Microsoft is among the top tech giants attracting employees from other competitor firms, according to a broad study

OpenAI staffers joining Microsoft
(Image credit: Windows Central | Bing Image Creator)

What you need to know

  • A new study lists Microsoft among the top tech giants that attracts employees from other competitors in the tech world.
  • Meta and Google have the highest percentage of employees that have worked for other tech giants before joining them.
  • The study further disclosed that Microsoft attracted 7,937 employees from IBM, and lost a whopping 12,018 to Google.

In these unprecedented and tough economic times, we've seen big tech firms like Microsoft and Meta take major hits over the past few months. This has directly contributed to massive layoffs. At the beginning of this year, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella confirmed that the company will cut 10,000 jobs by the end of FY23 Q3.

While the tough times continue to persist, a new study by Switch On Business sought to understand which tech giants attract the most talent from competitors with a microscope on Google (Alphabet), Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, IBM, Tesla, Oracle, Netflix, Nvidia, Salesforce, Adobe, Intel and Uber.

Headhunting isn't a new phenomenon in the tech world. In fact, per Switch On Business' study, Meta and Google have the highest percentage of employees that have worked for other tech giants before joining them. Microsoft comes in at sixth place with 13.86%.

Microsoft is among the top tech giants with the highest percentage of employees who've worked for other competitors before joining the company.  (Image credit: Switch On Business)

We all know that employees play a crucial role in the success of any business, as reiterated by some of OpenAI's employees during Altman's ousting by the board of directors. More than 500 of the company's employees threatened to leave the company and potentially join Microsoft's AI Advanced division if the directors didn't reinstate Altman, further citing that "OpenAI is nothing without its people."

Below are the key findings from the study, as highlighted by Switch On Business:

  • Some 26.51% of Meta employees have worked at another tech giant — the highest proportion of any tech giant workforce.
  • However, Google has attracted the most talent by volume: 38,316 (24.15%) of their current staff came via other tech giants.
  • IBM headhunts the least, with just 2.28% of the current workforce having previously worked for another tech giant.

Microsoft knows talent when it sees it

Microsoft Logo Building Redmond

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Per the study, Microsoft attracted 7,937 employees from IBM, and lost a whopping 12,018 to Google. Essentially, this goes to show the important role that employees play when it comes to the potential success of a business.

Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, outlined empathy as a crucial skill when it comes to running a large tech firm such as Microsoft. He added that empathy is one of the hardest skills to learn, yet a key ingredient to his immense success throughout his tenure.

The company shares a unique relationship with OpenAI, especially after the multi-billion dollar investment which extended their partnership. As such, it's obvious that last week's OpenAI's week-long fiasco would raise a bit of concern for Microsoft.

Nadella extended Sam Altman an offer to join the company as head of the Advanced AI team. While this plan didn't go through as Altman is now back at OpenAI, it clearly flexes Microsoft's muscles by showcasing its capability to absorb over 500 people into its workforce within a moment's notice. It was reported that Microsoft had already started making plans to accommodate the employees transitioning from OpenAI to Microsoft down at its LinkedIn offices in San Francisco.

What are your thoughts on tech giants like Microsoft headhunting employees from competitor firms? Let us know in the comments.

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Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.