GM to hire 8,000 people this year as it expands into electric vehicles

·4 min read

General Motors is on a hiring spree.

The day after telling the Free Press it looks to hire about 400 software specialists, the automaker said Wednesday it will hire more than 8,000 people across various technology teams and other areas of the company.

The hiring extends to GM Defense, GM's wholly owned subsidiary that makes products for the military.

"Our commitment to hiring 8,000 tech employees in 2022 is an exciting sign of GM’s momentum, our quest to innovate technology with impact, and our focus on helping people find their purpose in the workplace," said Jessika Lora, GM director of the Innovation Accelerator, in a statement.

GM talent retention

In 2020, GM hired 3,000 engineers to help accelerate its development of EVs and self-driving cars. GM is spending $35 billion through 2025 to develop the technologies.

Last year, GM said it hired 10,000 people globally. GM currently employs 50,631 people in Michigan.

More: GM to fill 400 software jobs in defiance of the Great Resignation

But the automaker also retained talent better than most during what has been dubbed the Great Resignation of 2021 — which refers to the roughly 33 million Americans who have quit their jobs since last spring. GM said its attrition rate across its U.S. salaried workforce was six times lower than the national average.

GM said the flexibility of its Work Appropriately philosophy, which allows people to work remotely if their job allows for it, helped it keep talent. Also, offering a generous benefits package, including 15 to 30 paid vacations days depending on length of service plus paid time off for national holidays, a commitment to diversity and an inclusive environment helped it compete for talent, GM said in a statement.

General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra announces Tuesday a GM investment of more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites that includes building a new Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing and converting the GM Orion Assembly plant to build full-size electric pickups. The investment will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000. Barra made the announcement from the Senate Hearing Room of the Boji Tower in Lansing, Michigan.
General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra announces Tuesday a GM investment of more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites that includes building a new Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing and converting the GM Orion Assembly plant to build full-size electric pickups. The investment will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000. Barra made the announcement from the Senate Hearing Room of the Boji Tower in Lansing, Michigan.

"We strive to make General Motors the world’s most inclusive company, and a destination for top talent in all functions and areas of our business," said CEO Mary Barra.

GM said nearly a third of all new hires last year were women and 42% were from underrepresented minority groups. GM doubled recruitment of women for its entry-level technology hiring, it said, a trend it will continue this year.

EVs drive jobs

It is not decided where the bulk of the new jobs will be located, said spokeswoman Arianna Kughn.

"We cannot say for sure since the roles and responsibilities for all 8,000 jobs are not yet determined," Kughn said. "But all employees will be encouraged to work appropriately when their jobs allow."

The hiring growth is part of GM's transition to selling a lineup of all-electric vehicles by 2035.

In relation to that, GM announced Tuesday it will invest $7 billion across four Michigan manufacturing facilities to make electric vehicles and battery cells. The investment will create 4,000 jobs and retain 1,000 jobs in the state, officials have said.

The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV electric pickup's full-width front light bar will make it instantly recognizable.
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV electric pickup's full-width front light bar will make it instantly recognizable.

More: GM to invest historic $7 billion in 4 facilities across Michigan, creating 4,000 jobs

More: Biden, Whitmer weigh in on GM's huge investment in Michigan

The jobs that GM plans to fill this year include positions in software development and services that extend beyond cars. GM is expanding the teams that develop vehicle software, engineer fuel cells to electrify industries beyond automotive, and advance electric battery design.

GM has, for example, started BrightDrop, which makes electric commercial delivery trucks and software apps for the delivery business. GM has also said it would apply its hydrogen fuel cell technology for use with railroad, aircraft and watercraft industries.

More: GM technology could help commercial jets shed 2 tons of weight at takeoff

GM has already started hiring for these positions and will continue throughout the year:

  • Fuel cell engineers.

  • Engineering product development: software engineers, computer engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers.

  • Global electrification controls software and electronics: design release engineers, developers and battery engineers, cybersecurity​.

  • Software development.

  • Global innovation: software developers, product managers, designers, data architects, strategists, and serial entrepreneurs.

  • Manufacturing and manufacturing engineering: industrial engineers, chemical engineers, mechatronics, robotics, materials science, controls engineers, vision systems, programmable logic controller​.

  • IT: computer scientists, computer engineers.

  • GM Defense: control systems engineers, architects for electrification and autonomous technology.​

  • Engineering Product Development: Virtual Design Development and Validation in NASCAR MotorSports.

Last year, GM hired from more than 3,700 companies and nearly 300 universities across the U.S. and it will continue that practice this year.

GM said that while it does "hire from peer companies, General Motors is committed to hiring beyond its typical peer set to recruit a more diverse team."

Many positions are posted on careers.gm.com and new jobs will be added throughout the year, GM said.

Contact Jamie L. LaReau: 313-222-2149 or jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter. Become a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: GM to hire 8,000 people this year as it expands into electric vehicles