How Amazon’s Flawed Job Posting Process Caused It to Overhire

It’s the middle of the week, 10 Things in Techies. I’m Diamond Naga Siu, and for the first decade or so that I worked, I was always paid in cash. I didn’t put much of it into a bank, because I didn’t really understand how it worked.

So I hid it in different places, keeping a mental tally of my cash stash.

I’d be pretty upset if I mistaked one of my decoy reserves for a pot of proverbial gold. But that’s almost exactly what happened to JPMorgan Chase.

The financial services company thought it had $1.3 million worth of nickel stored in a warehouse. But the London Metal Exchange gave the banking giant a costly wake up call: its horde of bags only contained stones.

Before I go check my remaining stash to make sure it’s all real, let’s dive into today’s tech.

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People in the lobby of Amazon offices in New York

People walk into the lobby of Amazon offices in New York in February 2019.

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

1. Amazon’s flawed job posting process. The company had little oversight of the hiring process until last year, Insider learned. Managers recruited and hired way more employees than they were approved to bring on.

  • Amazon Web Services, for example, had 24,988 job openings in 2022. But only 7,798 of them were approved, according to a leaked document. This means the department was hiring for three times the number of roles it was budgeted for.
  • One employee told Insider that leaders tried to “squeeze people in where they could,” due to overhiring. In the aftermath, Amazon has seen multiple rounds of mass layoffs. (Also! Check out this leaked, all-hands message about “single-digit” percentage cuts to AWS)
  • My colleague Eugene Kim breaks down Amazon’s flawed hiring process. He also highlights the pushback it received while trying to fix the fragmented system.

Come behind-the-scenes of Amazon’s overhiring spree here.

In other news:

Airbnb illustration

Arif Qazi / Insider

2. “Airbnbust” is actually the market hitting maturity. Many Airbnb hosts are worried about the short-term rental market bubble bursting. But it’s not so clear-cut. Booming or busting depends on what city you’re in. Dive into Airbnb’s breaking point here.

3. Revenue-per-employee is making a comeback. This metric was phased out when the tech industry was flourishing. Check out its resurgence now that the industry is on shakier ground. Bonus: Multiple rounds of layoffs show how companies are taking back their power. They’re likely not stopping there. 

4. A tech worker whose job offer was rescinded shares the red flags they overlooked. It was retracted six days before his start date. He shared the red flags he overlooked during the hiring process, including the hiring of a new chief revenue officer. Get his full list of warning signs here.

5. Google’s competitor to ChatGPT is finally out. Bard is finally open for non-Googlers to use. Check out the chatbot release details here. Bonus: Bard is already taking digs at its creator. More on how Bard thinks Google has “a monopoly on digital advertising technologies.”

6. ChatGPT’s instructions on how to get rich quick (or not). The prompt: “You have $100, and your goal is to turn that into as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, without doing anything illegal.” Check out ChatGPT’s first four steps here.

7. How to make $10,000 per month on OnlyFans. Direct messages. Personalized videos. Shoutouts. OnlyFans creators share how they make more than $10,000 per month. Some even make more than $100,000 per month. Check out their business models here.

8. TikTok’s best defense against getting banned — 150M monthly users. This means around half of the US population uses it. And with so many voters regularly using TikTok, politicians are wary of making any big moves. More on its secret weapon here.

Odds and ends:

woman taking a selfie while sitting cross legged on a pile of houses

iStock; Marianne Ayala/Insider

9. Gen Z loves real estate investing. Many young people are turning to real estate to escape a traditional 9-to-5 job. They have unprecedented access to information and new tech. Plus, they’re learning from the mistakes of millennials. Dive into how they’re reshaping the housing market here.

10. Bumper-to-bumper: The two largest electric SUVs. The BMW iX and the Rivian R1S are two of the largest EVs on the market. They’re both aesthetically striking and incredibly fast. But they offer distinct strengths. Drive over for the full comparison here.

What we’re watching today:

Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in Southern California. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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