IBM plans a hiring freeze, may replace 7,800 jobs with AI – Times of India

IBM (International Business Machines Corp.) plans to temporarily halt the recruitment of positions that it anticipates could be automated using artificial intelligence in the near future.
In a conversation with Bloomberg, Arvind Krishna, the CEO of IBM, said that the company will stop hiring for its non-customer-facing positions, which are likely to be automated by artificial intelligence.
Krishna said that the reduction in the workforce would primarily affect non-customer-facing departments, including human resources, which currently employs around 26,000 individuals.
“I could easily see 30% of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period,” Krishna told Bloomberg. This means approximately 7,800 positions will be lost to AI. The company also mentioned that this would include not filling empty roles when employees leave on their own.
“More mundane tasks such as providing employment verification letters or moving employees between departments will likely be fully automated,” Krishna said. He further added that specific HR duties, like assessing the productivity and composition of the workforce, are less likely to be replaced by AI technology in the next ten years.
The report notes that earlier this year, IBM announced plans to reduce its workforce, cutting around 5,000 jobs upon completion. Despite this, Krishna said that the company had hired approximately 7,000 new employees in the first quarter, leading to an increase in its workforce.
In a written comment to Insider, an IBM spokesperson said that the company had not implemented a broad policy to pause hiring and is actively recruiting for numerous jobs.
“There is no blanket hiring ‘pause’ in place. IBM is being deliberate and thoughtful in our hiring with a focus on revenue-generating roles, and we’re being very selective when filling jobs that don’t directly touch our clients or technology. We are actively hiring for thousands of positions right now.” the spokesperson told Insider.

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