What is "Hire to Fire" Policy and why Amazon would do that?

Alan Joseph Alan Joseph
May 20, 2021 4 min read
What is "Hire to Fire" Policy and why Amazon would do that?

Amazon.com is an American based e-commerce and technology giant. It is one of the big 5 companies in the United States in the tech sector. Amazon is considered to be the world’s most valuable brand and the most influential economic and cultural force in the world.

Recently Amazon’s managers have accused the company of hiring employees on the Hire to Fire Policy. Let’s look at what exactly is Hire to Fire policy and how Amazon is involved in it.

What is Hire to Fire Policy?
Amazon Managers about Hire to Fire policy
What is URA Goals?
Amazon Employees on Social Forums

What is Hire to Fire Policy?

Certain people who have been claiming to be working in Amazon have been posting allegations against the company on various social media forums conveying that the company is involved in a Hire to Fire policy.

The company has been hiring employees just to fire them within a year. A recent report from several managers working with the e-commerce giant has conveyed that they have to do it in order to meet their annual targets.

Here the managers hire people internally or externally whom they intend to fire within a year. These people are hired just to meet the annual turnover targets which are called Unregretted Attrition (URA).

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Amazon Managers about Hire to Fire policy

Amazon has a goal to fire a certain percentage of its employees on a yearly basis. Three Managers of the company had revealed that they were facing a lot of pressure to meet the goal that they had to hire the people just to fire them later.

A manager had conveyed that they hire people in order to meet the goals and fire them later just to protect the rest of the team. This practice is informally been called as hire to fire.

What is URA Goals?

Every manager is said to have a URA target and a URA target is the % of employees which the company wouldn’t regret firing one way or the other. Even the most senior Amazon executives including the CEO Andy Jassy are said to closely maintain their URA target.

There was an example quoted by the publication where Amazon Web Services teams which fell short to achieve their URA goals in 2020 and were forced to make up the difference in the year 2021. However, an Amazon spokesperson had denied that the company hires employees with the intention of firing them. He also added that the company does not use the phrase Hire to Fire.

Number of Amazon.com employees
Number of Amazon.com employees

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Amazon Employees on Social Forums

Since the report was published there has been a lot of discussion about these in social forums. The Amazon employees have started speaking about the practice on online forums.

On the Hacker News Forum of Y Combinator, a person who claimed to be working as a principal software engineer at Amazon conveyed that the company’s weakest link was its managers. He added that there are very few managers who have the technical knowledge and a lot of them who lacked technical depth and also added that a lot of capable engineers are being fired due to these incompetent managers.

Another user who claimed to be in the manager position had agreed that there is a lot of scope for them to mess up the careers of the people through incompetent practices.

There was a discussion even on Redditt where some Amazon managers had said that they hire people to fire them later just to meet the internal turnover goal every year.


How many employees does Amazon have?

Amazon currently has 1,298,000 employees.

Is Amazon the largest employer?

Amazon is the one of the largest employer after Walmart.

What company has the most employees 2020?

TCS has most number of employees with 448,400 as of 2020.


However, this practice is not just seen in Amazon but in a lot of other companies. A user had conveyed that this had earlier happened in Microsoft. A user from a tech company had conveyed that his manager had casually told him that the last spot in a team was for the person they would hire and later fire.

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