Intel has elected to freeze all hiring for its Client Computing Group (CCG), responsible for development of end-user products focussed on 2-in-1, thin-and-light, commercial and gaming solutions. According to a memo seen by Reuters, Intel's decision stems from a package of cost-cutting measures, and will serve as a breather for the company to re-evaluate its strategic investments considering macroeconomic and industry trends. Nvidia too recently announced a slowdown on its hiring pace, as companies tighten their belts in order to better weather the economic downturn.
According to the memo distributed on Wednesday, all hiring and job requisitions have been placed on hold, with the expectation that "at least some hiring" could be resumed in a two-week time frame - after the CCG's priorities have been reviewed. In the meantime, all job offers already in place before the measure will still be honored.
In a statement provided to Reuters, Intel says that the company still believes in its growth, development, and talent recruitment strategy; however, the company aims to increase its expenses focus by further prioritizing hiring according to expected industry trends throughout the next years. In addition to freezing hiring, Intel also took the opportunity to cut travel expenses within the CCG, even going as far as cutting back on participation in industry-related conferences and adopting a virtual-first approach to collaboration.
The news comes in wake of the precipitous fall in tech-sector companies' market evaluations following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the ongoing fight against a worldwide recession - in a world already left fragile by the COVID-19 pandemic. Intel itself has seen a whopping 28% decline in its share valuation compared to last year which, while significant, is relatively in-line with other industry players.
Interestingly, Intel very recently revised its famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) no-rehire policy for talent that left Intel towards greener pastures, which was in place since 2015. The company also set up a multi-billion dollar fund designed to attract and retain new talent in the last month of 2021, likely as a measure to guarantee a qualified and abundant-enough workforce that can populate its upcoming new fabrication facilities and expansions towards existing manufacturing centers.
We have to remember that all of this is happening in an industry where qualified talent is increasingly scarce, as tech giants attempt to outreach one another towards hiring and training the engineers and technicians that will power technological development throughout the next few years. The competition is so fierce for so few resources that fab expansions have already been hit by delays due to lack of talent. It remains to be seen whether Intel's decision to stop hiring in the fast-moving segment that its CCG operates in will be capitalized on by the companies' rivals.