It could take 42 days for Elon Musk to approve each Tesla rental

Elon Musk is getting more involved in hiring Tesla — and that means more time outside of his already busy schedule.
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  • Elon Musk said in an email Monday that he must approve all new hires at Tesla.
  • This is no small task: Tesla has increased its head count by about 30,000 in each of the past three years.
  • Musk’s oversight could amount to hundreds of hours of overtime and slow Tesla’s hiring process.

Elon Musk told staff that he wants to approve everyone who gets hired at Tesla, but that it won’t be easy.

We crunched the numbers, and depending on how much time he puts into each approval, it’ll take anywhere from two days to roughly 21 days of nonstop work if Tesla continues its recent hiring pace.

Here’s the math.

Tesla will hire approximately 130,000 people in 2022. The company also said it received about 3.6 million applications last year, and over the past three years it has increased its staff by about 30,000 each year.

If Tesla were to maintain this hiring trend, Musk would be saddled with up to hundreds of hours of overtime in addition to his current duties. For example, if Musk took just 1 minute (the average person takes about 1.7 minutes to read a page) to review each new employee (Tesla hired about 30,000 people last year) that would amount to 500 man hours or shy of 21 nonstop workdays, not counting No sleep.

If he keeps email approvals for 12-hour shifts each day, that counts to about 42 workdays.

If Musk took a much lighter touch and only took 5 seconds to decide on each hire, it would take him roughly 42 consecutive hours over the course of a year, or roughly two days of continuous work.

“Patience only truly Tesla loyal people”

Musk’s new operation could amount to some kind of hiring slowdown or even a hiring freeze. In the email from Monday, he warned the executives to “think very carefully before sending me the request.” Musk wrote that executives should send him a list of their candidates once a week for approval.

“No one can join Tesla, even as a contractor, until you receive my approval via email,” he wrote in the email obtained by Insider.

Three current Tesla employees told Insider that they’ve been told Musk has been involved in the hiring process in the past. Even so, the billionaire has seemed to soften his stance on the issue over the years. The staff asked not to be identified in order to speak freely. In 2019, Insider previously reported that recruiters received an email stating that all job applications must receive “evidence” of Musk’s approval.

“We have a really long hiring process for engineers, and we often lose good candidates because they accept another offer before we can get them,” said one Tesla employee. “This will probably make it worse. In the sense that only people loyal to Tesla have the patience to make it happen.”

If Tesla only increases its headcount by about 15,000 this year, Musk will still face about 250 hours of work and that doesn’t even include the number of employees Tesla hires to handle annual turnover.

But, perhaps an extra 500 hours or so of overtime could be done for a man who slept on the factory floor and claimed to have worked a 120-hour week in the past. After all, Musk has taken similar steps at his other companies. For example, Musk told employees at Twitter last year to send him weekly emails with updates on their work, and at one point required workers to print out their code so he could review it in person.

Ultimately, Musk’s latest email appears to be a sign that Musk has become more involved with Tesla after finding a new Twitter CEO. The new Twitter CEO would allow Musk to turn his attention back to “golden child” companies, Wedbush technology analyst Dan Ives said in a note Friday.

Musk and a Tesla spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.

Do you work at Tesla or have an insight to share? Contact the reporter from a non-work email at [email protected] or via Signal at 248-894-6012

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