Tesla Hiring Event Blunder: Mexican Engineers Arrive Unannounced

6 months ago by Steven Loveday 41

Tesla

The Tesla factory in Fremont, California

Droves of Mexican engineers showed up for a Tesla Fremont factory “hiring fair” in Monterrey, Mexico, and it didn’t play out as expected.

Yesterday we reported that Tesla was set to hold a recruiting fair for its Fremont factory, in an attempt to satisfy a domestic engineer shortage by reaching out to auto workers in Mexico. Senior technical recruiter at Tesla, Dave Johnson, had previously posted a recruitment listing on LinkedIn, describing 15 varied engineer position needs that Tesla would be attempting to fill at an event in Monterrey. Social media outlets, Mexican news agencies, and domestic news sources (including InsideEVs) picked up and disseminated the info.

Unfortunately for those droves of Mexican engineers, there was no “open” hiring fair. The event was rather a closed function, for previously contacted Mexican engineers that had already been involved in prior steps of the hiring process. The Palo Alto electric automaker had to turn away dozens of hopefuls that had traveled hundreds of miles, and also had to initiate security to escort news agencies away from the site.

Tesla

Inside Tesla’s Fremont assembly facility

The event was held in a cramped hotel lobby in Monterrey, and Tesla had no idea the slew of would-be engineers were planning to attend. The automaker didn’t have the space or resources to accommodate a mass hiring fair. Those that were sent away were told that it must have been a mix-up, and that they should email their resumes to the company, to get the process underway.

Tesla has been actively hiring assembly line workers for some time, but the Silicon Valley automaker is finding that engineers are scarce. Though it is not in line with the wishes of President Donald Trump and the new administration, Tesla has found no choice but to look to foreign workers as another option. Mexico is home to a multitude of experienced engineers, due to its 19 automotive plants owned by companies such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.

Despite the fact that the Mexican engineers were turned away after having traveled so far, they seemed optimistic and excited about the prospects of working for the electric automaker. Reuters caught up with a few of them as they were departing. One man told the news agency that he had traveled over 1,000 kilometers to take part in the fair. He asked that his name remain confidential, because he still has hope of being hired by Tesla, and he doesn’t want to jeopardize the opportunity. He said:

“Tesla is an innovative company, it’s offering the future of mobility.”

Another engineer shared:

“It’s a project that has a big future, these are the cars of the new era.”

According to Reuters, the group of departing hopefuls ranged from those with 20 or more years of experience, to recent college grads. All seemed hopeful and confident that they may still get the opportunity to go to work for Tesla in the near future.

Source: Reuters

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41 responses to "Tesla Hiring Event Blunder: Mexican Engineers Arrive Unannounced"

  1. James says:

    I prefer to look at this story as an optimist.

    So this could be turned into a big positive. Now Tesla has their names and information and these engineers are on Tesla’s radar where if not for this mix up,
    they would not be.

    Everything happens for a reason.

    I ask myself, if the Tesla pickup truck were made in Mexico, would I buy one? Well – it depends upon a lot of things.

    But in the end – I know GM and Ford build
    trucks in Mexico and Americans buy them like McDonald’s hamburgers.

    Having your name in the game makes that trip traveled no waste of time or resources. Perhaps they’ll one day work in a Mexican Tesla plant.

    1. sven says:

      “Everything happens for a reason.”

      No, absolutely not.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Sure it does. In this case, the reason was that the Tesla recruiter did not make it clear that this was a closed event.

        Of course, that’s not the same thing as a good reason or even an intended reason. But everything does happen for a reason. Cause and effect.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Elon should hire God’s public relations team to work for Tesla. They can spin anything that happens into good PR. If something good happens to you, they say “It’s god will.” If something bad happens to you, they say “God works in mysterious ways.”

          1. AlphaEdge says:

            LOL! Good one.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              IIRC, that line was from Chris Rock as a fallen angel in the movie Dogma.

          2. Anon says:

            Elon has no use for mythology & superstition in the workplace…

            Or trolls.

            1. Brave Lil Toaster says:

              Hush. It’s funny.

  2. Bacardi says:

    Isn’t this Trump’s worst nightmare?

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      If they go through the proper process to work here, then it’s not an issue with Trump. His campaign always emphasized “illegals” should not be allowed to stay.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        You’re thinking of a different whimsical, xenophobic campaign promise.

        The one Bacardi is likely referring to is the one where Trump was going to bring jobs back to Americans, by ending terrible deals like NAFTA and reducing the number of H1B visas. This particular fantasy promise is not about illegal immigration; it’s about protectionism.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “If they go through the proper process to work here, then it’s not an issue with Trump. His campaign always emphasized ‘illegals’ should not be allowed to stay.”

        Right, it’s not like the Trumpster administration is putting restrictions on H1B work visas.

        Oh, wait…

        It’s amazing that there are still people defending El Trumpo. Learning has not taken place!

        1. AlphaEdge says:

          So basically you’re saying Elon does not know what he’s doing?

          1. Mister G says:

            No…you’re not learning LOL

            1. AlphaEdge says:

              Oh Tesla is doing all this for laughs. Well, why didn’t you say so!

          2. Nick says:

            Haha!

            No, that’s just what you’re saying Alpha!

            Come on, time to start learning!

            😀

            1. AlphaEdge says:

              No intelligent responses here. Just political talking points that have no bases in reality, or Tesla would not even try what they are doing. Duh!

    2. Brave Lil Toaster says:

      No, Trump’s worst nightmare is that he utterly destroys the American economy and creates massive and deeply unpopular inflation along with his “America First” protectionism.

      At least, if he had any foresight about these things, which he does not. But it’s a nightmare that will likely come true regardless of his intentions.

  3. MDS TJ says:

    What you are seeing here is a 30 year decline in the US educational system thanks to the federal government. The concept that every kid must go to college has her education in the United States dramatically. I taught school for 30 years and the decline is quite noticeable. We’re no longer permitted to fail students, if a student doesn’t do his work it’s the teachers fault, students are given an unending number of tries to make up the work, and students leave high school now with the attitude when do I get to make it up. We no longer teach trades that we desperately need.

    1. Vexar says:

      I knew it! Thanks for confirming long-held suspicions about the US educational system.

    2. AlphaEdge says:

      Well, you can’t expect there to be an unlimited number of engineers in every field, and also many auto engineers in the US have well paying jobs with other auto companies, so it’s hard to get them, but if you have some in Mexico that are looking for work, then it should be considered.

      Yes, the US education system has problems, but they also have about the best universities in the world. If it didn’t, you would not have Telsa, SpaceX, Apple, Google, etc., succeeding.

    3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      In NYC the principals also resort to grade fixing or giving credit for “sham classes with no instruction,” since a principal’s performance evaluations are based on students grades.

      Even when a principal is caught grade fixing, they aren’t usually fired because the Department of Education is in on it, and tacitly approves or turns a blind eye, even going so far as to purposefully botch the administrative trial to fire the principal. Disgusting.

      One example:
      “An internal probe had found that Elvin and her assistant principals at the Gravesend, Brooklyn, high school ran a grade-fixing scheme called “Project Graduation.” Hundreds of students — who dubbed it ‘Easy Pass’ — got credits for sham classes with no instruction.

      “But Jay Nadelbach, a hearing officer assigned to conduct Elvin’s administrative trial, last month dismissed misconduct charges after the Department of Education failed to turn over records revealing it later approved all the credits. Nadelbach ordered Elvin, ousted in July 2015, ‘reinstated’ and awarded back pay.”

      “The city had 10 days to appeal the dismissal in court. ‘We did not appeal,’ a city Law Department spokesman said.”

      “Officials would not explain why they didn’t fight to uphold the charges against Elvin, but a court appeal would have cast light on a major cheating scandal at a time when Mayor de Blasio is seeking extension of mayoral control of schools.”

      “Dewey teachers who exposed the fraud aren’t surprised at Elvin’s victory. ‘It completely substantiates the lack of sincerity in their ostensible effort to terminate her,’ said retired social-studies teacher Wade Goria. ‘They never had any intention to fire her in the first place.’”

      Beleive it or not, the principal who replaced the crooked grade-fixing principal in the story above, was himself recently caught pressuring teachers to change failing grades into passing grades. Like the crooked principal who preceeded him, he was not fire and instead was re-assigned to a cushy administrative job at the Dept of Ed with a generous six-figure salary. 🙁

      http://nypost.com/2015/03/23/high-school-accused-of-massive-grade-fixing-scheme/

      http://nypost.com/2016/05/14/grade-fixing-ex-principal-lands-157k-job-as-doe-administrator/

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Classic general problem: when an organization targets a particular performance metric, it ceases to be an effective performance metric.

      2. SparkEV says:

        If this happened in any private school, that school would be out of business. In fact, any under-performing private school would be out of business, and only the best ones would remain.

        By the way, does anyone else think it’s odd that the public school you go must be tied to your geography? Who came up with this idiotic idea? It encourages local schools to suck since they will get students no matter how poorly they perform. In fact, poor performance and crying about lack of funding sometimes (often?) gets them extra money!

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          Not all public education in failing. My school district (14th largest in the US) instituted busing versus neighborhood schools and parents were upset that they couldn’t go to the closest school. So they added year-round and traditional choices to allow parents to choose. Then there are magnet schools, charter schools and early college choices too.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      There are multiple fundamental problems with U.S. public education.

      Yes, the change to “social promotion”, refusing to fail any student and hold him back a grade, because that might be a social stigma to “Johnny”, is one of the biggest.

      The other most fundamental problem is how the teaching profession has been professionalized in other industrialized countries, with commensurate increase in salary. By contrast, U.S. school teachers are low-paid workers with marginal education, cranked out by “teaching colleges”; teachers who are looked down on by their own students.

      Of course, we couldn’t possibly expect the GOP congresscritters, neither on the Federal or the State levels, to support spending more on teacher salaries. Because, you know, that would mean higher taxes, and we can never, ever have that!

      True conservatives believe in making prudent investments in the future. True conservatives would absolutely support taxes for improving infrastructure, improving educational standards, and scientific research.

      The GOP today is controlled by fake conservatives, not real ones. And unfortunately, the GOP is in control of most governments in the U.S. today, both on the Federal and State level.

      Fortunately, the Resistance movement is growing!

      1. Zach says:

        This thread shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the us education system. Educational policy is made at the local level first, followed by the state then federal level. As such, generalized statements about the education system are extremely flawed. The us has both the best and the worst public schools of the developed world.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Actually, you can generalize based on average (or median) school performance compared to other countries. Statistical outliers may or may not be better against statistical outliers in other countries, and cannot be generalized, but average can be generalized.

      2. SparkEV says:

        US spends about 4X what South Korea spends in classroom. Teachers are paid about $24K/yr, equivalent to about $35K/yr in US after taking purchasing power into account. Yet SK is among the top of the world in K-12 education.

        Read Amy Chua’s “battle hymn of tiger mom” and imagine the entire student body with parents like that. That’s how Korea (much of Asia, really) has such high performing schools with low cost. That even translate to US (at least in CA) where higher Asian student population correlate with higher performance.

        The fundamental problem with US education system is one and only one: lack of parental involvement. In US, schools are seen as day-care where kids go for the day while parents work. There’s not much parental involvement in US in general, and it’s like hiring baby sitter that you cannot fire no matter how poorly they do their job.

    5. David D. Nelson says:

      Unfortunately that has been my experience too. When I started teaching it was the parents looking at their kid and asking why they didn’t do the work. Later it turned into, “My kid is an ‘A’ student, why didn’t you give him an ‘A’? I finally thought of the correct response which helped immensely. I reply,”I’ve never given a grade in my life. I’ve recorded a whole bunch, however.” The problem is that now some administrators are more worried about graduation rates than they are about actually educating students.

    6. Steven says:

      And that’s why we no longer have “Shop Classes”.

      Most students have a limited number of fingers.

      But in all seriousness, in middle school, we had Metal, Wood, Electrical, and Print Shop classes. High School added Auto Shop and Intro to Drafting.

      Now, we don’t, and our students are all the poorer for it because they are introduced to fewer career options.

    7. rem83 says:

      Or, perhaps Tesla is located in an incredibly expensive area of the country and doesn’t pay their engineers well enough to afford comfortably middle class housing (especially considering the demands levied on them).

    8. Scott Franco says:

      We have an excellent system of engineering schools that teaches the best and brightest. The students are picked from the highest scoring entrance exams, and are constantly pushed to score the highest grades. They are encouraged to have actual hands on experience during school, and many are taught things such as machining to familiarize them with mechanical engineering even if they are programmers. These graduates are in high demand.

      Oh, did I mention these universities are in India?

  4. Mikey says:

    I frequently encounter people who think that we shouldn’t bother trying to keep manufacturing in the country. They always talk about how nobody in the USA wants to do those manufacturing jobs.

    Well first of all, those are usually well off people with service or IT jobs saying that, so they’re speaking of behalf of the people who are actually affected by layoffs. But this article highlights another major issue with exporting all of our manufacturing, which is that the engineering expertise goes with it! The entire manufacturing ecosystem leaves with the low level manufacturing jobs. Now if the country is ever in dire need of manufacturing prowess (another war perhaps?), we won’t have enough domestic experience to fall back on. And oh yeah, those engineering jobs left the country too, so it wasn’t just the jobs that “nobody wants”.

    So yes, Trump won’t like this, but at the same time it proves his point.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      I’ve never heard anyone say that “nobody wants” manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs – especially unionized ones – are some of the best generators for growth of the middle-class this country has ever seen.

      What I have heard people say is that “nobody wants” agricultural jobs, and from what I’ve seen, it’s true. Most Americans are simply not willing to work long hours in harsh outdoor conditions for relatively low wages, which is required in that line of work.

      1. Mikey says:

        I’ve heard both, many times. I live in Wisconsin. Many of my friends are farmers and they want to be farmers forever. The myth that Americans don’t want agricultural jobs is propagated politicians and massive factory farms. They openly flaunt immigration laws, pay less than minimum wage, and then say that Americans don’t want the jobs. Well yeah, I guess Americans don’t want to be paid less than the legal minimum wage… but then I’ll bet if computer programmers were paid less than the legal minimum wage, then Americans probably wouldn’t want those jobs either.

        1. Steven says:

          +1

          And some day, they will be.
          I’ll bet on it.

        2. On that note, as a Farm Boy, that grew up on a Farm, that was, in part, a ‘Market Garden’, I can remember Pollinating Plants, by hand, with a small round paint brush, because that year was so cold, the Bees were not flying! The year was 1964! Our crop losses in that year, exceeded the cost of a new car, as I remember, at $8,000.00!

          And then, some years later, there was the time when some guy and his wife came to our place, said they wanted a job on a farm, so Dad brought him out to our Garden, while his Wife helped out my Mom!

          After picking 1/2 a little 300 foot row of Cucumbers, he stood up, and said “This is Too Hard! I Quit!”

          I was picking on the row over, beside him, so, dad told him to go wait in the shade, I marked his row, finished picking mine, my sister finished hers, my dad finished his row, and the 3 of us finished the lazy guys row!

          We drove us all back to the house with our pickings, told him to get his belongings, and his (actually good and hard working) wife, and Dad drove them into town to the Bus Stop (Greyhound), gave them $20.00, and told them never to come this way again!

          I think I was 12-14 at the time. I thought dad gave the guy way too much ‘Severance’ pay!

          Too bad we couldn’t just fire him and keep the wife! She was able and willing, and not a complainer!

          1. Aww, cute! THAT is wher the curser disappeared to: my user name line! So I ended up with a new user name! Sorry about that!

    2. Scott Franco says:

      “And oh yeah, those engineering jobs left the country too”

      So now Tesla will leave the USA to get engineers from a country with some of the WORST engineering schools in the world?

      Smart…

  5. Scott Franco says:

    “in an attempt to satisfy a domestic engineer shortage”

    There is no such animal. What has happened is Tesla has gained fame for lowballing salaries.