What Amazon HQ2 Means for Seattle Employment

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on March 23, 2018

Amazon buildingWhile cities across the U.S. are clamoring to host Amazon’s “HQ2,” its second headquarters, Seattle already knows what it’s like to be home to the heart of the massive company. Since the company opened its first headquarters in the South Lake Union district in 2010, Amazon has expanded to over 40,000 employees in 33 Seattle buildings, and its construction projects continue to change the face of the city.

Seattle isn’t in the running for Amazon’s HQ2. But Seattle’s experience with HQ1, and the impending placement of HQ2, stand to have significant effects on Seattle hiring in the months and years to come.

Here’s what to expect:

A slight “brain drain” on highly skilled talent in Seattle.

Amazon is likely to move certain key staff members from its current Seattle operations to its second headquarters to “kickstart” both the operations and the culture of HQ2. The more Amazon decides to populate HQ2 with its existing workforce, the more the company will need to replace those positions in Seattle.

The result? A major competitor for top talent for the months surrounding HQ2’s opening. Local companies that want to find and keep these rock stars before Amazon does will need a strategic staffing vision that poises them to move fast.

Difficulty finding outstanding entry-level candidates.

As Amazon and similar companies continue to pour resources into Seattle, development grows exponentially, rents continue to rise, traffic gets more onerous and increasing numbers of young workers find themselves forced to move to the suburbs or to seek their fortunes in other cities.

The unfortunate side effect? Fewer bright, thoughtful young candidates looking to place their feet on the first rung of the career ladder in Seattle. An eye to compensation that considers transportation costs or cost of living can help companies attract and keep these future leaders.

A need to stay smart about competitive compensation.

Amazon’s massive bottom line means the company can offer more in the way of salary and benefits – but it doesn’t mean that the company can offer a better all-around compensation package for the candidates your own company wants most. Staying up to date on the latest compensation ranges for Seattle, along with factors like cost of living, can help ensure you offer a compensation package that is competitive, yet doesn’t break your budget.

How TERRA Can Help You

The recruiters at TERRA Staffing Group not only help connect our clients with great Seattle-area talent, we also stay on top of local hiring news, so you’ll always know someone who understands what’s happening. As the staffing and recruiting experts in the Pacific Northwest, we can help you navigate changes in the market and hire top talent. Find one our branches today to learn more about our recruitment services in Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

Categories: HR Compliance & Labor Laws, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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