International Human Resource Management at Amazon

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 6
Words: 1716
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: Master

Introduction: Current IHRM strategy

Due to a combination of its innovative approach and a string of coincidences lading to the increase in the role of online purchasing, Amazon has quickly risen to the top of the global economy. Since the company has been focusing on every aspect of its performance, it would be unfair to attribute its astounding success to a particular aspect of Amazon’s performance. However, even with the significance of coordination of organizational activities in mind, one must admit that Amazon’s IHRM practices have defined its success in the global context to a notable extent (Zamri et al., 2020). Being focused on the increase in customer satisfaction and on the rise in customer loyalty, Amazon has mostly enforced the politics of emotional engagement with buyers (Saxena & Gupta, 2018). Although the described approach does help to build more trustworthy relationships with the target population, it dos leave the needs of staff members unaddressed, which, given Amazon’s record of treating its staff members, leaves a rather negative mark on its reputation. Therefore, by introducing a greater focus on the needs of its staff members and promoting the policy of greater diversity, Amazon will reinforce its present position in the global market hierarchy, while also contributing to staff members’ better performance and, therefore, a rise in customer satisfaction rates.

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The Major IHRM Talent Management Practices

The current IHRM practices that Amazon uses mostly revolve around increasing customer satisfaction and seeking new ways of turning buyers’ experience into a more satisfactory one.

Recruitment

Given the multitude of requirements toward applicants for Amazon’s vacancies, the recruitment process is understandably complex at the company. Specifically, Amazon uses the strategy of peer-review hires as the means of ensuring that applicants meet the baseline standards for becoming members of the company (Abdullah et al., 2020). In addition, the recruiting approach utilized by Amazon is understandably rooted in the strong media presence demonstrated by the company. Namely, Amazon seeks to hire the people that are familiar with social networks, particularly those advancing professional connection, such as LinkedIn (Ochmann & Laumer, 2020). As a result, Amazon ensures that the people whom it hires meet the standard criteria for technological skills and prowess (Ochmann & Laumer, 2020). Finally, Amazon is not new to the appreciation of cultural nuances as one of the methods of attracting experts to its vacancies.

Selection

The approach that Amazon utilizes to select a suitable candidate from an array of applicants is remarkable in its simplicity. Namely, the organization provides an online test that it expected to help to determine whether the applicant has the required extent of aptitude, reasoning skills, programming abilities, command of English, and skills in coding in order to manage the set tasks within Amazon’s supply chain accordingly (Zamri et al., 2020). the described test is quite efficient since it checks not only the applicant’s knowledge but also the ability to apply it, as well as the skill of thinking outside the box.

Performance Management

While choosing the right person to perform critical tasks is a vital stage of managing the HRM processes, ensuring that the implementation of key tasks occurs in a timely and orderly fashion is also a vital part of the HRM department. At Amazon, the process of performance management is rooted in the so-called “stack ranking” technique (Long, 2021). According to the definition provided by Saxena and Gupta (2018, p. 55), the proposed system allows assessing the performance of staff members against each other: “a performance management system whereby employees are evaluated and ranked according to their yearly performance”. The described approach helps to set healthy competition within the organization, thus, encouraging staff members to improve their performance.

However, Amazon HR managers should keep in mind that the “stack ranking” approach, when overused, may lead to the competition rates among staff members spinning out of control. As a result, the rivalry between staff members will serve to the detriment of the organization as opposed to contributing to its gradual development (Long, 2021). Namely, when blinded by the willingness to prove their worth in a competition, staff members may fail to focus on the needs of the organization and, instead, pursue the increased performance rates at all costs, instead (Saxena & Gupta, 2018). As a result, unethical decisions that may affect the company’s reputation in the target market may be made. For instance, quality issues may be overlooked in an attempt at delivering a specific result within a shorter period of time than the rival team (Long, 2021). Therefore, Amazon must be very cautious with the implementation of its current rivalry HRM strategy. In addition, Amazon has faced multiple criticisms for viewing personal issues faced by its staff members as its liability.

Compensation

Having reached global recognition and gained a place at the top of its target market’s hierarchy, Amazon is presently able to offer its employees above-market compensation. Implying an increased range of benefits and opportunities, the specified approach seems to be sensible in the present setting of a highly competitive ad rapidly evolving IT market (Abdullah et al., 2020). At the same time, Amazon has been particularly uncharitable regarding the provided benefits since most of them have been non-financial and, therefore, restricted the economic opportunities provided to Amazon’s staff members. The company has been subjected to harsh criticism for the specified stance, which is to be expected for the organization of such a scale and size offering such miniscule befits to its employees (Abdullah et al., 2020). Therefore, it is highly advisable that Amazon should revisit its compensation strategy including financial options into it.

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Training and Development

Finally, in discussing Amazon’s current HRM approach, one should touch upon the training and development opportunities. As emphasized above, the company has been reluctant to offer its staff monetary refunds, which is quite a major misstep for a company of Amazon’s scale. However, in order to justify t specified policy, Amazon has been offering tools for promoting further development and professional growth in staff members. Specifically, Amazon has been offering opportunities for improving qualifications for all of its staff members, which is an admittedly generous move (Meijerink et al., 2021). At the same time, the professional progress of staff members aligns with Amazon’s current talent management approaches, which focus on stimulating professional development in employees.

Diversity and Intercultural Sensitivity

Likewise, Amazon has been paying particular attention to the issues of diversity ad inclusion with the recent change in the attitudes toward the subject matter. Namely, as the significance of diversity and inclusion rose in the economic context, Amazon developed the framework for promoting inclusion in its context, which deserves to be seen as a particularly sagacious move (Rahimi et al., 2020). In light of the changes that the global retail environment as about to experience, Amazon’s focus on diversity turned out to be particularly important in placing the company at the top of the international retail market and promoting it to the target audiences (Rahimi et al., 2020).

Additionally, Amazon has been encouraging diversity and intercultural sensitivity in its HRM strategies as well. Specifically, the company has demonstrated praiseworthy inclusivity in its approach toward HRM: “We are committed to increasing representation of employees from diverse backgrounds at every level of our organization” (“Diversity, equity, and inclusion,” 2021). Similar standards can be found across different branches of Amazon across the world: “Amazon India’s inclusion programmes create opportunities for women, transgenders, PwDs and military veterans” (Sahu, 2021). Thus, Amazon’s current policies can be considered highly culturally sensitive and based on the key tenets of diversity culture. Specifically, the fact that Amazon offers additional opportunities to people from diverse backgrounds is commendable.

Management value System in the International Environment

The success that Amazon has been enjoying with its HRM framework can partially be explained by the company’s unique value system. Specifically, the organization has deployed four values that support its current policies of focusing on customers’ needs. Particularly, Amazon is run based on four principal values, which are “customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and taking pride in operational excellence” (Gallo, 2021). To its credit, Amazon communicates the specified values quite clearly by constantly boosting its performance levels and exploring new ways of meeting customers’ needs.

In addition, one should note that Amazon has been deploying rather questionable tools into its IHRM framework recently. Although all of these tools were introduced into Amazon’s organizational environment in good faith, the outcomes of their use have not been considered fully. Among the most notable concerns, the sue of the Anytime Feedback Tool, which suggests completely anonymous feedback on any staff member, can potentially be used maliciously by staff members, especially in the scenarios that involve hostility toward a specific employee (Matthews et al., 2018). Therefore, testing feedback tools for their objectivity and possible mishandling needs to be performed priori to including them into the organizational context of the company.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Although the current value chain implemented at Amazon has prone to be substantially efficient, primarily, due to its unwavering focus on customers’ needs and the tendency to prioritize the demands of its buyers, Amazon seems to have been failing to incorporate the premise of meeting employees’ needs into its value system. As a result, the current approach to managing its value chain seems to be quite lopsided, creating additional threats of dissatisfaction brewing among staff members (Goestjahjanti, et al. 2020). Although Amazon has been offering its employees enough benefits and opportunities for professional development along with the focus on their cultural specifics, the absence of a clearly delineated policy in its existing value system creates a threat for the company’s performance.

Therefore, to improve Amazon’s IHRM framework, one might advise to focus on the needs of employees closer. Although Amazon has made significant progress in addressing the requirements and demands of its staff members, particularly, in regard to the provision of workplace benefits and the emphasis on the role of diversity in developing the workplace culture (Goestjahjanti, et al. 2020). However, the needs and, most importantly, the engagement of staff members are not currently prioritized in the organization. Therefore, it is recommended that Amazon should consider the further expansion of its multicultural focus. Furthermore, some of the questionable choices, such as the Anytime Feedback Tool, need to be revisited or removed from the company’s IHRM framework.

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References

Abdullah, P. Y., Zeebaree, S. R., Jacksi, K., & Zeabri, R. R. (2020). An HRM system for small and medium enterprises (Sme) s based on cloud computing technology. International Journal of Research-GRANTHAALAYAH, 8(8), 56-64.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion. (2021). Web.

Gallo, C. (2021). How Jeff Bezos consistently communicates four core values that made Amazon a success. Forbes. Web.

Goestjahjanti, S. F., Novitasari, D., Hutagalung, D., Asbari, M., & Supono, J. (2020). Impact of talent management, authentic leadership and employee engagement on job satisfaction: Evidence from South East Asian industries. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(19), 67-88.

Long, K. A. (2021). Internal Amazon documents shed light on how company pressures out 6% of office workers. Seattle Times. Web.

Matthews, B. L., Harbin, J., & Daigle, J. (2018). The New York Times versus Amazon: Is Jeff Bezos’ head still in the clouds? Journal of Organizational Psychology, 18(3), 1-9.

Meijerink, J., Boons, M., Keegan, A., & Marler, J. (2021). Algorithmic human resource management: Synthesizing developments and cross-disciplinary insights on digital HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-18.

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Ochmann, J., & Laumer, S. (2020). AI Recruitment: Explaining job seekers’ acceptance of automation in human resource management. In Wirtschaftsinformatik (Zentrale Tracks) (pp. 1633-1648), Springer.

Rahimi, A., Soltani, A., & Ghamarnia, M. (2020). Enhancing EFL teachers™ intercultural sensitivity through instruction, is it really feasible? An ethnocentrism versus ethnorelativism perspective. Contemporary Educational Researches Journal, 10(3), 88-96.

Sahu, A. (2021). Amazon India’s inclusion programmes create opportunities for women, transgenders, PwDs and military veterans. HR World. Web.

Saxena, P., & Gupta, E. (2018). Failure of annual performance review and way forward: A study of few select companies. Advance and Innovative Research, 49, 59-65.

Schein, A. (2020). Organisational ambidexterity, hard power management and smart power management at Amazon, a case study. Global Business and Economics Review, 22(1-2), 27-40.

Zamri, N. E., Mansor, M., Mohd Kasihmuddin, M. S., Alway, A., Mohd Jamaludin, S. Z., & Alzaeemi, S. A. (2020). Amazon employees resources access data extraction via clonal selection algorithm and logic mining approach. Entropy, 22(6), 596.