Your next car could have software created by the former engineer of a tech giant like Amazon, Meta or Twitter, if Jaguar Land Rover’s new recruitment strategy is a success.
The car maker says it finds itself in a “fortuitous” position, as technology giants lay off thousands of software engineers at a time when car companies, especially those still in the early days of their shift to electrification, need them more than ever.
Speaking to Reuters, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief information officer Anthony Battle said of the company’s hiring efforts: “We’ve had vacancies there for quite a long time. Some of the capabilities are quite difficult to fill because it’s a very competitive market, particularly software engineers and architects.”
Battle said a new job portal is looking to fill 800 tech roles across the company’s self-driving, electrification, machine learning and data science departments. “It’s fortuitous for us, and definitely others, that there is now this huge availability of talent at a time when we’d already planned to move forward,” he added.
Although an early mover in the electric car space, with the Jaguar I-Pace which arrived in 2018, JLR hasn’t kept up with its rivals in the switch from internal combustion to battery power. Similarly, its cars don’t all have the same connected features and semi-autonomous driving systems as vehicles from the likes of Tesla.
Despite this, JLR says its Jaguar division is to be a fully-electric car company by 2025, and that by the same year every model of Land Rover will be electrified in some way, either with a hybrid or fully-electric drivetrain.
This desire comes at a time when technology giants are realising they have hired too aggressively in recent years. For example, Meta, which is the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, announced this month it will cut 13 percent of its workforce, amounting to 11,000 job losses.
Similarly, Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk has reportedly overseen widespread redundancies at the embattled social network, with other software engineers opting to resign after the Tesla and SpaceX boss bought the company.
For car manufacturers, who have traditionally lagged behind tech firms when it comes to the connected services, operating systems and user interfaces of their vehicles, this is welcome news. JLR and others will now surely benefit from new employees with backgrounds in artificial intelligence and machine learning.