4 Recruitment Ideas You Can Pinch from Amazon

If you're going to pinch some recruitment ideas, you might as well pinch them from the best! Check out this blog post to find out how Amazon find prime candidates!

June 20, 2023

Back by popular demand!

Having recently taken a look at the recruitment processes used by Apple and Sony, I decided to move away from the tech industry and focus this piece on one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies.

Founded by Jeff Bezos on 5th July 1994, Amazon has established itself as the ‘go to’ place for online shopping.

Whether you need a kitchen appliance or a new PlayStation controller, Amazon has helped big brands like Apple and Sony distribute their tech to a wider audience.

As a platform for business success and a slice of digital consumer heaven, Amazon has built their brand using top professionals from around the world.

But the question is; how did they find them?

To give you an idea of how they attract the best candidates, I’ve put together some of their best campaigns and ideas which might just inspire your next recruitment drive.

1. Find a match

For many singletons out there, this first recruitment idea might just steal your heart.

In 2015, Amazon launched an advertising campaign on the dating app, Tinder.

Using the headline “WE ARE HIRING ENGINEERS!” and the call to action to swipe right, young and single professionals could obtain more information about this exciting career opportunity.

So instead of finding a partner, they could find a job they love instead. (Not a bad replacement eh?!)

While this method of advertisement is extremely unorthodox and doesn’t capture other capable, loved up professionals, it certainly made Amazon stand out.

As a brand, it showed their playful side and tells a candidate that it’s a fun place to work. This is extremely important if you want to attract the best young professionals.

After all, who wants to work for a dull company without any character?

Recruiter pro tip With the average human attention span falling from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds since the meteoric rise of mobile phone technology, getting your job advert seen can be extremely challenging. That’s why it’s vital to include the right keywords and advertise on the right platforms. To discover more ways of getting your job advertisement seen, take a look at our recent blog: ‘8 Ways to Boost Your Online Job Advert’s Reach.’

2. Take your time

The Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezo, previously told Fast Company that he’d “rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.”

As business owners, recruiters or HR professionals, it’s easy to cut the recruitment process short to ensure you get someone in quickly.

However, does that mean you’ve found the right person to drive you forward?

At Amazon, every candidate going for a high-end job goes through five, two hour-long interviews.

Yes, five!

And if any of the top employees have an objection to Amazon hiring a certain candidate, they can immediately veto their application.

Granted, this is an extremely intense process used by Amazon. But it’s worth remembering their principle of quality over speed in the process.

When it comes to your recruitment push, take your time and feel free to carry out two interviews with a task set as well.

Hiring the wrong person will only waste more time in the long-run.

So see your recruitment process as a lengthy (but worthwhile) quest to find the right candidate for the foreseeable future.

3. Challenge your candidates

You’ll find most of your candidates will have prepped for an interview by formulating certain answers for particular questions in their heads.

So why not throw in a curveball?

An article from Business Insider revealed the weird and wonderful difficult questions Amazon use on some of their candidates.

Some of my favourites include “Describe what Human Resource means to you” and “How do you detect whether or not a word is a palindrome?”

By implementing some challenging questions into the interview process, you’ll be able to quickly identify the top candidates who work well under pressure from the weaker ones who may crumble.

Recruiter pro tip If you don’t fancy making your candidate sweat, applying a conversational option to your set question list can really help relax them. In turn, this will enable the top candidates to find natural answers instead of the same regimented ones you’d expect. To give you some inspiration on what to ask, check out our blog: ‘8 Interview Questions to Lighten the Mood’.

4. Align their principles with yours

Amazon believes in developing a first-class working culture with every employee on the same page. If a candidate doesn’t match every principle, they won’t offer them a job.

As a result, by hiring a team of professionals with a similar mind-set, they are able to effectively work together and drive the business forward at a rapid rate.

Taken from paysa, here are Amazon’s leadership principles:
  • Customer obsession – start with the customer, and continually work to build customer trust.
  • Ownership – think long-term for the company as a whole, beyond your own team.
  • Invent and simplify – constant innovation without self-limitation gets the gold star.
  • Are right, a lot – leaders have “strong judgment and good instincts.”
  • Learn and be curious – learning never ends, self-improvement never ends.
  • Hire and develop the best – leaders are expected to develop new leaders and raise the bar with each hire.
  • Insist on the highest standards – what some might call unreasonably high standards are expected.
  • Think big – bold innovation that serves customers is highly valued.
  • Bias for action – move fast and take calculated risks.
  • Frugality – less is more. Be resourceful.
  • Earn trust – leaders are expected to listen, be forthright, and treat others with respect.
  • Dive deep – get into the nitty gritty at all levels. Keep an eye on the details and stay on top of metrics.
  • Have backbone; disagree and commit – don’t compromise in order to maintain “social cohesion.”
  • Deliver results – the goal should always be quality results delivered on time.

So in order to find the best candidates, sometimes you need to re-evaluate your own business.

Ask yourself; what are the five key principles every employee should possess?

Write these down and ask them to list their top principles in their covering letter.

You can then get a better idea of who matches your company’s philosophy and long-term goals.


Similar to Apple and Sony, Amazon believes in hiring quality candidates – regardless of whether that takes one day or five months.

As a business, you need to create a recruitment process that equals Amazon’s same thorough depths.

In testing the candidates, finding new ways to advertise and aligning your principles with theirs, you’ll start to find the true professionals who have the potential to push your business to new and exciting places.

Just remember to be ambitious and always seek perfection. It might just be the difference between a successful year or a slow one.

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