Amazon’s Hiring Binge

Amazon.com goes on a hiring binge, adding 28,000 employees over the past twelve months.

amazons-hiring-bingeAmazon.com has gone on a hiring binge in recent months, ramping up a hiring rate that was already leaving most large corporations in its dust. But Amazon’s rapid workforce growth could leave the Internet retail giant well positioned for future opportunities–or possibly overextended, analysts say.

Amazon recently reported that it brought on almost 28,000 new employees in the past year – a 73% increase that brought its total headcount to 65,600 as of the end of March. This increase is the largest increase Amazon has reported for more than a decade.

It is also the culmination of what has been an amazing hiring run over the past few years. Amazon’s more-than-three-fold increase in headcount between 2007 and last year placed it sixth among companies in the S&P 500 index in terms of employee growth rate.

A lot of Amazon’s hiring is occurring at its shipping centers. The company opened 17 facilities last year, and says it plans about 13 more this year–which would bring its total to 82. However, Amazon is also moving into a catalog of businesses ranging from original TV programs to high-fashion retail, with more uncertain futures than its core business of selling and shipping goods.

“We’ll moderate it at some point,” Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said of Amazon’s hiring pace. “But given the growth that we’re experiencing right now, we are investing and we’re making sure we have the right resources.”

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