Strange Amazon Job Posting Suggests the Company Is Fishing for Cybersecurity Hires | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Amazon accidentally published a job posting for a director of security engineering for something called “Project Panda” with a strange description indicating the listing would be used to find “opportunistic candidates.”

“This posting was listed in error and we’re working to remove it,” Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesperson said.

“Pooling requisition for security,” the now-deleted job posting repeatedly stated. “Using to push through opportunistic candidates to have conversations with security leaders.” The posting was originally listed on Amazon’s careers website and shared from its official LinkedIn page.

“Opportunistic” is generally understood in recruiting to describe candidates who are so good that companies will make a place for them even if they aren’t hiring.

“Opportunistic hiring is a recruitment strategy that involves always being open and mindful of bringing on new talent, regardless of whether there is a specific vacancy or job role to be filled,” one recruiting strategist wrote on LinkedIn. “This approach is strategic and reserved for high-demand skills or exceptional A+ talent who are truly unique.”

It’s unclear what the codename “Project Panda” describes or if it’s a real project, but that’s also what Amazon called its warehouse in Detroit.

The job posting, and the description in particular, fueled speculation among insiders over if Amazon is advertising positions the company doesn’t intend to fill, one told us.

“This is Amazon speak for ‘we’re not intending to hire but if we find an absolutely amazing person we will move some things around to give them an org,'” this person said. It may have worked too. We noted the posting had 28 LinkedIn applications before it was closed.

Amazon laid off 27,000 employees over the past year, and has put a hiring freeze in many teams across the company.

The job cuts were, in part, driven by over-hiring during the post-pandemic boom that failed to sustain. An internal document Insider reported on earlier this year stated Amazon lacked internal oversight and governance in job listing posts, leading to over hiring. One team posted 24,988 positions opened in 2022, when only 7,798 positions were approved for, according to the document. An Amazon spokesperson at the time said that multiple job openings were made to seek candidates in varied geographies and disputed that AWS had over hired beyond its approved headcount.

Amazon may start hiring more aggressively across the company later this year, as its business is recovering from a slowdown, one person familiar with the matter told Insider.

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