A recent PayScale survey shows that Amazon.com has some of the least loyal employees of any major corporation. One such disloyal employee—a former contractor, actually—is speaking out about what he sees as the reason behind this pervasive disloyalty.
In an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on GeekWire, Steven Barker, who worked on a project called X-Ray, harshly criticizes Amazon’s use of contracted developers who aren’t allowed to work past an 11-month maximum unless they’re brought on as full-timers.
Although it may seem like the company is saving money — because you don’t have to provide temporary workers with medical coverage or paid vacation time—the revolving door of new hires encourages low quality work, inconsistent productivity and wastes useful resources on training.
What has the potential to be a whiny rant from a disgruntled former employee actually comes off as a level-headed critique of Amazon’s hiring practice. Still, there are a couple of lines that could be interpreted as coming from an angry place. For example:
The best way to be put in a leadership role was be a pretty girl or a dude who used liberal amounts of Axe hair gel.
Why should anyone care if X-Ray succeeds or fails? If X-Ray becomes the biggest program on the planet and puts another several million dollars in your bank account, people in my position will still be sent packing at the end of eleven months.
But mainly what Barker has hit upon is the type of corporate process that so many companies run up against. It’s not necessarily unique to Amazon, but it’s worth wondering whether Bezos will actually take note. So far, it doesn’t appear that Amazon has replied to the letter.
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Is it bad press? Sure, if you consider that high-tech companies are always competing for top talent. Will it change the way Amazon operates going forward? We can watch Barker’s employment status and find out whether Amazon hires him back to revamp the way they handle contracted employees.