As the drawdown continues, Amazon is pursuing military talent through an active recruiting program. Many of those who have joined the Amazon workforce note that the military prepared them especially well to deal with unforseen challenges, and they enjoy being part of a team committed to finding solutions in a dynamic environment.
I spoke with Phil Dana, Talent Acquisition Manager, North American Operations, about the company’s interest in connecting with the veteran community:
VSB: Phil, I understand that Amazon conducts its own military recruiting. How do you do your outreach to ensure access to the best talent?
Dana: We use multiple strategies as we look for the best military talent. These include leveraging our military careers page (www.amazon.com/military,) attending several events, joining organizations, and utilizing virtual job fairs.
VSB: Would you talk about Amazon’s leadership principles and how those mesh with military training?
Dana: Our single most important principle of Customer Obsession is clear and concise, and drives all other competencies. This is our “Commander’s Intent” if you will, and it has a higher purpose which resonates with veterans who join us.
VSB: As a global company, what attributes do you seek out in your senior military officer hires?
Dana: We are looking for leaders who can think big and get through ambiguity, but have the servant leadership approach to roll up their sleeves and spend time with our associates.
VSB: How does the company help transitioning military leaders adapt to Amazon’s workplace culture?
Dana: At the tip of our talent spear, we have a sizable military recruiting team, including components in several of our other countries. We translate the military experience into opportunities within Amazon and, once onboard, thread your military background together with our Warrior network. This helps a new hire to find a mentor and enjoy that camaraderie that many transitioning veterans miss once they get out.
VSB: How did your time in the Navy prepare you for your current position at Amazon?
Dana: I grew up in the Navy, enlisted, and commissioned at the Naval Academy. My experiences in several countries and at several levels have taught me the importance of hiring and developing the best talent and how that impacts our customers and our associates.