Microsoft Executive Indicates Departmental Hiring Slowdown

Microsoft could be adopting a more cautious approach to hiring new people, amid growing concern at the global economic situation.

Bloomberg reported that a senior executive at Microsoft has told his staff in a number of divisions to adopt a more conservative approach to hiring new people.

This comes as the world faces inflationary pressures, rising fuel costs and food prices, caused in part by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the economic fallout from lockdowns imposed during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Departmental caution

According to the Bloomberg report Rajesh Jha, executive VP in its Windows, Office and Teams chat and conferencing software groups, told staffers via email in his group on Thursday to be more cautious when it comes to opening up new roles.

He also reported told employees to request permission from Jha’s leadership team first, according to a person familiar with the matter, who was not authorised to speak about private deliberations.

Jha cited a need to realign staffing priorities as Redmond approaches a new fiscal year in a time of global economic uncertainty.

Those groups have expanded recently and the company wants to make sure it’s making the right hires in the right places, a Microsoft spokesperson told Bloomberg.

The hiring slowdown is not apparently company-wide, and overall hiring at the software giant is expected to continue, the spokesperson added, noting that such caution is typical in periods of economic volatility.

“As Microsoft gets ready for the new fiscal year, it is making sure the right resources are aligned to the right opportunity,” the company was quoted by Bloomberg as saying in a statement.

“Microsoft will continue to grow headcount in the year ahead and it will add additional focus to where those resources go.”

The company’s fiscal year starts 1 July.

Hiring slowdowns

While a hiring slowdown make not be the official stance of Microsoft across the entire organisation, other big name tech firms have already recently indicated a hiring slowdown or freeze, as fears of an economic recession rise.

GPU powerhouse Nvidia Corp this week reportedly said it expects to decelerate hiring in the second half of fiscal 2023.

Others such as Meta Platforms, Snap and Salesforce have already taken similar steps.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said it will nearly double its budget for salary increases and boost stock grants, so as to retain key workers.

CNN reported that Apple will raise the starting pay for its US employees to $22 per hour, a 45 percent jump from 2018 levels.

“This year as part of our annual performance review process, we’re increasing our overall compensation budget,” an Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying.

In December it emerged that Apple was issuing a bonus, sometimes as much as $180,000, to select number of engineers to stave off defections to rival firms.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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