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Intel becomes latest tech company to freeze recruitment

The chipmaker is also introducing other cost-cutting measures, like limiting its employees from participating in industry conferences

Intel has become the latest major technology company to introduce a hiring freeze, following similar actions by Microsoft and Nvidia.

The chipmaker has reportedly frozen hiring in the division responsible for PC desktop and laptop chips as part of a cost-cutting measure, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

The company is pausing all hiring and placing all job requisitions on hold in its client computing group, according to a memo sent on Wednesday. It added that some hiring could begin again in around two weeks time after the division re-evaluates its priorities. The company has committed to honouring all existing job offers.

Other cost-cutting measures were also outlined, including limiting participation in industry conferences, cancelling some travel for the group immediately, and instructions to hold group meetings virtually when possible.

"We believe we are at the beginning of a long-term growth cycle across the semiconductor industry and we have the right strategy in place," Intel told Reuters in a statement. "Increased focus and prioritisation in our spending will help us weather macroeconomic uncertainty, execute on our strategy and meet our commitments to customers,  shareholders, and  employees."

Intel’s client computing group is its largest by sales, producing $9.3 billion of its $18.4 billion in revenue during its most recent quarter.

Which technology companies have paused their hiring?

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A number of technology companies have started to slow down their recruitment. Nvidia reportedly enacted a hiring pause in mid-May as a way to deal with the rising threat of inflation. It also told hiring managers that it’s implementing the pause to help it onboard the thousands of new hires it recently made. The company added that it’s slowing its hiring to integrate these new employees and to focus its budget on taking care of existing employees as inflation persists.

Just over a week later, Microsoft also reportedly told staff to be more cautious about recruitment, in an attempt to slow its hiring during a global market downturn. A company executive vice president told staff they would need to request permission before opening any new job roles.

The tech industry has experienced poor market performance for the first half of 2022, which has been compounded by high inflation more broadly. Combined with the prospect of growing interest rates and the war in Ukraine, some investors have turned towards other sectors like energy, utilities, or financial services, which appear to be better protected from economic threats.

Smaller tech firms have also made changes to their hiring practices. Swedish payment giant Klarna announced it’s laying off 10% of its workforce, UK startup Hopin also revealed it was making 12% of its staff redundant in February, while the Estonian fintech Bolt said it was cutting 100 jobs.

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