ARLINGTON, Va. — Amazon held career events across the U.S. Tuesday to recruit candidates in the company's business centers in Arlington, Virginia, Boston, Nashville, Dallas, Chicago and Seattle.
In Virginia, it was a recruiting blitz, crowded with candidates and lines out the door. Those candidates waiting for resume reviews or to speak with recruiters in the dimly lit tent could grab something from the tables stocked with water and Amazon snacks — including the company's signature bananas.
Lines snaked around the tent emblazoned with words from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, encouraging candidates to "build yourself a great story."
The career days are part of a larger push for hiring across Amazon's portfolio, from Amazon Web Services and Alexa to Amazon stores and warehouses.
It's Amazon brand building during a time when legislators are making antitrust inquiries and employees are planning protests around climate change. (Ahead of the planned Sept. 20 protests, Amazon announced its Climate Pledge, co-founded with Global Optimism, a commitment to meet Paris climate goals by 2040, 10 years ahead of the initial agreement.)
At the Arlington event, where Amazon is locating its second headquarters, the company received more than 5,000 visitors, Amazon said in a statement. Since Career Day was announced earlier this month, the company has received more than 208,000 applications.
Since Career Day was announced earlier this month, the company has received more than 208,000 applications.
The career event in Virginia attracted "folks across the gamut," with equal draws for AWS, the Alexa design team and HR and corporate affairs, said Ardine Williams, VP of Workforce Development at Amazon, in an interview with HR Dive's sister publication CIO Dive.
While the event brought in people from an array of specialties, the company was not hiring on the spot.
"The real goal is to give people the opportunity to get to know Amazon and to understand the jobs and businesses that are underneath the Amazon umbrella," Williams said. "The next thing that we would expect and hope for is that people are applying."
Amazon's goal is outreach and priming a hiring pipeline. For HQ2, Amazon has 70 employees onboard and according to Williams, the company is on pace to hit 400 by the end of the year.
For some, career day was a prime opportunity, particularly for fresh graduates, armed with internships and neat portfolios.
Esther Wong, a recent graduate from Pepperdine University, was waiting in line to speak with people from AWS.
Having studied computer science and business, Wong wanted to learn the skills required for the cloud giant. "AWS is huge and impacting everything," she told HR Dive's sister publication CIO Dive.
It's also a way for her to stay ahead of the technology curve. Technology is heading to the cloud "and I want to be a part of that next thing," Wong said.
The career day also attracted many mid-career professionals looking for a change — or to tap into the Amazon economy.
The broad portfolio means, an employee could work in different parts of the company without having to change employers, one engineer, who asked not to be named, told HR Dive's sister publication CIO Dive.
The event wasn't without its frustrations, he said. While there to learn about Amazon, he said the company could have accelerated the hiring process and accepted information if a candidate's details matched recruiters' requirements.