Posted September 18, 2021 by Mark Perna
To keep staffing levels healthy amid a record labor shortage, Amazon is hosting a career advice livestream event and offering hourly workers a full ride at their college of choice. Mark’s article, “Amazon To Hire 40,000 U.S. Workers—If They Can Get Them In The Door,” published at Forbes.com on September 13, 2021.
On Wednesday, September 15, Amazon CareerDay will launch in the U.S. At this interactive event, Amazon will livestream career-focused content and advice from recruiters and industry leaders. Participants also have the opportunity to book a career coaching session with an Amazon recruiter.
Via Amazon CareerDay, which is open to anyone, the company hopes to source candidates for more than 40,000 open corporate and tech positions across the U.S., along with tens of thousands of hourly Amazon Operations network jobs.
Amazon CareerDay follows on the heels of a big statement the company made last week, when Amazon announced that it will cover 100% of its hourly workers’ college tuition, fees and textbooks. The retail giant, which has already hired 500,000 employees since 2020, is working hard to keep staffing levels healthy amid a record labor shortage that topped 10 million unfilled positions this summer.
So will these aggressive talent sourcing strategies pay off? Only if Amazon is able to bridge the skills gap by not just attracting skilled workers, but also creating them.
Amazon is just one of many companies that are getting creative in solving their talent needs, but the pool of skilled workers to pull from seems to be shrinking.
The talent shortage facing America today started long before the pandemic. As much as the COVID has reshaped our lives, we were already headed for a workforce crisis as a “silver tsunami” of retiring Baby Boomers exits the workforce. The skills gap—which is simply the divide between the skills employers want to hire and what the pool of available talent can actually bring—is expanding.
While bold recruiting strategies like Amazon’s CareerDay and free college will certainly yield results in the short term, we need a longer-term solution to not just pull talent from the pool, but expand the pool. Companies must find a way to transform unskilled workers into highly skilled, competent employees who are empowered to grow their abilities and careers.
To reap the benefits of such a workforce, business must stop expecting the talent to come to them—and instead start “home growing” it in-house. Skilled workers are made, not born.
As the Baby Boomers ride off into the sunset of retirement, Millennials are projected to make up 75% of the American workforce by 2025. And don’t forget the up-and-coming Generation-Z.
The future of the workforce is young. Young talent will power every business, from the mega corporations like Amazon to small startups. So what do younger workers want?
As the talent wars heat up, companies that deliver in these four areas will have an advantage. It’s to be hoped that staffing levels will soon settle into a more normal pattern. But even when they do, the skills gap will continue to impede our productivity and potential.
The challenge for Amazon and every other business in America is clear: we can’t just find more skilled workers. We have to create them.