Apple is set to lay off 100 contract-based recruiters as part of its push to rein in hiring and spending.
Apple to Stop Hiring
According to Bloomberg, the contract workers will be let go in a rare move for the tech giant.
The recruits were responsible for hiring new employees for the company, and the cuts underscore that a slowdown is underway at the iPhone maker.
The workers that were already laid off were told that the cuts were made due to the changes in Apple’s current business needs.
Bloomberg first reported in July that the tech giant was decelerating hiring after years of staffing up, joining several tech companies in hitting the brakes.
Apple’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook, confirmed during the company’s earnings conference call that it would be more deliberate in its spending, even as it keeps investing in some areas.
Cook told analysts that they believe in investing through the downturn, and so they will continue to hire people and invest in areas, but they are being more deliberate in doing so in recognition of the “realities of the environment.”
Keeping Full-Time Employees
Apple is still retaining full-time recruiters, and not all contractors were laid off as part of the move, according to Business Standard.
The move to lay off workers is unusual for the California-based tech giant, which employs more than 150,000 people. But it is not the only one taking this step.
In the past few months, Meta, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle have all eliminated jobs in the face of a tech spending slowdown.
Terminated contractors were told that they would get pay and medical benefits for two weeks. When they were laid off, employee badges were disabled, and they were told they would need to email a list of their belongings if they wanted the items to be returned.
The recruiters were let go across many regions, including at Apple’s Singapore and Texas offices.
History of Laying Off Workers
In 2019, Apple fired a massive group of contract workers in Cork, Ireland. At the time, the tech giant had been relying on several hundred contractors to listen to recordings of Siri conversations to help improve the product.
Apple let the workers go as part of scaling down the said program due to privacy concerns. The tech giant also fired some contractors while working on the Apple Park campus back in 2015.
Just like other companies, Apple employs contract workers for tasks like technical support and customer service. It also uses contractors for localizing products and improving its Apple Maps service.
Contract workers usually receive fewer benefits than full-time employees and have fewer protections.
In July, Apple revealed its plans to slow hiring and spending growth in 2023 in some divisions to cope with a potential economic downturn, according to USA Today.
The decision stems from a move to be more careful during uncertain times, though it is not a company-wide policy.
The changes will not affect all teams, and Apple is still planning a product launch schedule in 2023 that includes a mixed-reality headset.
Written by Sophie Webster