Arm has entered a hiring freeze that could potentially last until 2022, according to a report by The Register. The freeze is said to affect Arm’s chip design wing, but other departments have also reportedly slowed hiring. In addition to freezing hiring, The Register reports that Arm cut a “wellbeing” allowance valued at up to $8,500 per year. The freeze could reportedly last until NVIDIA’s acquisition of Arm finishes.
In addition to affected teams not being able to hire new employees, it’s said that positions cannot be backfilled when an employee leaves. Any roles that do open up are reportedly on hold. Contractors can also not be taken on and fixed-term contractions are frozen as well, says the Register.
According to The Register, Arm told staff that it was ahead of its hiring plans. As a result, it needed to stay “within the cost targets for the business.”
The Register shared a portion of an FAQ sent out to Arm staff:
The primary reason for this is that due to the accelerated hiring in the past six months, we are well ahead of our planned headcount. The market response has been fantastic, the selection process rigorous, and we have hired some exceptional people into Arm from across the globe.
We are pleased to welcome these new hires from early careers through to experienced business leaders. However, we now need to take this action to ensure we are within the cost targets for the business.
Later in the same FAQ page, Arm states, “We expect this will last until the Nvidia deal closes, which we currently anticipate will be in April 2022.” It’s also reported that Arm staff members were told the company’s future hiring plans will be formed in discussion with NVIDIA and that more information is on the way.
The cut “wellbeing” allowance is Arm’s FlexPot scheme, which is available to employees and fixed-term contract workers. The value of the scheme varies based on location, with people in the UK receiving £4,500 per person and people in the U.S. receiving $8,500. The Register understands that the scheme was introduced in 2016 after Arm went private.
An internal document obtained by The Register explained that funds from the FlexPot scheme could go to “activities that support you and your family’s health or financial wellbeing,” and “any activities that allow you to learn something new.”
This relatively vague phrasing reportedly meant that funds could be used for a wide range of things, including home insurance, rental deposits, and school tuition fees. Funds could also reportedly be used for things like summer camps for children, personal trainers, scuba diving, and art classes.
The FlexPot scheme was reportedly set to run through this year but was canceled this month without a given reason.
Arm’s vice president for external communications, Phil Hughes, told The Register:
This year is about executing on our strategy and preparing for a new chapter which will bring significant additional rewards for our people. Arm, like all companies, adjusts its benefits periodically as necessary, but we always ensure our people understand why we are making changes as keeping them well-informed, motivated and rewarded is vital as they are the core of our success.
The reported end of the FlexPot schemes comes despite Arm staff being told that the company had exceeded its goals. The scheme could come back in some form after the NVIDIA acquisition, according to the report.