Jeff Bezos could be fired from Amazon

Amazon: Executives hire people just to fire them

Amazon managers tell Business Insider that they only hire some employees to fire them again later.

Internally, this practice is called “Hire to Fire”. The pressure on managers to achieve certain corporate goals is huge.

Amazon employees complain that the current performance appraisal system gives managers too much power over their careers.

In the US, Amazon has an internal goal of getting rid of a certain percentage of employees each year. Three managers told Business Insider how much pressure they felt doing it - and why they even hire people only to fire them again later.

“We're hiring people we know we'll be fired just to protect the rest of the team,” reveals a manager who wants to remain anonymous. This practice is referred to by employees as “Hire to Fire”. The pressure on managers to meet their annual sales targets is huge. An important sub-goal is the so-called “unregretted attrition” (URA). A manager's URA goal includes a certain percentage of employees leaving the team - either voluntarily or by resignation.

A spokesman for Amazon denies this practice to Business Insider and claims that the term “hire to fire” is not used in the company.

But research by Business Insider and internal documents show that even the most senior executives at Amazon, including the new CEO Andy Jassy, ​​are pursuing URA goals. Jassy, ​​for example, is expected to drop six percent of its employees each year from its department.

Amazon managers are pressured to achieve these goals. According to a memo previously reported by Business Insider, teams at Amazon Web Services that missed the URA targets in 2020 had to make up the difference in 2021. In other words, if a team has a turnover target of three percent one year but a URA target of five percent, it needs to get rid of seven percent of its employees the following year.

In the case of the web services team, internal reports reported that managers had to send some employees to a performance coaching session called “Focus”. “Focus” is supposed to help Amazon managers get rid of enough employees to achieve their URA goal. The employees who take part in the coaching are often confronted with unrealistic goals and vague expectations. Anyone who fails at “Focus” would be transferred to the next phase of the project called “Pivot” - which can ultimately lead to termination.

Amazon employees report that the current performance appraisal process gives managers a great deal of power over their careers. Managers can put any of their employees on the coaching plan, but it is very difficult to get out of there. The aim is for the employees to quit on their own at some point due to the high objectives and the great pressure.

This text has been translated from English. You can find the original here.