Taiwan’s Liberty Times revealed today that TSMC has considerably relaxed requirements for Taiwanese residents interested in pursuing a career in the company’s stateside operations. In a headline, it jokes that those with just a high school diploma can snag a TSMC factory technician job in Arizona. No particular experience is outlined as a requirement, according to the report. However, applicants must have an 800+ score in TOEIC English proficiency tests.
Arizona Fab 21 jobs that TSMC is trying to fill with inexperienced homegrown personnel include various technician roles operating machinery, inspecting products, and doing prescribed maintenance. Successful Taiwanese applicants will finish a work placement on the island and finish this year before being dispatched to Arizona for at least two years. The TSMC factory work schedule is a mix of nights, days, 2-on and 2-off, 4-on and 3-off, and similar patterns. Accommodation, travel subsidies and so on will be provided.
Readers might be wondering why TSMC isn’t hiring for these lower-end technical positions in the US, as the requirements are so low. After pondering over some of its job ads aimed at US residents, it becomes apparent that the company’s requirement of a six to 12-month training period in Taiwan would not appeal to many people. However, some jobs with more strenuous requirements, like an engineering degree, still ask successful applicants to travel to Taiwan for extended training periods.
We did find some easier to qualify for jobs at TSMC for US residents. A Manufacturing Associate position asked for a diploma from finishing high school and preferably some work experience in a team environment (something you could claim from school project or a summer job). Ideally, the applicant would have “a love of technical hobbies” and would “aspire to better the world through mindful business practices that focus on key sustainability goals, ethical management, and helping the underprivileged.” These entry-level positions still needed active passport holders to go to Taiwan for training.
The struggle to find and retain talent is a well-established problem for most major technology companies. Unfortunately, TSMC, with its ambitious recent, current and near-future expansion plans, is one of the worst affected by this personnel crunch.
US-based rival Intel Corporation set aside a multi-billion dollar fund to retain and attract top talent. It planned a targeted distribution of $2.4 billion in cash and shares to employees as performance and loyalty bonuses. Interestingly, if the sum was distributed evenly across all of Intel’s employees, everyone could get a $21,000 bonus.
TSMC was recently in the news as its chief executive said that the N2 node would enter risk production in 2024 and for high-volume manufacturing (HVM) to begin toward the end of 2025.