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Hiring at Tesla has dropped 63% in the past year

5 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in

Tesla Motors ($NASDAQ:TSLA) is having another dramatic month. New research from Bernstein revealed that executives who report to Elon Musk have a turnover rate of a staggering 44%. According to them, this is "dramatically higher" than that of comparable companies. Similar rates, for example are just 9% at other Silicon Valley companies.

But executives are only one factor: what about the bigger workforce responsible for designing, engineering, making, marketing, and servicing Teslas? 

Job listing analysis and LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:NSFT) data show that, while the company appears to be holding onto non-executive employees, hiring has hit all-time lows — both the number of job listings have slowed down, as has the hiring and onboarding process.

First, some good news: Low overall attrition 

Overall, company size, as measured by those who list Tesla as their employer on LinkedIn, remains steady. That means, at least according to LinkedIn members, Tesla's workforce size continues to hold steady, and even grow, despite layoffs or turnover.

Now the bad news: hiring is stalling

But the number of new positions being posted to Tesla's recruiting site has slowed and stalled as of late after years of hiring sprees. At this time last year, Tesla had 2,030 open positions. Today, it's listing 1,160 on its careers site. That a drop of 43% in hiring activity. Compared to May of 2018, openings at Tesla are down 63%.

The slowdown in hiring is possibly linked to a stall after massive onboarding efforts during Tesla's scramble to get Model 3s into customers' hands. Now that that appears to be under control, the company is only hiring for a sustainable future. This is partially corroborated by looking at the number of new positions posted to Tesla's recruitment website(s) on a daily basis in the past year.

Perhaps the most striking bit of data here is that on August 10, 2019, Tesla only posted 10 job openings to its careers site. That compares with days just a couple months ago when job postings neared 2,000.

On August 10, 2019, Tesla only posted 10 job openings to its careers site. That compares with days just a couple months ago when job postings neared 2,000.

Early 2019 hiring spree into hiring lull of late

The number of unfilled positions appears to have dropped significantly in early 2019, but since then, there appears to be a quiet hiring lull at Tesla. We looked at the number of positions that disappeared from Tesla's careers sites after 30 days to gain some insight into whether or not Tesla is actually hiring for the positions it's been listing on its sites. 

In early 2019, it does appear that a good number of jobs were either filled or simply removed from Tesla's website - we should be able to track overall workforce headcount in the company's next earnings report. But, since then, that number appears to have stagnated, indicating that the number of unfilled positions at Tesla are on a slight incline, or, as of late, stagnant, in a sign that jobs are not being filled.

So what's the future look like?

As for what Tesla is hirng for now, that remains focused on servicing extant customers, engineering, and manufacturing.

Recruiting also remains focused at its Fremont headquarters and main Tesla vehicle manufacturing operations.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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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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