Over the summer, Amazon converted most of the 175,000 temporary workers to permanent employees and ended additional pay increases for all workers. It has since continued with waves of hiring.
The company also nearly tripled the number of U.S. warehouses used for last mile deliveries this year, said Marc Wulfraat, founder of logistics consultancy MWPVL International, which tracks Amazon operations. Delivery drivers are typically contractors, so Amazon does not disclose their numbers in regulatory filings.
“They’ve been building their own inverter over the past few years,” Wulfraat said. “This rate of change has never been seen before.”
Ms Williams said Amazon has also forged relationships with companies that are downsizing, such as Uber, American Airlines and Marriott, to promote its recruitment.
“We dedicated a group that was just connecting with organizations that put in time off, whether it’s temporary or permanent,” she said. “This has allowed us to hire a skilled and quality workforce, and transfer it very quickly and easily to appropriate opportunities at Amazon.”
The effort was aided by 1,000 tech workers who create software for Amazon’s human resources teams, numerous building portals, and algorithms that automate hiring, she said. Future employees can find jobs, apply and be hired entirely online, without speaking to a single person.
To grow that much, Amazon must also think long term, Ms. Williams said. As a result, she said, the company was already working with preschools to lay the groundwork for technology education, so that “as our demand for recruiting unfolds over the next 10 years, this pipeline is there and ready.
Michael Corkery contributed reporting from New York.