Amazon has a solution to tackling the delivery shortage: recruiting marijuana smokers. The company is advising its partners, small family-owned delivery companies that operate Amazon’s ubiquitous blue vans, to prominently advertise that they will not test job applicants for marijuana use, documents shared with the Bloomberg agency reveal and interviews with four business owners.
Allowing users of this drug to participate in the selection processes can increase the number of job applicants by up to 400%, Amazon says in a message, without explaining how it came up with the statistic. In contrast, the company says, testing for marijuana use reduces the pool of potential workers by as much as 30%.
One such delivery company, which stopped drug testing applicants at Amazon’s behest, says the presence of traces of marijuana in their blood was the predominant reason most people were excluded from the screening process. . Now that they are only testing for tougher drugs, like opiates and amphetamines, they are getting more drivers approved.
Other delivery companies continue to screen applicants, concerned about the insurance and liability implications in the many states where marijuana use remains illegal. They are also concerned that completion of drug testing may lead some drivers to smoke before setting off on a route.
“If one of my drivers crashes and kills someone and tests positive for marijuana, that’s my problem, not Amazon’s,” said one, who requested anonymity to discuss the issue because Amazon recommends the owners of the courier companies that do not speak to the media.
All kinds of incentives
Employers are rolling out a wide variety of incentives for new hires amid the post-pandemic US job crisis, as $ 1,000 welcome bonuses alone no longer stand out. Target announced this month that it would pay for its employees’ college tuition. Applebee’s offered applicants free snacks in their effort to recruit 10,000 workers.
Amazon, which is lobbying the federal government to legalize marijuana, announced in June that it would no longer test for this drug in its job interviews. It wasn’t long before the company began urging its partners to do the same. In a statement, an Amazon spokeswoman said marijuana testing has disproportionately affected communities of color, slowing job growth.
He also said the company has zero tolerance for employees who work while high. “If a delivery partner is working without full mental faculties and tests positive after an accident or due to reasonable suspicion, that person will no longer be allowed to perform services for Amazon,” he said.
Hiring and recruiting drivers was a top concern for some 100 delivery business owners who met this week in Las Vegas to brainstorm ideas to help their businesses prosper. With the busy holiday shopping season looming, they are struggling to stand out in the tight job market. Amazon delivery contractors are often outmatched by school bus companies, where drivers can earn more than $ 20 an hour and go home for dinner. Amazon’s hired drivers typically make $ 17 an hour and often work late into the night to keep up with demand.
One solution is to increase your wages. But that can only happen if Amazon agrees to pay its delivery partners more for their services, which the company has no plans to do in the short term.