Amazon's Bar Raiser Programme uses 4 Leadership Principles for inclusive, fair and accurate recruitment of high-quality candidates

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Amazon programme raises the bar for high-quality recruitment

Amazon programme raises the bar for high-quality recruitment

 October 14, 2019

Have you ever wondered what goes into the hiring process at Amazon? It’s quite in-depth and every candidate goes through a series of interviews with several people within the business.

Amazon is focused on hiring well, rather than hiring quickly. Amazon’s evaluation process is rooted in the company’s 14 Leadership Principles to ensure it's hiring people who will innovate on behalf of its customers.

Amazon's Bar Raiser Programme is just one example of why its hiring process is unique.

Making the best long-term hiring decisions

A Bar Raiser is an interviewer at Amazon who is brought into the hiring process to be an objective third party. By bringing in somebody who’s not associated with the team, the best long-term hiring decisions are made and Amazon can ensure that the company is always serving, surprising and innovating for customers. The role of the Bar Raiser is to be a steward of Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles.

Amazon leadership principles

Raising the standard with each hire

When Amazon launched the hiring plan for tech job candidates in 1999, it was called the ‘barkeeper programme’. But that name implied maintaining a hiring standard, when actually the programme is about raising the standard with each hire. Every person hired should be better than 50 percent of those currently in similar roles.

Passionate about Amazon's hiring process

In addition to their day jobs, Bar Raisers are skilled Amazon interviewers who undergo lengthy training after being nominated and accepted into the programme. They are passionate about Amazon's hiring process and serve as objective advisors during the interview process. Bar Raisers hold positions that are typically outside of the business for which the candidate is being interviewed, so they spot aspects of a candidate's strengths and learning opportunities that Amazon might otherwise miss. They are experts in evaluating talent against Amazon's Leadership Principles - identifying candidates who have long-term potential to raise the bar at Amazon.

raising the bar at Amazon

Three main responsibilities 

Bar Raisers have three responsibilities as part of the hiring process:

  • assess candidates for the specific role and for long-term success at Amazon
  • make sure there is an open, accurate and fair assessment of the candidate with every member of the interview loop participating in the discussion
  • be responsible for helping hiring managers and others prepare for interviews, ask questions related to the Leadership Principles and the competencies that are needed for the position, assess the candidate, and provide written feedback

Although Leadership Principles are the foundation and culture of Amazon, in any role certain Principles will be more pertinent than others. Bar Raisers work with the hiring and recruiting team to understand the most relevant principles in which the candidate must naturally index, or those which can be learned and developed over time.

Identifying the perfect candidates for Amazon

Teams identify candidates who can best deliver on behalf of customers, personify Amazon's Leadership Principles and are the best long-term fit at Amazon.

Recruiters, hiring managers and Bar Raisers alike are passionate about finding the right person for the job and what that means for the future impact of the business they support. That hiring legacy is something everyone at Amazon takes seriously, and it has a broad and long-lasting impact on the livelihood, creativity and viability of the products and services Amazon creates for its customers.

Raise the bar at Amazon

Do you want to work for an innovative and pioneering company that always encourages its employees to raise the bar?

Search and apply for jobs at Amazon today.


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