Amazon, facing tight labor market, wants to lure parents back to workforce

Amazon, facing tight labor market, wants to lure parents back to workforce

Amazon has huge plans for hiring, corresponding to including 150,000 employees this vacation season alone. However as its hiring targets come up in opposition to a tight U.S. labor market, the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer is rolling out a brand new recruitment strategy: interesting to parents, particularly mothers, who’ve left the workforce through the pandemic. 

Amazon on Wednesday mentioned it’s debuting a program called Amazon FamilyFlex, which it mentioned supplies versatile scheduling to assist staff stability work and residential life, enabling them to handle last-minute physician’s appointments for youths or the necessity to keep dwelling if a toddler is sick. It is also touting its longstanding advantages, corresponding to being pregnant and parental depart, to persuade employees to come off the sidelines. 

Employers throughout the nation are facing a scarcity of employees attributable to a fancy combine of things, starting from earlier-than-expected retirements for child boomers to the departure of thousands and thousands of ladies from the workforce after the pandemic shuttered in-person colleges and daycare. Amazon mentioned its new FamilyFlex plan is designed to maintain ladies within the workforce whereas additionally reaching out to parents nonetheless on the sidelines because the pandemic continues. 

“We know that the pandemic has had a tremendously disparate impact on women in the workplace. Depending on what data you look at, the numbers look like up to several millions of women who left the workforce or who are sitting on the sidelines,” mentioned Ardine Williams, vice chairman of workforce growth at Amazon. 

And a latest survey discovered that 3 of 4 ladies are considering of leaving their jobs, she added.

“For us, as the second-largest employer in the U.S., this is really worrisome,” Williams informed CBS MoneyWatch. 

Firms throughout industries are boosting wages and including advantages to entice and keep staff, with Amazon amongst them. In September, the retailer boosted its common beginning wage to $18 an hour for 125,000 new hires in transportation and achievement jobs. That very same month, it mentioned it might roll out free tuition for all 750,000 of its hourly staff, a profit provided by retail rivals corresponding to Walmart and Goal.

Regardless of extra beneficiant pay and advantages, the labor market stays smaller than prior to the pandemic, creating headwinds for employers each huge and small. On Amazon’s convention name final week, CFO Brian Olsavsky referred to as the labor scarcity “our primary capacity constraint.”

No time for restroom

Amazon hasn’t been referred to as a touchy-feely employer: Earlier this yr it apologized for denying that its supply drivers typically have to pee in bottles as a result of they do not all the time have time to cease to use a restroom. 

However Amazon is now highlighting wages and advantages that Williams mentioned present “good jobs” to Individuals. Aggressive wages, advantages and profession paths inside Amazon may “encourage these folks sitting on the sidelines to return to work,” she added. 

The corporate mentioned its FamilyFlex plan permits staff to maintain the identical schedule week-after-week, which might make it simpler for planning round household schedules, whereas additionally enabling employees to swap shifts on the final minute if one thing comes up with their households. That choice is now accessible to 500,000 supply and warehouse employees, and the corporate mentioned it plans to develop it to extra staff. 

Amazon can be providing “Anytime Shifts,” which is a versatile choice that permits some staff to choose the time and sort of shift that fits their schedule. The corporate mentioned it at present has about 23,000 open roles that include that profit. 

“The purpose of FamilyFlex is to really make it easier for women — and for parents or anyone with caregiving responsibilities — to schedule in a way that makes sense for them,” Williams mentioned. “It’s a workforce situation that says we need to leverage all the population we have available.”

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