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Can’t stop, won’t stop hiring

Protocol Workplace

Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. It’s Sunday and if you’re not working your desk job, our deputy editor Karyne Levy suggests you spend your downtime cleaning up the town of Muckingham with Xbox’s PowerWash Simulator. Today, experts say tech hiring has slowed, but not by much; Activision Blizzard is fighting against the union again; and some workers want their employer to pay for them to sleep off their hangovers.

Down, but not out

Sure, hiring has slowed down. But many companies are still staffing up.

In late July, Gartner asked more than 270 HR executives about their recent hiring practices and outlook. And although 1 in 3 said their organizations had slowed hiring in response to a volatile economy, 47% said they’d seen higher hiring volume in the last month than in the previous three.

“If the labor market is usually going at 50 mph, we’d sped up to 100 mph — and now we’re maybe back to, like, 90 mph,” said Brian Kropp, distinguished VP of research at Gartner. “The labor market is not contracting as much as we would have expected.”

Despite all the layoffs and hiring freezes in the news, many HR execs expect hiring to continue to be challenging.

  • Half of respondents told Gartner that they expect the market for talent to get more competitive in the next six months, up from 41% who said the same in June.
  • Even though hiring is slowing down at many companies, most don’t think it’s going to get any easier to lure candidates. Fewer than 1 in 4 execs said they’re expecting the labor market to get less competitive in the next six months.
  • “That’s the disconnect that’s happening, and the thing that people aren't quite getting about what’s going on in the labor market,” Kropp said.

Why aren’t employees staying? HR execs said they were hard-pressed to meet worker expectations for career progression (65.1%), pay (32.5%) or flexibility (30.8%).

  • Employees are picking up big raises by job-hopping, Kropp said.
  • Even with inflation in mind, 69% of HR leaders said they’re still only reviewing salaries once a year, while 14% said they plan to look at pay twice a year. 12% said they planned to review salaries on an ad hoc basis.
  • “Employees who stay in their job, because of inflation, are taking a real wage cut,” Kropp said.

Of course, hiring volume and outlook varied among different sectors. Companies sensitive to interest rates, crypto-related companies and companies that bet their business models on a fully remote future — the Pelotons of the world — are having to slow down the most, Kropp said.

“That belief that they had that we’re going to 100% remote is just not playing out,” Kropp said. “There’s still a huge desire for people to be in the office, at least some of the time.”

— Allison Levitsky, reporter (email| twitter)

Activision Blizzard fights against new unionization efforts

Workers at Blizzard Albany, a subsidiary of game publisher Activision Blizzard formerly known as the studio Vicarious Visions that works on the popular Diablo franchise, said on Wednesday that studio management plans to fight their decision to unionize with the Communications Workers of America. This is despite Microsoft's agreement with the CWA in June to stay neutral on labor organizing among its workforce.

Microsoft agreed to purchase Activision Blizzard for $69 billion earlier this year, but the deal has yet to close.

Read the full story.


Chip shortage could undermine national security: The global shortage of semiconductors has impeded the production of everything from pickup trucks to PlayStations. But there are graver implications than a scarcity of consumer goods. If the U.S. does not ensure continued domestic access to leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing, experts say our national security could suffer.

Read more from Micron

Hangover leave

What’s your dream job perk? According to this poll from compliance software company Trusaic, some employees would love to start seeing paid celebration recovery leave or “hangover leave.” Twenty-three percent of respondents chose this option. Other off-the-wall perks American workers would like to see:

  • 21% of participants chose free sleep hygiene analysis and a paid subscription to a sleep app
  • 17% chose breakup leave
  • 14% chose free meditation sessions with a Buddhist monk
  • 13% chose paid hair coloring for those over 30
  • 12% chose social media detox days

Some personnel news

Anyone else having a bad case of Great Resignation whiplash? It’s hard to keep up with which tech companies are growing, shrinking, floating or sinking. We’re here to help.

VinFast is hiring! The company is looking for 8,000 workers for its electric vehicle plant in Vietnam.

↔ Meta is making intern candidates wait to hear about opportunities until the company figures out hiring needs.

↓ Twilio slows hiring and closes offices.

On Deck, a company that offers capital and network support for emerging fund managers and founders, is letting go a third of its staff.

For more news on hiring, firing and rewiring, see our tech company tracker.

More stories from us

When your revenue falters, don’t blame the worker.

Meet the co-founder of a software company that wants to replace Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar and Calendly.


Chip shortage could undermine national security: To ensure American security, prosperity and technological leadership, industry leaders say the U.S. must encourage domestic manufacturing of chips in order to reduce our reliance on East Asia producers for crucial electronics components.

Read more from Micron

Around the internet

A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.

Here’s what happens when you put “sex worker” on your LinkedIn profile. (Vice)

You clean up nice!” and other backhanded compliments to avoid giving your Black co-workers (Level)

Why some women are breaking the “code of silence” at Apple. (Ars Technica)

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