Recruitment Strategy

Recruiters’ Tips: Hiring Lessons from Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Learn how Jeff Bezos and Amazon recruit.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon have been making notable headlines for the last few years consistently; for better or for worse. From becoming the world’s second-ever public company to be valued at $1 trillion [1], to launching successful ventures in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and streaming services, Amazon has proven its muscle in dominating global markets no matter the costs.

But what are the secrets behind Amazon’s success? How does the company manage its output and growth at such a rapid pace? One of the key factors is Amazon’s unique recruitment approach, which reflects Jeff Bezos’ sometimes controversial vision and values. Let’s explore how the company recruits and what lies under its strategy.

How Amazon Recruits

Amazon has a set of hiring strategies that distinguish it from other companies. Here are some of them:

The Bar-Raiser Strategy

Amazon hires only the best talent by using a rigorous interview process that involves a designated “bar raiser” - an interviewer who has the authority to veto any candidate who does not meet the high standards of the company. The bar raiser is not part of the hiring team and has no stake in filling the position. Their role is to ensure that every new hire raises the bar for performance and culture at Amazon. The bar-raiser strategy helps Amazon avoid hiring mistakes, maintain quality, and foster a culture of excellence. [2]

The 16 Leadership Principles

The company evaluates candidates based on how well they demonstrate the 16 leadership principles that guide every decision and action at the company. These principles include customer obsession, ownership, invent and simplify, learn and be curious, and deliver results.

Candidates are expected to provide specific examples of how they applied these principles in their previous roles. The 16 leadership principles help Amazon align its employees with its vision and values, and encourage them to think big and act fast. [3]

The Writing Culture

Amazon values clear and concise communication, which is why it requires candidates to submit written responses to behavioral questions before the interview. This allows the interviewers to assess the candidates’ writing skills, as well as their ability to think critically and logically. Amazon also uses written narratives instead of PowerPoint presentations for internal meetings, as Bezos believes that writing fosters deeper thinking and understanding. [4] The writing culture helps Amazon communicate effectively, avoid ambiguity, and solve problems creatively.

The Online Application

The e-commerce titan makes it easy for candidates to apply for its hourly roles by eliminating the need for a resume. Candidates can simply provide some information about themselves and select their preferred shift on the online application form. This usually takes about 15 minutes to complete. The online application helps Amazon attract a large and diverse pool of candidates, and streamline the hiring process.

The New Hire Events

After completing the online application, candidates are invited to attend an in-person 30-minute New Hire Event appointment, where they need to bring proof of their identity and employment eligibility. At this event, candidates receive more information about the job, complete a drug test, and have their documents verified. The New Hire Events help Amazon ensure compliance, safety, and readiness of its new hires.

The First Day

On their first day at Amazon, new hires dive deeper into the details of their work and learn important safety rules to keep themselves and their teammates safe. They also receive training on how to use the equipment and tools they need for their role. The first day helps Amazon orient its new hires, prepare them for their tasks, and welcome them to the team.

Hiring Strategy Checklist: Dos & Dont’s

What can recruiters learn from Jeff Bezos and Amazon when it comes to hiring? Here are some dos and don’ts based on their hiring practices:


  • Hire for culture fit: Bezos once said that he’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person. [5] He believes that hiring someone who does not fit the company’s culture can be very costly and detrimental to the team’s performance and morale. Therefore, recruiters should look for candidates who share the company’s vision, values, and goals, and who can contribute positively to the work environment.
  • Test for skills and potential: The Executive Chairman of Amazon does not rely on resumes or credentials alone to judge a candidate’s suitability. He prefers to test their skills and potential through various methods, such as case studies, simulations, or role plays. He also looks for candidates who have a growth mindset and a willingness to learn new things. Recruiters should design their hiring process to measure not only what candidates know, but also what they can do and how they can grow. [6]


  • Compromise on quality: Jeff Bezos is known for being very selective and demanding when it comes to hiring and Amazon always focuses on people who are smart, passionate, and driven to excel. Recruiters should not lower their standards or expectations just to fill a vacancy. They should always aim for hiring talent that matches the highest standards, even if it takes longer or requires more resources.
  • Make decisions based on intuition or bias: The 59-year-old entrepreneur advocates for using data and evidence to support hiring decisions.  Avoiding common biases, such as the halo effect, confirmation bias, or anchoring bias, that can cloud one’s perception of a candidate. Recruiters should use objective criteria and tools to evaluate candidates, such as structured interviews, assessments, or scoring rubrics.

Reinforce Your Hiring Strategy with an ATS

Aside from these unique hiring approaches, recruiters can also leverage a tool to ensure a successful hire. A tool such as Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can streamline your recruitment process while allowing you to look back and improve your hiring approach with ease.

An ATS is a software that helps recruiters manage their hiring activities, such as posting jobs, screening resumes, scheduling interviews, sending feedback, and generating reports. An ATS can help recruiters save time, reduce errors, and enhance efficiency.

Manatal is a cloud-based recruitment solution that offers many innovative features that can help you optimize your hiring process, such as:

  • AI-powered resume parsing: Manatal can automatically extract relevant information from resumes and create candidate profiles in seconds. You can also enrich these profiles with social media data from LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • Advanced sourcing tools: The tool allows you to find passive candidates from various sources, such as job boards, career sites, or your own database. Plus, you can use Boolean search or keywords to narrow down your search results.
  • Collaborative hiring platform: With Manatal, you’ll have the ability to involve your team members in the hiring process by sharing notes, ratings, comments, or feedback on candidates. Assigning tasks, setting reminders, or sending notifications to keep everyone on track can be done within a few clicks.
  • Insightful analytics: Last but not least, Manatal provides you with real-time data and reports on your hiring performance, such as time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, source effectiveness, or candidate quality. These insights can be used to identify areas of improvement or opportunities for growth.

If you want to learn more about Manatal and how it can help you achieve your hiring goals, you can start its 14-day free trial now.


1. Amazon: The unstoppable rise of the internet giant - BBC News

2. What is an Amazon bar raiser? (

3. Leadership Principles (

4. Why Intelligent Minds Like Jeff Bezos Embrace the Rule of Writing |

5. How Jeff Bezos And Amazon Changed The World - Texas A&M Today (

6. Jeff Bezos' 3-question rule for hiring new Amazon employees (

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