Last Updated on 2024-02-23

5 Tips To Convert From Seasonal To Permanent Employment at Amazon

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Shane Lynch

T1 Asssociate with experience working both a Delivery Station and Sortation Center working in the XL Associate, Receive Dock, Waterspider, Picker, Problem Solver, and Packer roles.

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James Enright

L5 having worked in a Fulfillment Center, Sortation Center, and in Reverse Logistics with 6+ years of experience across Receive Dock, Decant, Waterspider, Stower, Picker, Count, Packer, SLAM Operator, Problem Solver, and Unloader roles

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Vaughn Winslow

One year of experience working in an Amazon XL warehouse

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Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

In the Amazon warehouse hiring process, entry-level roles are open to both seasonal (white badge) and permanent (blue badge) workers. 

Seasonal employees are the reinforcements brought in to bolster the company's capacity during peak shopping seasons – such as Prime Day, Black Friday, and Christmas holidays. Their positions only run for a few weeks to several months, during which time they enjoy competitive pay and flexible work hours. Such arrangements are therefore ideal for anyone seeking temporary contracts to perhaps supplement their main income.

The alternative permanent roles might not be as flexible, but they offer the full privileges of traditional employment. This includes health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, stock options, access to Amazon’s exclusive Career Choice program, and up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave, among other benefits.

Thankfully, Amazon doesn’t entirely lock its seasonal associates out of those extra perks. You can access it all by upgrading from seasonal to permanent employment. 

This guide details the entire transition process, clarifies when Amazon Warehouses may hire permanent employees, provides seasonal employees with qualification tips, and highlights the Amazon Warehouse job requirements to fulfill. 

Is it common for Amazon warehouse employees to convert from seasonal to permanent?

Yes, it's a well-established practice at Amazon to transition seasonal employees into permanent roles. The trend is particularly common in entry-level Amazon warehouse jobs, where many start on a seasonal basis with the hope of securing long-term employment.

Testimonials from Amazon warehouse associates reveal that while the qualification criteria may differ from time to time, the opportunity usually comes after months of serving the company. 

We’ve seen reports of people transitioning to a permanent role after anywhere from just two months, with most getting the opportunity after about six months.

After six months, the conversion to a permanent contract is automatic if the associate is in good standing,” clarifies James Enright , an Amazon warehouse veteran of six years. 

On conversion, candidates get an email and a notification in their A to Z app,” he further explains. “Management then proceeds to provide them with the blue badge plus the accompanying benefits in their next pay period.”

The transitions are usually done continuously, sometimes on multiple workers at once. In 2020, for example, the company announced that it would offer permanent roles to 70% of the 175,000 seasonal U.S. associates hired during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Opportunities depend on the location

Conversion opportunities at Amazon do indeed vary across different warehouse locations, influenced by factors such as local demand, the volume of orders, and the specific operational needs of each facility. 

A comparative state analysis reveals that regions with higher demand and larger facilities typically offer more conversion opportunities. During the 2023 holiday season , for instance, California emerged as Amazon's top hiring state. 30,000 new fulfillment center associates were brought on to match the state's projected high demand. Texas and Florida followed, with 28,000 and 15,000 new hires, respectively. In contrast, Maryland and Virginia, which completed the top ten ranks, recorded 9,000 hires each.

Factors that determine the availability of Amazon job transitions

Several other factors determine the availability of conversion opportunities. 

Time of the year

Amazon's annual hiring cycles are strategically planned around its peak shopping seasons. Weeks before the highest volume days, seasonal warehouse associates are brought in to manage the anticipated increased demand. Then in the months following the peak times, Amazon evaluates its operational needs and decides on the number of seasonal roles to transition to permanent positions.

In 2023, for instance, Amazon had reportedly planned to recruit 250,000 workers during the holiday season to meet the surge in demand. This was 100,000 more than the previous year, with some of the permanent hires being sourced internally through conversions.  

It’s worth noting, though, that while you can predict when Amazon warehouses will hire again, the transition schedule might not be that straightforward. Seasonal to permanent conversion opportunities are dictated by the company’s long-term staffing requirements based on the preceding peak season's performance and future projections. 

Job performance

Amazon qualifies seasonal workers for permanent roles by evaluating their performance metrics. In particular, it looks into the productivity, efficiency, and reliability indicators. 

At a minimum, one should have at least 30 days of employment history. During this time, you should be in good standing with the company and have avoided any run-ins with warnings or other disciplinary actions.

“Reliability is the absolute most important factor in going from a white to a blue badge.” echoes Shane Lynch, who’s been an Amazon warehouse associate for a little over one year. 

His colleague, Vaughn Winslow, shares the same sentiments. He even emphasizes that Amazon is especially serious about attendance when it comes to transitioning seasonal workers into permanent Amazon warehouse employees.  

“This sounds like a difficult task but it’s incredibly easy to accomplish,” adds Shane. “You simply have to come to work when you’re scheduled on time and stay until your shift is completed. As long as you’re not within the bottom 5 % of performance day after day you can easily avoid being written up”

Amazon’s warehouse expansion

Amazon continues to set up new warehouses and expand existing ones to meet the rising demand for its services. With this growth strategy, comes the need for a substantial workforce to manage the increased operational demands. 

Many of the warehouse roles are initially filled by seasonal workers. Then over time, as operations stabilize and the need for a consistent, reliable workforce grows, Amazon often turns to its pool of seasonal employees to fill permanent positions.

According to James Enright though, such conversion opportunities might be hard to come by. In his words, “Transferring to a new building that's opening/relaunching is an easy but rare way to quickly go from white to blue badge.” 

“New warehouses may allow white badges with only a week or two of employment to come in as blue badges,” says Shane. Vaughn however insists that while possible, it’s very rare. He explains that Amazon may only extend the opportunity during special occasions or peak seasons. 

Tips to convert from seasonal to permanent Amazon warehouse employment

Securing a permanent position at Amazon from a seasonal role requires more than just showing up. It demands a strategic approach to your daily work and overall performance. 

Here are actionable tips to help you with that:

Tip #1: Maintain optimal productivity

Amazon's operational backbone relies heavily on the productivity and efficiency of its warehouse workers, monitored through a series of performance metrics. These KPIs reflect your work ethics and capabilities, which then define the qualification chances of converting from seasonal to permanent Amazon warehouse employment. 

Some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to prioritize include:

  • Pick Rate: Measures how many items you pick and scan per hour, thus revealing your efficiency in fulfilling customer orders.
  • Stow Rate: Evaluates the number of items you place into inventory within an hour – which is an indicator of your stock management efficacy.
  • Accuracy: Used to check the rate of errors like incorrect picks, mislabeled items, or improperly packed shipments.
  • Time Off Task: Tracks the duration you spent not scanning items.

To minimize the "Time Off Task", you should manage time effectively and stay productive throughout your shift. Then with proper lifting techniques, you might be able to speed up your picking and stowing while preventing injuries.

If you ask Shane , one of the biggest things that throw off your time off task is breaking to go to the bathroom right after a lunch or 15-minute break. He advises workers to “wait for at least five minutes or maybe go during their break.” Vaughn too adds that you should always go back to your workstation and log in before proceeding to take a restroom break. 

You might also want to schedule your shifts and workstations in a more organized and better-streamlined manner. This will reduce the likelihood of errors and boost your overall productivity.

Otherwise, remember to prepare yourself physically and mentally for Amazon's peak seasons, when the workload and pace intensify. Physically, try to stay hydrated and take advantage of breaks to maintain stamina and avoid burnout.

Tip #2: Always be punctual

Amazon tracks employee punctuality and attendance through an attendance points system. Its system penalizes tardiness, unexcused absences, and early departures, with each infraction edging an employee closer to a threshold that could impact their warehouse job status. 

The general consensus among Amazon workers is that you need to maintain less than four attendance points to remain in good standing. Going beyond may otherwise indicate unreliability, thus jeopardizing your chances of going from a seasonal to a permanent Amazon warehouse job. 

If you have to drop a shift you’ve been scheduled for, do it early through the app,” insists Shane. “If you wait until it’s 24 hours or less you’ll accrue two points. Doing it earlier could mean one point or none.” 

According to Vaughn, the best time to make the drop is at least a week before your shift. He argues that this is particularly critical for non-Flex employees operating with set schedules.  

Balancing work and personal life, especially during peak operational seasons, may also help you to maintain punctuality. You’ll be able to consistently honor your shifts without burning out.  

Amazon even offers several flexibility options – such as shift swapping, Anytime Shifts, and Voluntary Time Off (VTO) – to accommodate personal obligations without compromising your attendance record.

The company additionally complies with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allowing you to take extended time away from work. Just make sure that you notify your supervisors in advance and observe Amazon’s procedures for reporting absences. 

“Maintain positive UPT(unpaid time) and, by all means, don’t ever drop to negative,” warns James. He explains that while the specific policies may vary by location, such low scores will almost always get you dismissed from the platform. 

Tip #3: Positive work ethic and attitude

A positive work ethic is characterized by consistency, reliability, and the initiative to exceed expectations. It communicates to Amazon’s management that you are not just passing time, but are genuinely invested in the company for the long term. 

Take it from James. “The warehouse shifts are long and monotonous,” he explains. “So, the few associates who are positive always stand out like a sore thumb in the best ways possible.”

This is achieved by maintaining professionalism, treating colleagues and supervisors with respect, and complying with workplace policies. 

Amazon additionally values employees who can work well within a team, as its warehouse operations are fast-paced and intricately interconnected. You’ll stand out by maintaining consistent communication with your colleagues, assisting them selflessly, providing constructive feedback, and collaborating holistically across multiple levels.

Another thing that might impress your Amazon warehouse managers is proactive problem-solving. They want permanent employees who have the foresight to positively identify and mitigate potential issues before they escalate, seek assistance when necessary, and easily adapt to shifts in workplace demands. 

Tip #4: Build relationships with managers

Building positive relationships with your managers and supervisors is one easy way to align your personal growth with the company’s goals. These individuals can be your greatest advocates, providing you with early insights into upcoming conversion opportunities and supporting your application process. 

Such connections can be developed naturally through strategic communication. Make a habit of regularly updating managers on your performance, seeking feedback, and expressing an eagerness to learn and grow. The team at Amazon will take that as an indication of your commitment and willingness to contribute to the company’s success. 

Just offering to get cross-trained will do a long way towards building those relationships,” says Shane.

James agrees while emphasizing that this is one of the best pieces of advice a white badge could get towards kickstarting their conversion journey. According to him, this initiative shows your managers that you’re willing to learn and take on new challenges.

Participating in company events, safety programs, and committees will further strengthen the relationships and demonstrate your dedication to Amazon's workplace values and operations. You can use them to expand your reputation within the wider Amazon community, as a prime candidate for full-time employment.

Trying to become a learning ambassador or associate safety committee member is another fantastic way to stand out and show potential,” confirms James. He further adds, “I don’t know about other warehouses, but ours is pretty liberal about giving white badge associates such opportunities.”.

Through the many engagements, you’ll also be able to seek mentorship from seasoned managers. They’ll then give you guidance on Amazon's operations, culture, and expectations. 

Tip #5: Comply with warehouse safety protocols

Due to Amazon’s commitment to operational integrity and collective well-being in the workplace, safety compliance always features in its job performance evaluation. This criteria applies even to seasonal Amazon warehouse hires who are aiming for permanent job contracts. 

Before we even get to following its safety practices, the company expects you to understand all the protocols. You ought to be conversant with the correct lifting techniques, proper equipment use, and emergency response procedures

According to Vaughn, “Amazon is very serious about workplace safety and compliance. This is the first thing they will look at even before your attendance.” To get in Amazon’s good books, he encourages seasonal workers to complete all safety training before applying to become a blue badge.”

Amazon also promotes proactive safety measures, such as regular participation in safety briefings, prompt reporting of potential hazards, and consistent use of the required personal protective equipment (PPE). You might also want to capitalize on Amazon’s $110 Zappos credit for purchasing safety shoes. All these initiatives make you come off as a responsible individual, devoted to preventing accidents and promoting safe work culture. 

Your leadership qualities will also come out strongly, especially when you lead by example in safety compliance, encourage peers to follow suit, and actively contribute to a culture of safety. 

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