Apple, one of the largest tech companies in the world, is worried. The war for talent, especially in the tech sector, is heating up. Surprisingly, the pandemic saw a boom in entrepreneurialism, cryptocurrency exchanges, FinTechs and rapid growth at big giants, like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Zoom and Netflix. There has also been a rush in venture capitalists funding new startups.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is particularly concerned over the thousands of new employees Meta—formerly Facebook—will need to build the metaverse. In a preemptive strike to retain top talent, Apple is offering an “unusual and significant stock bonuses to some engineers in an effort to retain talent, looking to stave off defections to tech rivals.”
The bonuses weren’t communicated ahead of time, surprising the recipients. The amounts ranged from $50,000 to $180,000. Software engineers and related tech professionals received about $80,000, $100,000 or $120,000 in stock. A search on LinkedIn for “software engineer” based in the United States shows 213,259 listings, at the time of publication.
Apple, which is also building products for the metaverse, has poached Meta employees, in a battle waged over talent. Meta recruited engineers from Apple’s augmented reality, artificial intelligence, software and hardware engineering divisions. Meta, in turn, “dangled significant salary raises, as it looks to refocus around hardware and the so-called metaverse.”
A further search on LinkedIn for “Apple” in the U.S. yielded 36,970 results, Meta 4,314, Amazon 112,106 and 159,154 for Google. Even if you allow that some of the jobs are duplicates, older or just have the name in the job listing, but are not for the company itself, there is an overwhelming amount of job listings indicating a huge insatiable need for talent at these top companies.
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We’ve already seen the white-collarization of blue-collar workers. As the economy reopened, businesses desperately needed people to work in restaurants, bars, warehouses, fulfillment centers and other front-line sectors. In an effort to attract, recruit and retain workers, companies offered sign-on bonuses, higher wages, free college tuition payments, flexible schedules and other benefits.
It’s not only Silicon Valley that is fighting for techies. Now, the knowledge and office workers are seeing “hefty raises” according to the Wall Street Journal, due to the blazing hot job market and inflationary pressures. U.S. professionals toward the end of this year saw their compensation jump at the fastest rate in nearly 20 years. For many college-educated workers, 2021 will close with big bonus payouts and raises in sectors such as finance, law and technology.
Wall Street has been booming. IPOs, SPACS, investment banking activities, mergers and acquisitions and sales and trading have been hot throughout mid-2020 and 2021. Due to the incredible increase in business, Wall Street is set to see one of the biggest bonus increases, which is the largest payout in their compensation structure, according to a report from management consultant Johnson Associates.
The sharp rebound in business activity came with a catch. CNBC reported, “There has been unprecedented workloads for Wall Street professionals—and a competitive job market as companies prepare to shell out a premium to retain top talent and nab new hires.” Consequently, firms are “very concerned about turnover, even though pay is going to be up significantly,” Alan Johnson, managing director at Johnson Associates, predicted.
The New York Times claimed, “Wall Street is in revolt.” The Times wrote about banks begrudgingly loosening up on their demands for people to be in an office setting. “Across the financial industry, at firms big and small, workers are slow-walking their return to the office.”
Bankers—for whom working from home was once unfathomable—now can’t imagine going back to the office full time. Parents remain worried about transmitting [Covid-19] to their children. Suburban dwellers are chafing at the thought of resuming long commutes. And many younger employees prefer to work remotely,” said the Times.
In response, banks are offering benefits, in addition to raises and bonuses. Goldman Sachs plans to offer new employee benefits, in an effort to attract and retain its employees. The Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman is offering paid leave for pregnancy loss, expanding the amount of time employees can take for bereavement leave, introducing an unpaid sabbatical for longtime employees, increasing its retirement fund matching contributions for U.S. employees and eliminating the one-year waiting period before matching employee contributions.