Understanding Amazon’s Hire to Fire Policy

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Understanding Amazon’s Hire to Fire Policy
30 Mar 2022
6 min read

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Hire to Fire is the most feared term among the freshers and people looking for a job change, but unfortunately, the harsh reality is; this policy is used by organizations with much more frequency than you think they do, and even giants like Amazon are also assumed to be the part of this unethical practice. #TWN

What is Hire to Fire policy?

Hire to fire is nothing but a concept is to hire only those people you know that you are going to fire eventually in the future. This policy is used much more often by companies than you think. What are the benefits of doing soo, you may ask? There are tons of benefits; first, a newly hired employee is cheap, you are required to provide your employees with a raise after some time, but when you hire a new employee, you can hire them on the initial salary for that position. 

Second, The blame game. Sometimes, the people in a senior position use the junior employees as a shield for their mess. 

You will be surprised to know that even Amazon has been blamed for using this policy. However, we are not here to give any judgment. We are here just to inform you about everything that we came across while doing our research, and everything stated in this blog is all statements and observations. We neither accept nor deny anything and neither are we making any claims. They are all statements.

Ok, I think I have given enough disclaimer. Now, allow me to provide you with the information regarding Amazon Hire To Fire Policy.

Amazon’s Hire To Fire Policy

Amazon has been indicted for hiring workers only to let them go within a time. According to a recent report, several directors working with the e-commerce giant have said that they've to do this to meet their internal turnover. The controversial practice is called “hire-to-fire" internally. Three directors at Amazon have reportedly said that they faced tremendous pressure to meet the annual turnovers, known as unregretted attrition (URA), that they hired workers to fire them so that they could save the rest of the department.

As outlined in the report by Business Insider, The actuality of the practice in some units of the company has the eventuality of fuelling controversial morals and practices. As per internal documents that the publication said it had attained. Indeed most elderly Amazon directors, including incoming CEO Andy Jassy, carefully track their URA pretensions. The publication quoted; the illustration of the Amazon Web Services brigades that fell suddenly of URA pretensions in 2020 and were needed to make up the difference in 2021, as per a company memo it assessed. Still, in a statement to the publication, Amazon's spokesperson denied that the company hires workers intending to fire them. The speaker also said Amazon doesn't use the expression “hire-to-fire.” 

Since the report was published, Amazon workers have started speaking about the practice on online forums. On Y Combinator's Hacker News forum, a person with the username “ throwawaySlu,” who claimed to be working as a star software development mastermind at Amazon, said the company's weakest link was its directors. Competent software development directors (SDMs) are “ far and few,” the person added, explaining in detail how numerous SDMs demanded specialized depth and how able masterminds “ are thrown under the machine” because of unskillful directors. 

Another stoner, Vanusa, thanked the person who spoke about the issues at Amazon and said, “ Thanks, seriously, for sharing. Just hope you do not get, uh,‘ plant out by the wrong SDM." 

A third user, Tamzn, said, “ I am an SDM, and I do agree that there's a lot of compass for intruding up people's careers at this position, whether through incapacity or malignancy."

A fourth user called Etempleton said that these kinds of issues lead to “ hostile and manipulative work surroundings” and added, “ it may get short-term results, but in the long-term, it creates a horrible work environment.” 

Indeed on Reddit, there was a discussion on the content, “ Some Amazon directors say they'll hire to fire people just to meet the internal development thing every time.” 

A user, Kabdib, said that an analogous thing happed at “ Microsoft during the Ballmer ( former CEO) reign as well, where a team would hire ten percenters and also fire them to cover the ‘ real' team.” 

Another user, luv2fit, said that this culture stems from the belief that “ you should continually trim the bottom 10 percent of your force every time and bring in a new gift.” The user went on to add that though this works well for a couple of times, “ after that you start cutting precious subject matter experts.”

Talking about a director at a tech company tutoring “ the ropes of putting a platoon together,” AwareParking said, “ My director casually told me the last spot was for the person we were going to hire also fire." 

Also Read: How Falguni Nayar Broke the Glass Ceiling for Women Entrepreneurs


If you ask my opinion, I'll say whatever we have heard about Amazon; if it is true, then it seems to be unethical, but if all the fuss is about nothing, then the respect that I had for Amazon will remain intact. Look, I freely admit that my people operation experience is limited to much lower brigades than the 1.3 million workers at Amazon, but something seems off about hiring someone just so you can fire them latterly. It just seems wrong. 

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