Amazon Goes Office Shopping in Canada, Opening More Offices Outside the U.S.

Amazon new Vancouver office

Amazon announced Friday that Vancouver would soon get a new corporate office that would double the company’s staffing in the city over the next few years. The e-commerce and technology giant is looking to leverage the growing technology talent in the area, which means the job openings will primarily be for tech and non-tech jobs in software engineering.

There are currently about 1,000 Amazon employees in the Western Canadian city of Vancouver, and that is expected to double to 2,000 through 2020 once the second corporate office is open. Around 150,000 people are already employed overseas by the company, so this is not exactly a large addition to the pool. But the attraction of tech talent in North America, but outside the U.S., will certainly be appealing.

It’s harder than ever for skilled workers to get visa approvals to work in the United States, so Amazon is naturally looking at other developed markets to compensate for its growing talent requirements.

In their search for a second global headquarters in North America, called Amazon HQ2, the company has clearly said that one of the requirements was having universities nearby so they could leverage young talent as soon as they’re qualified to join the workforce. But that project is 50 times larger that the Vancouver project, and will increase the company’s employee headcount by at least 50,000 over the next five years or so – in addition to the city getting an investment to the tune of $5 billion over the period. Amazon will only reveal the final location next year, and the bids for the first round are already closed after getting 238 applications from across North America.

Amazon is rapidly increasing its corporate presence as well as fulfillment centers, not to mention acquiring the 400 or so locations in the U.S. that came with the Whole Foods Market acquisition concluded recently. London recently got a brand new Amazon office right in the heart of its financial district, where the company will be focusing on R&D related to its digital voice assistant Alexa, as well as drone technology for its last-mile delivery disruption efforts, among other things.

Sources: Reuters | Techcrunch | CNN