Intel Relaxes Hiring Policy, as It Searches for More Talent

Intel Oregon
(Image credit: Intel)

Around seven years ago Intel began a painful process of mass layoffs. During the process, which started in 2015 and ran until 2016, 13,000 employees were dismissed. Brian Krzanich was CEO at the time, and as well as being instrumental to this layoff strategy, he rubber-stamped a controversial no re-hire policy. That policy has quietly been rescinded, reports The Oregonian.

The source indicates that Intel is in a personnel pickle and that the no re-hire policy has been unhelpful. The chipmaker currently needs thousands of staff across the US, with ambitious expansion plans still in motion – which will boost the demand for qualified and experienced staff even further.

Intel can't be sure that its rescinding of the no re-hire policy will be a great success, but in what is characterized as a national labor shortage, any potential help will be gratefully received. The no re-hire policy wasn't just frowned upon by those dismissed under Krzanich. Those who stayed behind will have been irked that when vacancies did arise, they couldn't be filled by trusted, experienced, old friends and former colleagues.

Now we are in mid-2022, with CEO Gelsinger now firmly in place, a leader with an established history of hiring his old workmates to some very senior positions. So it isn't surprising that the 2015/2016 no re-hire rule has been tossed aside.

In case you are wondering why the rule was drawn up in the first place, Krzanich is quoted as explaining "We're trying to build a different company. You don't orchestrate change by doing things the same way." On the surface that might sound logical, but people are very adaptable, and in 2022 Intel is finding it hard to hire qualified and experienced staff. Moreover, while Krzanich seemed to be somewhat PC-negative in his outlook, Gelsinger could be characterized as a PC, engineering and chipmaking evangelist.

In a statement received by The Oregonian, an Intel spokesperson is quoted as saying that "A number of years have passed since the 2015/2016 restructuring and those impacted may have new and additional skills that are valuable to Intel’s current business strategies." The spokesperson went on to make clear that most of the folk affected by the mass layoffs instigated seven years ago will be eligible to apply for current vacancies.

Of course, Intel can't progress and fill all the roles it needs to using old hands alone. Thus it has also announced new training programs. With these programs, it hopes to create a training and career path for high school and community college students who are interested in working in the chip industry.

This all comes as interesting news as chip rival Nvidia is said to be slowing its hiring activity due to rising inflation and the specter of a recession on the horizon. Whatever happens, it looks like Intel and Nvidia have different expectations for the coming months and years, or at the very least one is planning for the long term rather than the short term. It will be interesting to see where both companies are in a few years, and which strategy proves to be the smarter move for the chip-making giants. 

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • LastStanding
    We're trying to build a different company. You don't orchestrate change by doing things the same way.

    Brian Krzanich most definitely had the right idea (I mean... just look at how terrible NVIDIA's, etc. software has been, for years now, under its current untalented software staff) but it was the woke mob that pressured Krzanich to surrender but no one should never... ever give attention or surrender to these obvious attention-seekers.

    On the surface that might sound logical, but people are very adaptable


    That's a double-edged sword idea (and unproven to function for every company), though. Sure, some people COULD be versatile for change but the last few years have shown the opposite and instead, many of them have shown to be too relaxed, workplace drama divas, division, complacency, etc., and if a team has lost its luster, well, its time for restructuring or risk losing everything just for untalents.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Here’s what you do when you wanna clean house. You walk in and tell everybody you’re paying them half of what they’re making. The ones that stay you fire. You rehire the ones who leave at considerably more than their former salary. Problem solved. All the slabs that wanna hang on to their jobs are now gone and they are the useless ones who don’t want to work anyway. LOL
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    Mandark said:
    Here’s what you do when you wanna clean house. You walk in and tell everybody you’re paying them half of what they’re making. The ones that stay you fire. You rehire the ones who leave at considerably more than their former salary. Problem solved. All the slabs that wanna hang on to their jobs are now gone and they are the useless ones who don’t want to work anyway. LOL
    Even if the pay was significantly greater, why would anyone want to go back to the company after they 1. cut everyone's pay and 2. let go of people who stay on the assumption they're just scags?
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    I've heard that Jack Welch at GE had a guideline that you should fire 10% of your people every year.

    Sounds cruel and counterproductive .................... but naming at least 5% always seems pretty easy.


    I think the presumption is when someone leaves that it is usually for a good reason. If I have an employee leave but would be very happy as a supervisor to have them back I always put that in my exit paperwork. HR will rarely come take the time to come track down the former boss if the employee puts in an app but they are sure to review the exit paperwork.
    Reply
  • shady28
    Co BIY said:
    I've heard that Jack Welch at GE had a guideline that you should fire 10% of your people every year.

    Sounds cruel and counterproductive .................... but naming at least 5% always seems pretty easy.


    I think the presumption is when someone leaves that it is usually for a good reason. If I have an employee leave but would be very happy as a supervisor to have them back I always put that in my exit paperwork. HR will rarely come take the time to come track down the former boss if the employee puts in an app but they are sure to review the exit paperwork.


    This is actually de rigueur in most companies. Those thought processes came out more than 20 years ago and permeate corporate America.

    On the surface, it makes sense. However what happens in the real world is that as execs rotate in and out, then the VPs rotate in and out, then the Directors, then the managers, and then core workers with institutional knowledge. It eventually hollows the companies out, and even when some core of experienced people stay - there's no bench, and those people eventually retire.
    Reply
  • KyaraM
    Mandark said:
    Here’s what you do when you wanna clean house. You walk in and tell everybody you’re paying them half of what they’re making. The ones that stay you fire. You rehire the ones who leave at considerably more than their former salary. Problem solved. All the slabs that wanna hang on to their jobs are now gone and they are the useless ones who don’t want to work anyway. LOL
    That's the worst idea I have ever heard. And complete bs on top...
    Reply
  • Zarax
    Mandark said:
    Here’s what you do when you wanna clean house. You walk in and tell everybody you’re paying them half of what they’re making. The ones that stay you fire. You rehire the ones who leave at considerably more than their former salary. Problem solved. All the slabs that wanna hang on to their jobs are now gone and they are the useless ones who don’t want to work anyway. LOL

    Steve Ballmer, is that you?
    Seriously, the "fire the bottom X percent every year" strategy has been tried and almost killed several companies, it turns out there are several things you cannot measure on standard company KPIs...
    Reply
  • LastStanding
    Zarax said:
    Steve Ballmer, is that you?
    Seriously, the "fire the bottom X percent every year" strategy has been tried and almost killed several companies, it turns out there are several things you cannot measure on standard company KPIs...

    No. What almost killed these companies was due to, in most cases, how much damage they had allowed these untalents to do to their business and it took years before they decided to gain a backbone to do anything about it.

    You're basically saying is, these companies should keep these inferior employees because it better to have something compared to nothing. 😏
    Reply
  • Mandark
    KyaraM said:
    That's the worst idea I have ever heard. And complete bs on top...
    it was a joke.. lol
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Zarax said:
    Steve Ballmer, is that you?
    Seriously, the "fire the bottom X percent every year" strategy has been tried and almost killed several companies, it turns out there are several things you cannot measure on standard company KPIs...
    i put an lol in it.. it was more of a stupid joke... lolz

    oh and I actually knew the guy who said it too... not a real bright bulb if you know what I mean
    Reply