Rockstar Talent: The only thing Amazon wants more than your money.

By January 11, 2018 No Comments

Rockstar Talent: The only thing Amazon wants more than your money.

You’re a loyal customer of Amazon.

They don’t care.

They’re still coming for your best people.

The war for talent is underway. So, I read with fascination today’s story of an Israel-based startup under recruiting attack by Amazon.

“I just learned that Amazon is actively targeting and trying to poach Lemonade Inc. employees. I wonder if that’s their idea of supporting the start-up ecosystem. Reconsidering Amazon AWS,” said Shai Wininger, Co-Founder of Lemonade, the insurance startup that’s raised $180 million in venture capital.

Wininger later followed up, saying Amazon’s poaching of employees from customers, like Lemonade, is a “breach of confidence.” He also added the “obscene amount of money” being offered to steal his employees could end up damaging the entire Israeli start-up market.

The outrage quickly became a pile-on.

“We spend nearly $2,000,000 per year on AWS, yet Amazon recruiters are aggressively trying to poach our developers in (Tel Aviv),” wrote Liad Agmon, CEO of Dynamic Yield. “It’s a data point I’m seriously considering as part of our internal debate whether to stick with Amazon or switch to Google Cloud.”

Israel? What’s this have to do with you?

Amazon’s tactics prove that finding customers (and even finding investors) is rapidly taking a backseat to finding Rockstar employees. It’s become that difficult. The Conference Board’s annual survey of CEO’s reveals that recruiting & retaining talent is now their #1 concern.

So, Wininger and Agmon shouldn’t be surprised. (Personally, I think they should be flattered that Amazon so highly values their staff.)

The implications:

  • You can’t avoid the war for talent. In Tel Aviv, in Tampa, or in Tiburon.
  • Are you prepared to fight?
  • What are you doing to headhunter-proof your company? When your best people receive headhunter calls this year, will they say “No thanks”?
  • Is recruiting from your customers or vendors fair game? Decide now, not later.

We’re at 4.1% unemployment. By this summer, it’s going to be 3.5% – that’s hyper-employment territory.

Are you ready?

All’s fair in love and the war for talent.

I have some ideas that can help you hang on to your Rockstar employees. Click here to grab my 7-day free video course.

Jeff Hyman is the bestselling author of Recruit Rockstars, Professor at Kellogg School of Management, host of the 5-star-rated Strong Suit Podcast, and Chief Talent Scout at Strong Suit Executive Search.