Apple Inc. has reportedly slowed down its hiring process for certain retail positions, specifically for its Genius technical-support roles. The tech giant has informed some stores that it will not be filling Genius positions that became available after employee departures. In some cases, Apple has even retracted verbal job offers for such roles. Although the company has not announced any layoffs or implemented a hiring freeze, some employees believe that this move is a cost-cutting measure.
According to employees, this slowdown has resulted in five or more technical-support positions going unfilled at individual stores. The employees claim that these changes are part of an effort to reduce headcount at locations that are not seeing as many customers as before the pandemic. However, Apple has not commented on this situation, and it continues to advertise for Genius roles on its website.
The Genius role has been a hallmark of Apple’s retail experience since its inception in 2001. However, the tech giant has already been rethinking its approach in recent years. For example, at many locations, Apple has eliminated the Genius Bar and instead opted to have employees roam around helping customers. Additionally, the company has outsourced Mac product repairs to remote depots. Despite these changes, Genius employees continue to handle troubleshooting, product repair pickups, and general assistance.
Apple’s decision to slow down its hiring process could negatively impact customer service and lead to longer wait times. Although Apple’s U.S. stores are fully operational after experiencing Covid-related closures and reopenings in 2020 and 2021, this move could affect the company’s ability to handle customer demand.
Apple’s current retail chief, Deirdre O’Brien, who also serves as head of human resources, took over from Angela Ahrendts in 2019. Some Apple retail employees criticized Ahrendt’s approach, claiming that she prioritized branding over customer service. However, O’Brien has been more positively received in the job, in part due to her frequent video messages sent to employees and her long tenure at the company.
Apple’s decision to slow down hiring for its Genius technical-support roles is concerning, especially for customers who rely on the company’s support services. Although the company has not announced any layoffs or implemented a widespread hiring freeze, this move could negatively impact customer service and lead to longer wait times. Furthermore, with the rise of retail employees seeking union representation, Apple may need to address concerns around worker treatment and conditions to maintain its positive reputation.