Retail giant Amazon Canada has announced a massive hiring spree across the country as it plans to add another 15,000 people to its operations.
The company has also announced that frontline employees will receive $17 per hour to $21.65 per hour with comprehensive benefits starting on day one, including access to health, dental and vision benefits, training and education programs, like the Career Choice program, and health and well-being initiatives such as My Wellbeing and family support plans.
“We take our responsibility as an employer seriously,” said Sumegha Kumar, Director of Canadian Customer Fulfillment Operations for Amazon Canada. “Amazon Canada employs over 25,000 Canadians, and we’re proud to create 15,000 more great jobs at a time when they’re needed in Canada, with increased pay for our amazing employees across our fulfillment, transportation and logistics networks — from Victoria to Dartmouth.”
Amazon Canada said it will hire 15,000 full-and part-time employees throughout the fall. Full-and part-time employees will also receive an additional $1.60 – $2.20 per hour, starting immediately, regardless of their tenure with the company.
Bruce Winder, author of RETAIL Before, During & After COVID-19 and President of Bruce Wiinder Retail, said Amazon has reinforced its position as the go-to place for job growth within retail.
“With another 15,000 jobs available, Amazon stands alone as the retailer with the greatest job prospects for entry-level retail positions,” he said. “These are not low paying jobs either. You get a solid starting wage, which they will be raising along with all other part-time and full-time workers as per today’s announcement. You also get full benefits starting your first day including vision, dental, medical as well as bonuses, stock units, RRSP matching and other sweeteners. A hell of a lot better than dead-end gig jobs on delivery apps.
“Another positive is the training and education side of what they offer (called Career Choice). They pay 95 per cent of your tuition if you take a course or get a certificate in a job-related discipline. That gives employees a chance to grow and move up the ladder if they do a good job. In fact, this week Amazon is offering a career day on Wednesday the 15th that showcases how workers can make a career there (amazoncareerday.com). I can’t think of another retailer in Canada who is this proactive in getting people to join their outfit. If I was 30 years younger and wanted a career in retail, I would check them out.”
Michael Kehoe, owner/broker of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate in Calgary, said the Canadian hiring surge at Amazon adding 15,000 workers is a product of the momentum the firm is enjoying across its retailing channels.
“This is good news for the Canadian economy and Amazon will likely increase their workforce as they move deeper into bricks and mortar retailing to round out their omni-channel business model. A perfect blend of e-commerce and physical retail to better serve consumers across the country,” he said.
George Minakakis, CEO of the Inception Retail Group, said 15,000 employees is no small number, especially when you consider we added 90,000 jobs recently in Canada.
“Amazon has been one of the largest recruiters in the last couple of years as they keep expanding. This company needs to bolster their national operations to better serve a growing market,” he said.
Minakakis said there are a number of issues in the Canadian workplace today:
- We want to get more Canadians into the workplace but the work and pay need to be better than social assistance;
- For some households; say a couple with children, both working means paying for commuting costs, lunches, plus daycare. The latter is expensive;
- There needs to be a real solution for subsidized daycare, which has proven to work in Quebec and other countries. Especially if you want more Canadians in the workforce; and
- Not unlike other employers, recruiting is a challenge because of either CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) or the pandemic in general. This is going to take time.
He said Amazon is offering more money and based on its advertising, it has more opportunities for personal growth. Not a bad pay scale and opportunity for those displaced from physical retail and restaurant work.
“Their starting pay scale of $17 -$21.65 is about $35,000 -$45,000 a year, which might be okay for a secondary household income. Provided the household is gaining and saving. Today’s challenges of affordability, daycare and pay, are the main election issues on the table as well,” he said.
Amazon is hosting its first Canadian edition of Career Day on September 15. The event will give job seekers an inside look at the Operations, corporate and technology positions currently open across the country, with a variety of panel sessions, keynote addresses and fireside chats. Anyone can register for free by visiting amazoncareerday.com.