People

This month in tech job listings: Coronavirus aftermath edition

Layoffs abound, but some giants are still hiring. So is a company planning to clean all those empty offices.

A woman wears an Oculus VR headset

Oculus VR is hiring for an ethics, safety and privacy manager, at a great time for escaping reality.

Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two months ago, in Protocol's inaugural roundup of the most intriguing and revealing job listings in tech, we found strange (or at least strange-sounding) opportunities for "overnight happiness ambassadors," flying car engineers and scrum masters.

Last month we focused on how gig-economy companies were expanding from Colombia to Jakarta to San Francisco, spawning thousands of jobs not only for contract delivery drivers, but also data scientists, "people partner analysts" and jack-of-all-trades community managers.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and turned the job market upside-down. Would tech's thirst for new talent dry up? Are we all destined to work in on-demand delivery? Not according to Silicon Valley's biggest companies.

Job listings persist. In the last week alone, Google health care offshoot Verily posted 15 new openings on LinkedIn. At Netflix, as global consumers binge watched en masse, the company posted 140 new roles. On a much bigger scale, Amazon posted just shy of 12,000 new jobs — and not only for warehouse workers.

Here are five of the most telling examples of where we are:

Verily: Lead Technical Program Manager, Baseline

South San Francisco

Until a few weeks ago, Verily Life Sciences was just another one of Google parent company Alphabet's many side projects. That changed during a nationally televised briefing by President Trump, who thrust the company into the spotlight by promising that Google had "1,700 engineers" working on a coronavirus screening website. As it turned out, it was the much smaller team at Verily working on incorporating the virus into a health data effort called Project Baseline.

That division is now hiring for several positions, including a technical program manager tasked with delivering software projects that further Baseline's "quest to map human health." The role requires work with internal science, engineering, regulatory and business teams, as well as external partners — like the White House, perhaps?

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent experience, excellent "communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills."

Amazon: Head of Internal Communications

Arlington, Virginia

Coronavirus lockdowns have made Amazon more valuable than ever, but that doesn't mean it's been a smooth ride for the workers powering the operation. Amid a drive to recruit 100,000 new warehouse and delivery workers, the ecommerce giant attempted to quell a New York strike this week by firing the organizer and announcing that billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos will donate $100 million to U.S. food banks. Want to relay all of that (or at least some of that) to fellow employees? Check out the opening posted late last week for a new head of internal communications.

Requirements: Bachelor's in communications or marketing, 10+ years related experience, "a 'can-do,' problem-solving approach to managing ambiguity."

Oculus VR: Ethics, Safety and Privacy Manager

Menlo Park

People are locked down and physically farther apart than ever, so what better time to strap on a VR headset and mentally escape the cabin fever? Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus is hiring for several positions to help build "the next generation of computing devices to make people feel closer." But how do you keep the virtual world from spiraling out of control even faster than our own socially distant society? The company is currently scouting for a new ethics, safety and privacy manager to help figure that out.

Requirements: 5+ years of experience with a master's degree or 10 years with a bachelor's degree, skilled at "influencing stakeholders and engineers."

Netflix: Space Planning Manager

Los Gatos

While many companies go into survival mode, Netflix is trying to broaden its global reach by hiring new publicists in locked-down major markets including India. But at a time when more bored consumers than ever are glued to their screens, Netflix is also planning to grow its physical footprint in the Americas. And while much of the business world is debating whether the coronavirus-induced shift to remote work will obviate the need for brick-and-mortar offices, the streaming giant last week posted an opening for a space planner to map out a long-term strategy for its 1-million-square-foot "and growing" real estate portfolio.

Requirements: Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in architecture, proficiency in AutoCAD, expertise in "user research, occupancy planning and strategy, and space programming."

Zo Klean Technologies: Commercial Office Cleaner

San Diego

While Netflix and other tech tenants mull the future of corporate offices, one sector is accelerating hiring for people willing to go in to work right now: office cleaners. Take San Diego's Zo Klean Technologies, which allows businesses to book commercial cleaning services through an online platform. The company is offering $1,500 to 2,500 per week, no benefits, to clean offices, industrial labs and other buildings while the rest of the world freaks out about germs.

Requirements: High school education, U.S. work authorization.

Hirsh Chitkara
Hirsh Chitkara (@ChitkaraHirsh) is a researcher at Protocol, based out of New York City. Before joining Protocol, he worked for Business Insider Intelligence, where he wrote about Big Tech, telecoms, workplace privacy, smart cities, and geopolitics. He also worked on the Strategy & Analytics team at the Cleveland Indians.

The way we work has fundamentally changed. COVID-19 upended business dealings and office work processes, putting into hyperdrive a move towards digital collaboration platforms that allow teams to streamline processes and communicate from anywhere. According to the International Data Corporation, the revenue for worldwide collaboration applications increased 32.9 percent from 2019 to 2020, reaching $22.6 billion; it's expected to become a $50.7 billion industry by 2025.

"While consumers and early adopter businesses had widely embraced collaborative applications prior to the pandemic, the market saw five years' worth of new users in the first six months of 2020," said Wayne Kurtzman, research director of social and collaboration at IDC. "This has cemented collaboration, at least to some extent, for every business, large and small."

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Silver

Kate Silver is an award-winning reporter and editor with 15-plus years of journalism experience. Based in Chicago, she specializes in feature and business reporting. Kate's reporting has appeared in the Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic's CityLab, Atlas Obscura, The Telegraph and many other outlets.

Hirsh Chitkara
Hirsh Chitkara (@ChitkaraHirsh) is a researcher at Protocol, based out of New York City. Before joining Protocol, he worked for Business Insider Intelligence, where he wrote about Big Tech, telecoms, workplace privacy, smart cities, and geopolitics. He also worked on the Strategy & Analytics team at the Cleveland Indians.

Why Coda thinks documents are the internet's next big platform

Shishir Mehrotra on the long-overdue reinvention of documents, presentations and spreadsheets.

Not much has changed about documents since the days of Microsoft Word 1.0. But innovation is picking up again.

Image: Microsoft

The way Shishir Mehrotra sees it, digital documents haven't really changed in 50 years. Since the days of WordStar, Harvard Graphics and VisiCalc, the basic idea of what makes up a document, presentation and spreadsheet haven't really changed.

Now, thanks to companies like Coda — where Mehrotra is founder and CEO — along with Notion, Quip and others, that's starting to change. These companies are building tools that can do multiple things in a single space, that are designed both for creating and for sharing, and that turn documents from "a piece of paper on a screen" into something much more powerful. And to hear Mehrotra tell it, documents are headed toward a future that looks more like an operating system than a Word file.

Keep Reading Show less
David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editorial director. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

Protocol | Enterprise

Why Segment is central to Twilio’s path to enterprise software stardom

Given Apple's recent changes to third-party tracking technology and Google's looming changes, the customer data platform provider is poised to play a central role in Twilio's product vision moving forward.

The launch of Engage points to the critical role Segment will play in Twilio's future.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This week at Twilio's annual conference, it's Segment, the company it acquired last year for $3.2 billion, that's poised to take center stage.

Signal kicks off on Wednesday. Alongside Michelle Obama, one of the highlights of the two-day event is bound to be Twilio Engage, a new product that showcases the combined capabilities of the cloud communications provider and Segment, the customer data platform vendor that Twilio bought last November.

Keep Reading Show less
Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

Latest Stories