While the world's carmakers struggle to ship and sell vehicles during what is the largest worldwide market lockdown in history, Tesla Motors ($TSLA) continues to grow its market share. There are several reasons for this: the cars are attractive, they can be charged in owners' garages, they're technologically years ahead of most competition, and they can be purchased on a smartphone.
But it's also Tesla's day-one decision to sidestep the retail establishment, opting to open shopping-center showrooms with a completely e-commerce buying process, that's allowing it to thrive in these uncertain times.
Hiring at Tesla reflects that the company is leaning into our new normal. Hiring for its retail, service, and customer-facing divisions are all down, but the company continues to hire aggressively for its engineering, manufacturing, and finance groups.
Hiring overall at Tesla Motors has seen a dip, to be clear. In early March, the company hit a high of 3,180 open positions. Since then, it's scaled back (or hired who it intended to hire) to just over 2,500 open positions. Most of those cuts, as we'll see below, are in the company's retail and customer-facing positions such as service & installation.
Year-over-year change in hiring for Tesla's various divisions shows a company now focusing on its no-contact touchless delivery and e-commerce channels to move vehicles. Meanwhile, the company has scaled back its in-person service centers, offering "no-touch" visits and limited hours. Meanwhile, hiring for positions in service and installation centers has slowed.
What's down: retail, service, and customer-facing positions
Tesla's "Service & Energy Installation" division includes positions for both Tesla service centers as well as its solar panel business. In early March, this division listed 929 openings on the Tesla careers site. As of this week, that number is down to 610.
Meanwhile, Tesla has cut back hiring for its Marketing and Communications team as its office workers work remotely. Given that Marketing and Communications positions are typically in-office jobs, it's understandable that the company pause hiring for this group until it can meet candidates in person. Openings for this group fell from around 30 to just 8 this week.
Sales & Customer Support openings have also been cut at Tesla as the company focuses on its e-commerce operations in lieu of its stores and showrooms. By March, this group listed 431 openings. As of this week, that number is at around 260.
What's up: manufacturing, engineering, and finance
Meanwhile, Tesla continues to be focused on making and shipping vehicles, as hiring in its Manufacturing group indicates. In early March, the company listed 568 openings. By the end of that month, it was hiring for nearly 600. As of this week, hiring for Tesla manufacturing remains healthy at 572 openings listed on its careers site.
Hiring for Tesla's Engineering and IT groups remains healthy as well. After all, Tesla is a technology company as much as it is a car maker. Jobs in this division were near 600 at their height, and even today the company still lists 527 openings for Engineering & Information Technology. Design and build remain a core philosophy of the company, as evidenced here.
Finally, Tesla's Finance group doesn't appear to have been affected by the Coronavirus lockdown. After all, bookkeeping is critical in good times and bad. And in the case of Tesla, times are still good.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the 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.
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