Economic downturn: Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft reportedly slowing down on hiring

Eberechukwu Etike
It was unclear why, but it is speculated that it could be for cost reduction…
Apple joins other tech giants to slow down its hiring process amidst global economy meltdown
Apple joins other tech giants to slow down its hiring process amidst global economy meltdown

Global tech giant, Apple is reportedly slowing down its hiring, recruitment, and expenditure plans. This is following a globally observed trend of tech companies minimising recruitment and acquisition rates as the economic downturn reality worsens.

According to Bloomberg, the company is currently considering implementing a slowed recruitment policy in some of its divisions, but no company-wide policy has been adopted yet. Although the company has no plans of laying off staff yet, this hiring slowdown may mark a reversal from the aggressive workforce growth the tech giant is known for.

This is not the first time the company has adopted a policy aimed at reducing hiring. In 2019, following a significant slowdown in iPhone sales, Apple put brakes on hiring, according to a report by TechGig.

This had an effect on the company’s performance, causing a decrease in hiring in some divisions. However, divisions such as Artificial Intelligence were unaffected.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has put brakes on hiring for “Genius” positions at some of its retail locations as far back as April of this year. It was unclear why, but it is speculated that it could be for cost reduction. In fact, as part of the hiring freeze, the company allegedly retracted job offers for some Genius positions.

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Apple, Amazon, Meta alike…

Apple is not in this alone. In May of this year, Microsoft announced plans to reduce hiring in its Windows, Office, and Teams divisions as the economic downturn approaches. Managers were told to be more selective in their hiring, and new hires in the aforementioned divisions had to be approved by the Vice President, Rajesh Jha, and his leadership team.

The tech giant also planned to increase staff salaries to retain the talents in the company.

Apple joins other tech giants to slow down its hiring process amidst global economy meltdown. Photo Credit: Financial Times
Global economy meltdown and the tech giants. Photo Credit: Financial Times

The situation appears to be different for Amazon. While other tech behemoths are attempting to reduce hiring, Amazon is said to be having a possible overflow of workers. This is due to its extensive hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, that is becoming a sort of problem.

According to a report by Business Insider, Amazon’s CFO, Brian Olsavsky, explained in a statement that the company became overstaffed as a result of the pandemic leading to lower productivity. 

Yet, the company hopes to create over 4,000 new jobs in the UK this year. This is odd is given the company’s reputation for mass hiring. Amazon added 7,000 new jobs in 2020, and by 2021, it had increased its hiring by more than 10,000.

In contrast, Tesla has laid off nearly 200 employees last month, closing down one of its autopilot facilities.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, predicted the possible future of the US and global economies and admitted that the company was overstaffed, hence the layoffs. This was crucial for the CEO, especially given the possibility of an unremitting economic downturn. The decision reduced the company’s headcount by about 10%, including hourly workers.

Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are reportedly slowing down on hiring. Here is why. Photo Credit: Nikkei Asia
Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are reportedly slowing down on hiring. Here is why. Photo Credit: Nikkei Asia

Similarly, streaming platform, Netflix laid off 150 full-time employees in the United States in May of this year as a result of a significant drop in revenue. This came less than a month after the company laid off at least ten employees from its editing and marketing departments. The decision was unrelated to individual performance, according to Netflix management.

Even, the global leading two players are not left out.

Another tech giant, Meta Inc, Facebook’s parent company has been gradually reducing hiring since the beginning of this year. This follows a significant drop in revenue. The company estimated its full-year expenses for 2022 to be $3 billion and slowed the pace of some of its investments.

Recall that CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this month that the company intends to reduce engineering hiring by at least 30% this year.

In a related event, Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO announced the company’s intention to slow hiring for the rest of the year due to the recent performance of the global economy. A relatively uncommon decision for the internet company, which customarily enlists tens of thousands of people annually.

But Google will prioritise technical and “other critical roles” in its hiring this year and next.

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What to expect

As the economic downturn worsens, affecting tech companies in Silicon Valley, Apple has warned that the latest quarter will be difficult as more stocks are collapsing, investors are gradually selling their stocks, and there is growing scepticism in the tech industry.

This may yet be the beginning.


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