Most people are familiar with Amazon.com, one of the major online retailers in the U.S. The company had approximately $136 billion in sales in 2016 and had approximately 341,400 employees. Amazon’s products go out to over 310 million customers around the world. It was the most popular online store in the country in 2016, at least in part due to its wide variety of available products. Books and movies are among the most popular products available. With all these sales, Amazon is continually needing to open up more fulfillment centers to meet the demand. One of the areas of the country that’s benefiting from this growth is Dallas, TX.
Locations and Employees
Amazon opened a regional office in Dallas, Texas in 2014 when they leased four floors of Two Galleria Tower and doubled their office space in the area in 2017 with the lease of an additional five floors in Three Galleria Tower. The company also has numerous fulfillment centers located in and around the Dallas area including those in Dallas itself, Fort Worth, Haslet, Coppell, and Schertz. It also has centers in San Antonio, Irving, and Houston. The fulfillment centers of Amazon in Dallas and the surrounding area employ more than 9,000 people, even though a portion of the fulfillment work is done by robots. Most of these fulfillment centers handle orders that just contain relatively small items, such as toys, books, movies, and electronics. Approximately 75 percent of Amazon employees work in the fulfillment centers.
For non-warehouse employees, the hiring process at Amazon is quite involved. People typically have to go to at about five different interviews, each of which takes between two and three hours. During the interviews, they are usually asked difficult questions to see if they’d be able to raise the productivity level of the existing employees. The first one or two of these interviews may be over the phone rather than in person interviews. Interviews involve multiple people, including those known as bar raisers, who are current employees who spend about 20 hours per week interviewing potential candidates. These bar raisers can veto any candidate if they don’t feel he or she would be a good fit or add to the organization. The whole employment process takes a few weeks for these positions. At the end of the interview process, people are told why they shouldn’t work for the company before they make their final decision to make sure they know what they’re getting into since Amazon is known for working their employees very hard. The process is streamlined and a lot easier for warehouse employees, who take an online assessment and a drug test and then supply their shift availability. When there is availability for a position, they’re notified and can complete the employment process, filling out any remaining paperwork and getting a start date. Potential employees need to have a high school diploma, access to a computer with internet access and a personal email address. All applications are typically done online.
The jobs available from the company come along with a pretty substantial benefits package. Employees who work full-time get company stock awards after working for the company for two years, healthcare coverage with part of the deductible covered by the company to make it more affordable, and 401(k) benefits matched at about 2 percent of salary. Employees get a discount on Amazon products and mobile phones. Paid vacation is only about two weeks per year when employees first start working at the company. Employees are also eligible for up to 95 percent tuition toward programs that help prepare people for some of the most in-demand careers, even if these aren’t at all relevant to any job Amazon offers. This tuition is prepaid, not a reimbursal, making it easier for people to learn the skills they need for a higher paying job and a better career. Amazon also pays wages that are up to 30 percent more than employees could expect to get from a traditional retail store. As of 2016, they expanded their family leave options, giving new dads up to six weeks of paid leave and new moms up to 20 along with an option to gradually return to work. However, these benefits are only for permanent employees, not employees hired on a temporary or contract basis.