Amazon aims to hire more than 2,700 employees in the Twin Cities area as part of a larger national hiring push at a time when the retail industry is grappling with a labor shortage.
The internet retailer, like many employers hoping to attract workers, has upped its employee benefits recently by offering full-tuition coverage, higher starting wages and hiring bonuses that are double or sometimes triple the amount seen a year ago — reaching as high as $3,000 for some warehouse jobs.
With the busy holiday season approaching, retailers including Walmart and Kohl's plan to bulk up their supply chain ranks to meet high demand for online shopping and home delivery.
"Basically, this is an employees' market and a lot of employers are on the back foot," Neil Saunders, managing director of retail at GlobalData, said in a statement to the Star Tribune.
"Because of this, firms are having to provide incentives such as signing-on bonuses, discounts, offers of paying college tuition fees and so forth," he said. "Pay rates are also going up and there is greater responsiveness to flexible scheduling."
Jobs need to be filled in fulfillment and transportation at Amazon, which offers an average starting pay of more than $18 per hour currently, several dollars more than the $15 Amazon began to offer three years ago. Walmart said the average wage for supply chain workers is now more than $20 per hour.
On Wednesday, the internet retailer plans to host its annual virtual recruiting event Career Day across the nation, aimed at job seekers as well as Amazon employees who want to transition to new roles within the company or elsewhere.
"We take our responsibility as an employer seriously and want our employees to succeed and thrive," Dave Clark, chief executive of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, said in a statement. "Whether you're looking for a short-term job to make money for the holidays or a long-term career, you're welcome here, and we look forward to having you on our team."
Amazon is just one of many companies fighting for workers in an increasingly competitive hiring market.Mega retailer Walmart recently announced it planned to hire 20,000 employees across hundreds of Walmart and Sam's Club distribution centers, fulfillment centers, and transportation offices. The merchandiser held special hiring events last week.
"As our business continues evolving to meet the needs of today's customers, having a robust supply chain is more important than ever," Walmart executives said, in a release early this month.
Kohl's is recruiting for 1,300 seasonal jobs openings across its Minneapolis-area stores, distribution centers and fulfilment centers. The retailer will host national hiring events later this week and in late October, where candidates can receive a job offer on the same day as their interview. Fulfillment center workers will be eligible to receive bonuses ranging from $100 to $400.
UPS said last week it expects to hire more than 3,000 seasonal employees in the Twin Cities area to support the anticipated increase in package volume during the holidays. UPS said it has changed its approach to holiday hiring, and now plans to present job offers to qualified candidates in 30 minutes or less, and is also offering help with college expenses and other benefits.
Target announced plans last month to provide debt-free education assistance for employees pursuing select undergraduate degrees. The Minneapolis-based chain hasn't announced its holiday hiring plans yet, but last year it designated twice as many of its seasonal workers to contactless services like drive-up and order pickup for the holidays.
Amazon's hiring spree is driven by the need to staff its rapidly expanding physical facilities.
The company said Tuesday it plans to hire 125,000 workers nationwide to support its logistics network. That's on top of the 40,000 corporate and tech roles it announced it wanted to fill earlier this month.
In 2021, Amazon opened more than 250 new fulfillment centers, sorting centers, regional air hubs and delivery stations in the United States. It will open more than 100 buildings in September alone.
Last month, Amazon opened a 750,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Lakeville, where warehouse jobs have been posted offering one-time bonuses as high as $3,000, considerably higher than the $1,000 local hiring bonuses offered about a year ago .