Raising the Bar at Amazon in Spain
In her daily work, Elena Bris is part of a regulatory team for hazardous goods, and Lila Fernández is the head of fashion for Amazon Marketplace in Spain and Italy. For the last few years, they have also been Bar Raisers.
Lila explains that a Bar Raiser is “an Amazonian who upholds objectivity in the hiring process and ensures that all candidates who join the company raise the bar for their team.”
Raising the bar
“The Bar Raiser program was launched in 1999, with the aim of hiring the best talent on the market, instead of just finding the profile that is required at a certain time,” Elena tells us.
“There are 4 phases to our work: the first involves ensuring that the selection process is appropriate. Secondly, we make sure that all the interviewers are assigned the correct competencies. The third step is our interview with the candidate. Lastly, we have the discussion about our final choice,” Lila explains.
Elena tells us why the interview with the candidate is so important: “We focus on their reactions and extrapolate their employment experience to our daily operations and growth.”
Lila adds, “We don’t ask questions about CVs. We look for people who Think Big, Invent and Simplify, and Earn Trust, and who can help their teammates to grow within the company. Basically, people who embody Amazon’s Leadership Principles.”
Open positions at Amazon are advertised at https://www.amazon.jobs/en/.
Candidate well being
“We Bar Raisers ensure that the candidate feels comfortable, and that they understand the hiring process and the role they are applying for,” Elena says, adding that many interviews are virtual.
Lila shares the key to their success here: “We are very real, approachable people, and we always try to look out for the candidate’s wellbeing.” Elena adds, “We have been in the company for years. We understand its culture and ensure that it is kept alive.”
Having been a Bar Raiser since 2016, Elena is happy to share some advice for all potential candidates: “It’s important to prepare well for the interviews and research the culture at Amazon. You should come with an open mind. Be prepared to tell us about your experience and have fun.”
A curious counterbalance
Both Elena and Lila are curious people. They love to learn from candidates whose careers are really interesting and different from their own. “We participate in hiring processes that have nothing to do with our own role in Amazon,” Elena highlights.
We Bar Raisers don’t ask questions about CVs. We look for people who Think Big, Invent and Simplify, and Earn Trust, and who can help their teammates to grow within the company
They often participate in hiring processes for new areas of the business: “We have to be the counterbalance between the urgency that our colleagues feel when hiring and Amazon’s need for this person to be the best long-term fit,” Lila explains.
“The Bar Raiser figure is important for ensuring that standards are upheld and that everyone applies good practices in all areas of the business,” she says.