Weird Guardian Piece on Apple and Recruiting

Nellie Bowles, writing for The Guardian:

When developer James Knight was on the job market recently, he considered applying to several of the big tech companies and immediately crossed Apple off his list.

“Apple’s culture is one that’s so negative, so strict, so harsh,” said Knight, a talented 27-year-old coder who left a job at Google for more lucrative freelance work. “At Apple, you’re gonna be working 60-80 hours a week and some VP will come yell at you at any moment? That’s a very hostile work environment.” […]

Knight says he and many of his friends value lifestyle over salary. “I’m the kind of person who likes to show up to work sometimes at 11, or maybe work from home one day. And Apple’s not the place you can do that,” Knight said. “Apple can move away from that culture but culture takes time. A lot of time. And stock prices drop hourly.”

I’ve been saying for a while now that recruiting and talent retention are the single biggest problem Apple faces. But my take on it is subtle. Apple is driven by A-team talent, and A-team talent is in high demand across the whole industry. And as Guy English has pointed out, it’s a lot less exciting to be working on the tenth-generation iPhone than the first-generation of something new. The other problem Apple faces is that it’s not just any A-team talent that Apple needs, Apple needs A-team talent that understands and appreciates Apple’s design-focused culture.

That said, this Guardian piece by Bowles seems to be trying to argue that Apple is having trouble hiring anyone, period. That sounds like nonsense to me. And this James Knight guy sounds more like someone who Apple wouldn’t want to hire in the first place than someone who Apple covets but can’t get.

Thursday, 28 January 2016