Apple is cutting recruiters as part of a hiring slowdown

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc . has laid off many of its recruiters in the past week, part of a drive to curb hiring and spending at the tech giant, according to people familiar with the matter.

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About 100 contract workers were let go in a rare move for the world’s most valuable company, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the situation is private. Recruiters were responsible for hiring new employees for Apple, and the layoffs highlight a slowdown at the company.

The laid-off workers were told that the layoffs were due to changes in Apple’s current business needs. Bloomberg first reported last month that the company was slowing hiring after years of recruiting, joining many tech companies in hitting the brakes. CEO Tim Cook confirmed during Apple’s earnings conference call that the company will be more “intentional” in its spending — even as it continues to invest in some areas.

“We believe in investing through the downturn,” Cook told analysts. “So we’ll continue to hire people and invest in areas, but we’re being more conscious about it, recognizing the realities of the environment.”

Apple is still retaining full-time employees, and not all of its contractors were laid off as part of the move. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the decision.

The move to lay off workers is unusual for the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, which employs more than 150,000 people. But he is far from alone in taking such a step. In recent months, Meta Platforms Inc., Tesla Inc., Microsoft Corp., Inc. and Oracle Corp. eliminated jobs in the face of slowing technology spending.

The terminated contractors were told they would receive wages and medical benefits for two weeks. When they were fired, employee badges were disabled and workers were told they would have to email a list of their belongings if they wanted those items returned. Recruiters were released in multiple regions, including Apple’s offices in Texas and Singapore.

Apple previously laid off a large group of contract workers in 2019 in Cork, Ireland. At the time, the company relied on several hundred contractors to listen to recordings of Siri conversations to help improve the product. Apple let the workers go as part of a reduction in the program in response to privacy concerns. The company also fired some contractors while working at the Apple Park campus in 2015.

Like many other companies, Apple hires contract employees for tasks such as technical support and customer service. It also uses contractors to locate products and improve the Maps service. Contract workers generally receive fewer benefits than full-time workers and have fewer protections.

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