Report: Behind Tesla’s Massive Expansion Plans Lies an Equally Massive Recruitment Drive

Despite recording the biggest losses per share yet in its short history, the recent 2015 Q3 earnings report from Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] showed an automaker on the verge of some pretty incredible expansion plans.

From production facilities to service centres and tech positions: Tesla is hiring

From production facilities to service centres and tech positions: Tesla is hiring

At the moment, those plans cover four major areas of Tesla’s future product lineup: the Tesla Gigafactory; the Tesla Model 3; Tesla Autopilot software; and Tesla Energy. Each project is a massive undertaking in its own right. Trying to execute all four at the same time seems almost impossible.

Which is why Tesla is undertaking one of its biggest recruitment drives yet, advertising more than 1,656 individual positions on its official careers site.

As Bloomberg notes, the current scope and variety of Tesla’s current jobs listings is impressive. Covering everything from a radar engineer (presumably to work on Tesla’s autopilot program) through to service managers and sales specialists, Tesla appears to be expanding its staff in every corner of its growing empire.

As you might expect, the Gigafactory accounts for a large number of positions vacant.

As you might expect, the Gigafactory accounts for a large number of positions vacant.

Just as diverse as the jobs themselves, so too are the locations where those jobs will be based. In addition to Tesla’s Fremont facility where the Model X is currently made through to its Palo Alto Deer Creek head office and Los Angeles Hawthorne design studio, other job postings represent just how far around the world Tesla’s reach now extends.

Just as there are positions all across North America and Canada, so too are an incredible number of positions across Europe, Asia and Australasia.  Some cover predictable roles, such as sales or service engineering positions. Others focus on detailing duties, concierge duties, or country-specific engineering roles. Some focus on expanding Tesla’s existing production facilities, such as the Tilburg assembly plant in the Netherlands, while others aim to set up or supplement new operations in new markets such as Chengdu, China or Mexico City, Mexico.

And that’s before you even consider the massive number of postings at Tesla’s Gigafactory site in Reno, Nevada, where Tesla hopes to begin production of more automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells than the rest of the world’s lithium-ion production facilities combined.

While each of Tesla’s four areas of expansion are important in their own right, perhaps none so much as the Gigafactory. Without it, Tesla will not be able to produce lithium-ion cells at the price point required to bring its long-promised 2018 Tesla Model 3 to market with a promised range in excess of 200 miles per charge and a promised price point of $35,000 before incentives.

Tesla’s new business venture — Tesla Energy — also needs the Gigafactory in order to continue its expansion to meet demand for its static energy storage products. It too, has plenty of job vacancies listed among the 1,656 jobs listed on Tesla’s site.

Tesla's hiring engineers for the autopilot project -- and it only wants the best.

Tesla’s hiring engineers for the autopilot project — and it only wants the best.

Of course, many of the job listings detail positions on Tesla’s autopilot software team, an expansion we told you about two weeks ago after Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally announced the vacancies on Twitter.

But perhaps the most interesting positions we noticed listed are a number of “Night Shift” positions at various Tesla Service Centers across the U.S. Ranging from Service Technicians to detailers and managers, these positions appear to hint that Tesla is working to expand its service capabilities by operating its service centres around the clock.

While it’s not clear if this is a new idea, expanding existing service centre operating hours would certainly help Tesla remedy some of the month-long service waits customers are reporting in key market areas without requiring the automaker to expand to new premises or buy additional service equipment.

If you’re interested in working for Tesla, or you’re just eager to read the job postings for yourself, you’ll find them on Tesla’s official job site.


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  • Chris O

    Maybe Tesla’s desperate need for personnel is what prompted Elon Musk to do a cameo in a recent episode of the popular TV show “Big Bang Theory”, in which he made sure to drop the message “Tesla is always looking for engineers”. Clever move;)

    • Joe Viocoe

      The marketing team is very smart not to waste money on commercials, but rather with more effective direct appeal. Nerds and Geeks are guaranteed to watch the Big Bang Theory… but not always on broadcast networks where they would see commercials.

      According to Elon… the quality issues were resolved already, and Tesla’s improvements happened too fast for the CR survey to be still relevant. Makes sense since Consumer Reports is so used to surveying buyers with confidence that all vehicles in a Model Year would have the same reliability. But Tesla breaks the mold, by rapidly fixing and updating regardless of Model Year intervals.

      • Chris O

        This article suggesting persistent drive unit problems pertaining even to late 2014 models is what prompted my comment:

        Combined with reports of an overwhelmed service network and desperate measures like nightshift mechanics it all paints a picture of quality issues that are not under control yet.

        Tesla’s handling of the problems is exemplary but it’s costly, inconvenient for customers and eats up servicing capacity so what’s really needed is for a lot less problems to occur in the first place.

  • vdiv

    Forget hardcore engineers, many would be happy to be able to just mop the floor for Tesla 🙂