Contract-To-Hire at Amazon or Full-Time Offer from Startup

Nexon gAsQ24
Nov 17, 2019 13 Comments

This is going to be long, fyi.

yoe: 1 1/2yr of industry experience and 1yr of internship experience. BS in Computer Science.

A recruiter from third-party recruiting agency reached out and asked me if I would be interested in a 6-month contract-to-hire position at Amazon. She said the team has been looking to hire an engineer but they've been having a hard time hiring one because not a lot of people make it pass the phone interview, let alone on-site. I passed one technical phone interview (standard LeetCode problem). Then I passed on-site interview (2 technical (standard LeetCode problem and OOD) and 1 behavioral with manager (LP)). They gave me the offer the next day.

I'm having a hard time deciding if this is actually a good opportunity. The recruiter assured me that it is a long-term opportunity. As long as I do my job during my contract, I will get converted to Full-Time. There's even a possibility that I will get converted even before 6 months (it says in the offer letter). She said the managers at Amazon are starting to do this because it's easier to hire full-time engineer this way and it's a better way to assess someone before they hire full-time.

This position is SDE 1 and it's in Seattle. The rate is $48/hr (about $95k/yr) and that's it.

The thing is I don't know how much I can trust the recruiter when she said it's a long-term opportunity but I really like the team I interviewed with. I forgot to ask the manager of the team if this is a short-term or long-term (my fault).

Would this be a good opportunity to step foot in Amazon? If I don't get converted to full-time after 6 months I still have Amazon on my resume and I can jump to different company easily?

The other offer is from a startup (B2B) in Irvine, CA.

The founder of the company contacted me through LinkedIn asking if I'm interested in Big Data Backend Software Engineer role. We chatted then I did a 1-hr technical video interview with a senior engineer. It was knowledge-based, problem-solving, background & exp, and behavioral.

The salary is $100k, 20% of salary as annual bonus, PTO, health insurance, etc..

I'm having a hard time picking which of the two because I currently live in SoCal and I'm paying a mortgage for a house shared with family. If I pick the startup in Irvine then it's cheaper for me because I only have to pay one mortgage but the downside is I do not know anything about the team or the growth. The company is solid and the founder and senior engineer that I interviewed with were nice, chill, and helpful. If I pick contract-to-hire position at Amazon, I'll be paying two mortgages and the pay is lower but if I get converted to full-time then I guess it's worth it? Both teams at both Amazon and startup are solid but if I pick Amazon, I kind of know what I'm getting myself into but startup? I don't know anything about the team.

Please help. I’m still early in my career so I’m not really looking to settle down anytime soon. Thanks


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TOP 13 Comments
  • Amazon saiyan_87
    That pay for sde 1 seems low to me. Full time ones easily make around or over 140k , someone from amazon can correct me if i am wrong. Conversion to full time , understand the nuances of it which might not be there in offer letter. It is cheaper for them to keep you on contract after all but yeah amazon on resume does not hurt
    Nov 17, 2019 7
    • Slalom Consulting / Sales StankyFeet
      My base is 125, 160k TC SDE1
      Nov 17, 2019
    • Amazon saiyan_87
      Everyone here has some great points. Thanks all
      Nov 17, 2019
  • Intel fghyr
    I wouldn’t go for a contract position. Go for the full time, you can always interview again in 6 months or so if you don’t like the current position.

    BTW, there is no reason for you to ‘trust’ the recruiter. Do you trust your car salesman ?
    Nov 17, 2019 1
    • Nexon gAsQ24
      Good point. Thanks for your input!
      Nov 17, 2019
  • Amazon CulStryBro
    No, contract to full time is not a common thing at Amazon. I would pass on that. Express your willingness to interview in the future for a full time role.
    Nov 17, 2019 0
  • New lanku
    Tell recruiter you have some additional questions and would like to speak to someone from Amazon team again such as HM. Ask more about how long they have used this agency and why they went with this recruiter /agency. What has the experience been and if he is aware of what the recruiter is telling you. If offer is set and recruiter is good, they should allow for you to speak to HM again if you express concern about additional questions. I had a contract to hire with another company and recruiter had no problem arranging additional time with team if I was still undecided after the initial offer was sent. Use this opportunity to assess if this contract to hire scenario is actually occurring at Amazon.
    Personally in your position, I am not saying take it, but to consider it for the ability just to claim Amazon experience and to network with other Amazonians. Networking has gotten me all my FANG interviews. Be wary of any clause that says you can't apply directly to the client though for a set period though.
    Nov 17, 2019 0
  • Northrop Grumman dWWk15
    They should pay more than full time for a contract, otherwise what’s the point?
    Nov 17, 2019 0


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