Strange Amazon job posting suggests the company is fishing for 'opportunistic' hires


Amazon recently made a mistake by publishing a job posting for a director of security engineering under the codename "Project Panda." The posting had a strange description indicating that it would be used to find "opportunistic candidates." Amazon has since acknowledged the error and is working to remove the posting. The description mentioned "pooling requisition for security" and using the posting to identify excellent candidates for conversations with security leaders. 

"Opportunistic" typically refers to candidates who are highly skilled and in such demand that companies are willing to create a position for them, even if there isn't a specific vacancy. This recruitment strategy, known as "opportunistic hiring," is reserved for exceptional talent with unique skills. 

It's unclear what "Project Panda" specifically refers to, although it's worth noting that Amazon previously used the term for one of its warehouses in Detroit. The job posting and its description have raised speculation among insiders about whether Amazon is advertising positions without the intention of filling them. One insider suggested that this may be Amazon's way of signaling that they are open to creating a new position for an exceptional candidate. 

Interestingly, the posting received 28 applications on LinkedIn before it was closed. Amazon recently had to lay off 27,000 employees due to over-hiring during the post-pandemic boom that ultimately couldn't be sustained. This was attributed, in part, to a lack of internal oversight and governance in job listing posts. An internal document revealed that one team posted almost 25,000 positions in 2022 when only 7,798 were approved. Amazon, however, disputed claims of over-hiring, stating that multiple job openings were aimed at seeking candidates in various locations. 

There are indications that Amazon may start hiring more aggressively across the company later this year as its business begins to recover from a slowdown.  

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