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

  • Amazon accidentally posted a job for a director of security engineering for something called “Project Panda.”
  • The now-deleted post said that the listing was meant to find “opportunistic candidates.”
  • That fueled some speculation about Amazon advertising positions the company doesn’t intend to fill.

Amazon inadvertently published a job posting for a director of security engineering for something called “Project Panda” with a strange description indicating the listing would be used to find “opportunistic candidates.”

“This posting was listed in error, and we’re working to remove it,” Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser said.

“Pooling requisition for security,” the now-defunct job posting stated several times. “Using to push through opportunistic candidates to have conversations with security leaders.” The job posting was first posted on Amazon’s careers website and then shared on its official LinkedIn page.

In recruiting, the term “opportunistic” refers to candidates who are so good that companies will make room for them even if they aren’t hiring.

“Opportunistic hiring is a recruitment strategy that involves always being open and mindful of bringing on new talent, regardless of whether there is a specific vacancy or job role to be filled,” a recruiter wrote on LinkedIn. “This approach is strategic and reserved for high-demand skills or exceptional A+ talent who are truly unique.”

It’s unclear what the codename “Project Panda” means or if it refers to a real project, but that’s also what Amazon called its Detroit warehouse.

The job posting, and particularly the description, fueled speculation among insiders about whether Amazon is advertising positions that it does not intend to fill, one source told us.

“This is Amazon speak for ‘we’re not intending to hire but if we find an absolutely amazing person we will move some things around to give them an org,'” said the individual in question. It might have worked as well. Before it was closed, the posting received 28 LinkedIn applications.

Amazon has laid off 27,000 employees in the last year and has put a hiring freeze in place in many departments.

Over-hiring during the post-pandemic boom, which did not last, contributed to the job cuts. According to an internal document obtained by Insider earlier this year, Amazon lacked internal oversight and governance in job posting posts, resulting in overhiring. According to the document, one team posted 24,988 positions open in 2022, when only 7,798 positions were approved for. At the time, an Amazon spokesperson stated that multiple job openings were created to seek candidates from various geographies and denied that AWS had overhired beyond its approved headcount.

According to one person familiar with the matter, Amazon may begin aggressive hiring across the company later this year as its business recovers from a slowdown.

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