recruits with large bonuses, college tuition benefits, and salaries well above the federal minimum wage.

Amazon's high school recruiting efforts are nothing new, according to Amazon spokesperson Lisa Campos. The company had made similar efforts pre-pandemic, Campos said, but was forced to cancel recruitment forays into schools when Covid-19 set in. Now with the northern hemisphere summer of 2022 coming up and the company's offering of a reinvigorated college tuition benefit, the tech giant is looking to attract high school graduates.

"We're always looking for great employees and this is one of many hiring efforts across the company," Amazon spokesperson Lisa Campos said in a statement to Insider. "We're proud to be an employer of choice for graduating high school students who often join Amazon because of our industry-leading benefits and opportunities for growth and promotion. Through programs like Career Choice, Amazon empowers employees to get the education and training they need to grow their careers at Amazon and beyond."

According to The Information's Mike Di Stefano, "each of Amazon's recruitment units, which handle hiring for up to 50 local warehouses and fulfillment centers," are striving to visit "at least one high school" before North America's summer school holidays. Amazon has characterised the strategy as less of a new tack and more of one of many different hiring pushes the company is continuing to explore.

This isn't Amazon's first recent foray into a high school environment, though. Vice reported that in 2019, a high school in San Bernardino, California established a logistics class in collaboration with the company called "Amazon Logistics and Business Management Pathway." The company has also established benefits that could be enticing for high schoolers looking to save for college, including an agreement to pay the full cost of college tuition for more than 750,000 US hourly workers.

The recent press reports around Amazon's latest recruitment strategies have linked the moves to some of the company's hiring struggles. A New York Times investigation found that Amazon suffers from a high turnaround rate, with hourly workers racking up a a turnover rate of about 150% every year. Another recent report found that the company's rate of serious workplace injuries jumped 15% in 2021. But Amazon stressed that its recruitment campaign is not connected to the tight labor market or its turnover rate, and is more about meeting prospective employees where they are.

"Amazon is a stronger company because of the diversity of our workforce — our employees come from a variety of backgrounds and with varying levels of experience and education," Campos said in a statement sent to Insider.

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