Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is the world’s largest contract producer of microchips, has built a wide lead over rivals Intel and Samsung in the race to make the smallest and fastest microchips, largely due to its engineers’ ingenuity. However, the company is facing a talent crisis, as a shrinking population, demanding work culture, and an abundance of competing tech jobs have meant workers have become ever scarcer. Start-ups in promising fields like artificial intelligence are luring top engineers away, and in recruiting, TSMC must compete with internet companies like Google and foreign semiconductor companies like ASML of the Netherlands. The stakes are enormous, as some military strategists argue that TSMC’s dominance in microchips provides Taiwan a guarantee against an invasion by China. TSMC has been forced to adjust its recruitment strategies, broadening hiring channels and increasing base salaries, among other initiatives. The challenges facing Taiwan’s chip industry come amid a global crunch, with China’s microchip industry reportedly short 200,000 workers. At TSMC, the recruitment gap back home has added urgency to its efforts to build factories and train workers outside Taiwan.
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