Despite promises and lawsuits, Tesla isn't hiring in solar
Earlier this week, Tesla ($NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced, via several tweets, that the company would re-launch its solar-panel business by allowing residents of Arizona, Connecticut, Massachussetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico to rent solar systems for as little as $50 a month. This came after the company — and its investors — saw its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity see nothing but shrinking solar-power market share.
But, at least as of today, job listing data suggests that Tesla hasn't done much to hire for its solar business. Job listings with the term "Solar" in them have shrunk to nearly zero, with just 8 such openings present on Tesla's recruiting websites as of August 17, 2019. For comparison's sake, Tesla had nearly 300 such listings in the fall of 2017 following its acquisition of SolarCity.
This drop in attention on its solar business — despite the promises earlier this week — couldn't come at a worse time, either. That's because retail giant Walmart ($NYSE:WMT) is suing Tesla of "systemic negligence" because it had to disconnect hundreds of Tesla solar panels after seven separate fires.
When solving for job listings in the states that will be part of the new solar-panel rental program, job listing trends aren't any better:
The Walmart suit calls out Tesla for a "history of deficient and incompetent inspections" and used "untrained, unqualified and unsupervised personnel" to maintain and install its panels.
It would follow that Tesla would be looking to hire some people to assure that its panels are installed and inspected properly. But, according to job-listing data, that hasn't happened just yet.
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.