Led by CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon is cracking down on headcount, and its cloud division is feeling the heat. Carter Smith- Bloomberg/Getty Images
Amazon’s cloud business introduces new restrictions that limit the ability of managers to hire, the latest move by the internet company to keep its costs in check as sales growth slows to the lowest level in years.
In a memo sent to Amazon Web Services (AWS) hiring managers on Tuesday, the company said all potential employees must now be filtered through its headcount management system to ensure they are matched with a specific open position. The internal tool, called List, will serve as “the source of truth for approved headcount plans,” according to the memo, which was seen by luck.
The memo said AWS managers should start using the list immediately. By the end of the month, the memo continued, new features would be enabled in a separate internal recruiting tool to “prevent offers from being extended if an application is not matched with a position on the list.”
The changes come as AWS and parent company Amazon move aggressively to cut costs. After sweeping layoffs at the online retailer that affected 18,000 positions at the company over the past several months, Amazon announced another 9,000 jobs in March, affecting its cloud division. Now, six months after the hiring freeze began and saw a drop in sales growth that sent the stock down 2% last week, the company is working on controls that create a more disciplined hiring system.
Amazon spokeswoman Jennifer Flagg wrote to luck. “The List is a job-based management tool that improves the recruitment process across the organization for both candidates and hiring managers.”
The list is being published by AWS Workforce Management, the memo said, and is part of a plan to ensure “all hiring efforts and resources are aligned with approved business requirements by EOY 2023.” The memo explains several variables that will be considered against hiring managers’ “approved headcount plans,” which are listed as follows: Builders in Seat (BIS), Start Pending (PS), and Open Purchase Orders (REQUIREMENTS).
On Amazon’s first-quarter earnings call last week, CEO Andy Jassy exaggerated the potential impact of artificial intelligence on its cloud division. To shareholder dismay, the executives added that so far in April AWS is on track to grow 11%, which is down significantly from the growth of about 16% in the first quarter, which itself was a marked slowdown from the 37% growth that AWS achieved. At the same time last year.