Who’s Hiring During COVID-19 Pandemic? Cloud Giants


If there was ever a crucial “use case” for cloud computing, it’s a global pandemic.

While the U.S. and other economies around the world crumble, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are hiring.

“We are currently hiring Software Development Engineers, Product Managers, Account Managers, Solutions Architects, Support Engineers, System Engineers, Designers and more,” says a blurb appearing on AWS sites.

Along with the AWS tech talent, Amazon itself is hiring on several fronts, as detailed in several entries on its COVID-19 blog site.

“We’re hiring 100,000 new full and part-time employees across the U.S. in our fulfillment centers and delivery network to meet the surge in demand from people relying on Amazon’s services during this stressful time,” reads a March 16 post. “We encourage people across the hospitality, restaurant, and travel industries who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to work with us until their previous employer can hire them back.”

In light of the aforementioned perfect use case, AWS’ hiring surge isn’t surprising.

As financial investment firm Zacks said in an April 9 article under the subheading “Pandemic Boosts Cloud Computing Demand”:
“Thus, in the battle against the pandemic, when mass gatherings are strictly restricted and people are being increasingly told to work from home, cloud computing companies have come to the rescue. Amid strict lockdown measures, there has been heightened demand for online classes, video conferencing, gaming, e-commerce shopping and remote project collaboration. Luckily in today’s world, such services are easily available.”

Zacks recommended four cloud computing stock to invest in to “Beat Coronavirus Blues”: Microsoft, AWS, Alphabet (parent of Google Cloud) and Alibaba Group Holding Limited.

A recent for-pay article in The Wall Street Journal further speaks to the unique position the cloud giants find themselves in: “Cloud-computing providers are emerging as among the few corporate winners in the coronavirus pandemic as office and store closures across the U.S. have pushed more activity online. The remote data storage and processing services provided by Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., Google and others have become the essential link for many people to remain connected with work and families, or just to unwind.”

Microsoft Azure isn’t trumpeting any increased hiring like AWS is, but Microsoft has reportedly frozen hiring in other areas while it’s still seeking Azure talent.

“Microsoft is freezing hiring for some roles, citing uncertainty related to the coronavirus crisis, the company confirmed on Tuesday, except in unspecified ‘strategic areas,'” reported Business Insider in an April 7 article sitting behind a paywall. The article further states:

“We continue to seek industry-leading talent in a range of disciplines as we continue to invest in certain strategic areas,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “However, in light of the uncertainties presented by COVID-19, we are temporarily pausing recruitment for other roles.”

Microsoft declined to provide more information about for which positions it’s still hiring, and which roles are seeing a pause in hiring.

According to employees who spoke with Business Insider, Microsoft is still hiring for roles within its massive cloud computing business, and the company was holding virtual hiring events for software engineers as recently as last week. Some groups, one employee said, are “prioritizing consumer-facing and critical roles.”

According to an April 8 article by Forbes, “Microsoft employs almost 150,000 people as of 2019. As of today, April 8, Microsoft still has over 7,000 jobs postings listed on LinkedIn’s job portal. Microsoft owns LinkedIn, so it is unlikely the job portal is significantly out-of-date. Over 4,000 of the open jobs mention ‘Azure.’ Eleven of those open positions are related to quantum computing.”

Google Cloud is continuing to publicize its “We’re hiring. Join Google Cloud!” initiative on its sites. That link points to open jobs like “Software Engineer, Cloud SQL” and “Software Engineer, Cloud Health and Life Sciences” in the Cloud Software Engineers department. Other areas with open jobs include Cloud Product Managers, Cloud Consultants and more.

On Google’s LinkedIn site, recent job postings include “People Analyst, Reporting and Insights, Cloud” and “Enterprise Cloud Architect, Healthcare, Google Cloud.”

IBM, whose cloud platform is often grouped in with the above “Big 3,” doesn’t seem to be especially active in general cloud hiring, but is making a few targeted upper-level moves, Network World reports in an article this week titled “IBM taps new leaders for hybrid-cloud battles ahead.”

Along with the cloud giants, other cloud-related companies are also reportedly hiring, as are other organizations for cloud-related jobs.

As careers site Dice said in a post last month, “Even as many industries contract, there’s still a pressing need for technologists who can do everything from keep cloud infrastructure running to designing e-commerce portals.”

It repeated and expounded upon that notion in another post this week: “Across the country, the need for remote work and social distancing is boosting demand for technologists who can provide everything from e-commerce portals to maintaining cloud architecture. The COVID-19 crisis still has some time to run, but for the technology industry, some of the early signals around job demand are surprisingly promising.”

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