TSMC’s uncompromising attitude toward employment has resulted in a crop of unfavorable reviews on sites such as Glassdoor in the U.S. TSMC's U.S. operations have a paltry 27% approval rating on the anonymous employer review site, according to a report by Fortune. This is pretty dismal compared to firms such as Intel — which has an 85% approval rating.
TSMC chairman Mark Liu responded to the startling contrast in approval ratings in an interview with local Taiwanese press by suggesting people who aren't passionate about semiconductors and prepared to work long shifts shouldn't look for a career in the industry. Liu also said that TSMC's U.S. employees were not expected conform to the same work culture as its Taiwanese employees, according to a report by Focus Taiwan.
Regardless, disgruntled U.S.-based TSMC employees have anonymously shared scathing reviews of the company's work culture on Glassdoor. Nearly 100 reviews for TSMC in the U.S. have been published on the site, and common complaints mention:
- Heavy workloads
- Poor training
- Long hours
- High expectations from bosses / supervisors
- Limited breaks
- Work-life balance issues
- ‘Military style’ controlling atmosphere
Some of the most concerning comments highlighted in the Fortune report included complaints about the "brutal" corporate culture, about 12-hour days being standard practice, and about employees sleeping in the office for a month.
The average review of TSMC North America (not specifically Arizona) on Glassdoor appears to have improved since the Fortune report dropped. At the time of writing the company’s overall approval rating on the site is around 58% — which still isn't great compared to Intel.
TSMC Executive Comments
In response to the report, chairman Mark Liu said, "Those who are unwilling to take shifts should not enter the industry, since this field isn't just about lucrative wages but rather a passion for [the semiconductor industry]."
Liu also suggested that U.S. employees had it relatively easy compared to Taiwanese employees, but said work culture was open to discussion so long as TSMC's core company values were adhered to.
TSMC has plans for two wafer fabs in Arizona, which will output chips on 3nm and 4nm process nodes. The first plant is scheduled to start mass production in 2024, while the second will come up to speed in 2026.
TSMC has already had trouble recruiting for its new Arizona fabs due to its requiring a six- to 12-month training period in Taiwan, but perhaps its corporate culture is also to blame. A recent report of criminal behavior disturbing residents of the TSMC Village communities in Arizona will also be of concern to potential recruits.