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Tesla knocks on Apple's door when it wants new employees

Tesla knocks on Apple's door when it wants new employees

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From strong leadership to disruptive products, there's a lot of corporate DNA shared by Apple and Tesla. It turns out, however, there's also a lot of actual DNA shared as well. A Bloomberg report on Tesla's hiring practices says the carmaker poaches more employees from Apple than it does from any other company — even from competitors in the auto industry. Tesla has reportedly hired at least 150 former Apple employees, including engineers and lawyers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly steps into the interview process for software developers himself, taking advantage of his background in coding to "geek out" with potential key hires. Tim Cook might have a degree in industrial engineering, but he certainly couldn't go toe-to-toe with Musk on programming.

Telsa's ability to attract top coders will be more important as cars get more high-tech

These high-performing employees are reportedly attracted by Tesla's status in the automobile industry — comparable, they say, to Apple's place in the computing world 15 years ago. But for Telsa (and its rival carmakers) these hires are about more than just recapturing the spirit of '00. As the software that is used to control cars becomes a larger part of their value, car companies that can attract top-flight coding talent will have a massive advantage over competitors. If even Apple is incapable of hiring employees away from Tesla (Musk says the iPhone-maker has gone as far as offering his staff $250,000 signing fees and 60 percent salary increases), then Detroit's finest are unlikely to have much of a chance. And with Telsa's software updates capable of delivering not just new app animations but tangible increases in a car's ability to drive really fast, it's not hard to see why Apple's talent is tempted to jump ship.