Apple's Silicon Valley hiring issues prompts office expansion elsewhere

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Apple's need to hire the best and brightest people to its workforce has been a challenge, with the high cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area apparently pushing the iPhone maker to embrace decentralization.

Hiring in Silicon Valley is notoriously difficult due to the high cost of living in the area. It appears that the expensive living costs for the region are making it extremely hard for Apple's hiring teams, according to Bloomberg's "Power On" newsletter on Sunday.

With executives knowing that hiring and keeping talent is essential to the company's future, Apple is reportedly looking at other ways to expand its workforce with diversity in mind. Engineers have complained of the living costs in the area, but diversity is a bigger problem for recruiters.

So far, the number of employees Apple has employed from underrepresented communities has grown by 64% in the last five years. However, it acknowledges there's more work to be done, but geography is a problem for hiring.

Since Apple can no longer hope more employees will move towards the Apple Park HQ, Apple instead has to go to areas where its potential workforce actually lives, or to areas where it is cheaper to live.

The realization of a decentralized workforce only really came about for Apple's top brass recently, though some members had apparently been pushing for it for years. Johny Srouji, in charge of Apple's custom silicon, was reportedly a strong proponent of the shift, with his group opening offices in many locations, including expansion into Europe, Asia, and within the United States.

Eddy Cue also pushed for decentralization, including offices in Los Angeles and Nashville. COO Jeff Williams has also championed the cost-benefit of more offices, while retail and HR lead Deirdre O'Brien has talked about diversity benefits.

While the company has already created many offices around the world, it is pushing to increase its footprint globally, with quite a few new campuses in development. It has paid out for new office space in Cork, Ireland, as well as an expansion of its New York City offices, and has put 1 billion euro towards a silicon design center in Germany.

It also started the construction of a new billion-dollar campus in Austin, Texas in 2019. In Raleigh, North Carolina, Apple is planning further expansion including a $1 billion engineering hub, in part assisted by $845 million in tax breaks over 39 years.

Remote working continues to be a benefit that many Apple employees still want to use, with one June survey revealing nearly 90% of respondents strongly agreeing with the statement "location-flexible working options are a very important issue to me." Over 58% of Apple employees said they were concerned about colleagues leaving due to a lack of flexible work arrangements, while over 36% said they were concerned that they would have to leave themselves.

In June, Apple announced a plan for employees to return to offices for three days a week starting in September. It prompted some Apple staff to write to Apple's leadership asking for more options.

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