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:
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
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
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
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
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.