Hiring data indicates Netflix may be too big for its own good

5 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Features

Just yesterday, Netflix ($NASDAQ:NFLX) announced that it added 9 million new subscribers at the end of 2018, beating expectations of 7.6 million new subscribers. That's good news for the company. It now has 139 million subscribers globally and expects to add another 8.9 million by the end of March.

But then news came that the service would be raising subscription prices, and members groaned. On top of that, analysts noted that growth in the US has slowed as the market becomes saturated with streaming services. 

And then it was reported that sales fell slightly short of expectations, causing Wall Street to pause for a moment and consider whether or not Netflix is overweight.

A quick look at hiring trends at the company show that the company may be feeling the hangover of a hiring binge.

Consider this fact: at this moment last year, Netflix was hiring 455 people across 24 job categories. Today, it's hiring 564 people across 84 categories.

The two years' categories and listings per category, taken from January 15, 2018 and January 15, 2019, respectively, are shown below.

Job Categories (2018)

Listings

Job Categories (2019)

Listings

Marketing

64

Publicity

32

Public Relations

51

Content Engineering Core

30

Content

42

Creative Marketing Production

27

Content Engineering

32

Content Legal

26

Cloud Platform Engineering

30

Studio Finance

25

Product Management

30

Finance Core

24

Legal

30

Data Engineering and Infrastructure

16

Science and Analytics

24

Talent Acquisition

12

Financial Planning and Analysis

21

Post Management

12

Finance

21

Regional Marketing

12

Product Engineering

20

Brand and Editorial Marketing

11

Data Engineering and Infrastructure

16

Ecosystem Engineering

10

Partner Ecosystem

15

Employee Technology

10

User Interface Engineering

14

Studio Technology

9

Human Resources

11

VFX

9

Streaming Client

10

Customer Service

9

Content Delivery

7

User Interface Engineering

9

Content Operations

6

Product Management Core

9

Employee Technology

4

Platform Engineering

9

Customer Service

4

Studio Management

9

Customer Service Administration

1

Post Partnerships & Integration

8

Business Development

1

Post Operations

8

Globalization

1

Product Creative Editorial

8

Product Creative Operations

8

Creative Tech & Infrastructure

8

Product Engineering Core

8

Content FP&A

8

Customer Service Administration

7

Creative Marketing

7

Product Creative Globalization

7

Product Creative Producers

7

Facilities Operations and Real Estate

7

Marketing Planning and Analysis

6

Open Connect Engineering

6

APAC Content

6

HR Business Partner

6

Marketing Tech Engineering

6

Business Development

6

Payments

5

Marketing Core

5

Legal Core

5

Safety & Security

5

Corporate FP&A

5

Science and Analytics Core

5

Product Creative Studio

5

Partner Ecosystem Core

4

Partner Marketing

4

Streaming Client

4

Physical Production Core

4

Studio Engineering

4

Corporate Communications

4

Personalization Engineering

4

Human Resources Core

4

Product Design

4

Consumer Products

3

Business Development, Marketing and Product Legal

3

International Dubbing

3

Litigation and Regulatory Affairs

3

Corporate Legal

3

Edge Engineering

3

Talent

3

Operations Leadership

3

Productivity Engineering

3

Workforce Management

2

Awards

2

Systems & Innovations

2

Animation

2

Information Security

2

Programmatic Marketing

2

Product Creative Core

2

Content Acquisition Core

1

Public Policy

1

Streaming Delivery

1

International Originals Production

1

Original Series Production

1

Content Marketing S&A

1

Aviation

1

Docs, Comedies, Unscripted & Talk Production

1

Production Tax

1

Kids & Family Content

1

Business Affairs - Original Series Docs & Stand Up

1

Consumer Insights Marketing

1

Major Studio Licensing

1

At first glance, it looks normal: any company in the throes of a global growth marathon like Netflix would want to diversify and set itself up to scale. So it's not a huge surprise that job categories like "Marketing" would split into multiple categories. But can it be overly complicated in how it labels jobs and expand too much?

Netflix's "Marketing" category is now split into "Creative Marketing Production", "Regional Marketing", "Brand and Editorial Marketing", "Creative Marketing", "Marketing Planning and Analysis", "Marketing Tech Engineering", "Marketing Core", "Partner Marketing", "Programmatic Marketing", "Content Marketing S&A", and "Consumer Insights Marketing". 

And that diversification of hiring taxonomy occurred in just the last year.

Netflix hiring has been consistently upbeat with only a slight stall in terms of daily open positions as of late.

That said, Netflix slowed new job listings at the beginning of the year in 2018, so this lull shouldn't be cause for alarm.

But given the streaming market's increasing saturation — new services are expected in 2019 from Apple, Disney, DC, Walmart, and Warner/HBO — one has to ask is Netflix is setting itself up properly not just for scalability and expansion, but also to be able to compete. As always, we'll keep our eyes on the numbers.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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