Tesla’s ability to attract talent from both the tech industry and the traditional automotive industry has been an important part of its success so far.

Now, the company says that it received ‘nearly 500,000 applicants’ last year as it becomes one of the top companies where people want to work.

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In terms of workforce, Tesla has experienced an extremely rapid growth over the last few years both due to an increased rate of hires and also because of a series of acquisitions.

At the end of 2015, Tesla had just over 14,000 employees.

A year later, the automaker had over 18,000 employees worldwide before adding 700 engineers and technicians in Germany and China with the acquisition of Grohmann Engineering and over 12,000 employees in the US and 300 in Mexico, Canada and China with the acquisition of SolarCity.

The company had to make some cuts after the acquisition, especially in the SolarCity staff, but it kept growing nonetheless.

Tesla has since made another acquisition, Perbix, a factory automation company based in Minnesota, and it has been growing its overall operations to now over 37,000 employees worldwide – most of them in the US.

Today, LinkedIn released its list of Top Companies 2018 in the U.S. where people want to work and it arrived at #5 – even beating Apple.

Tesla says it received ‘nearly 500,000 applicants’ over the last year while it had about 2,500 job openings – making it a highly competitive application process.

Despite the increasing level of automation that Tesla wants to incorporate into its manufacturing processes, the employee growth rate is not expected to slow down anytime time soon.

The automaker previously announced plans to add 3,000 employees at the Fremont factory in California throughout the Model 3 production ramp up and it could employ between 6,000 and 10,000 people at the Gigafactory by the time it’s completed in 2020.

Tesla’s growth plans for its solar business with the acquisition of SolarCity are less clear. However, they are taking over manufacturing with Panasonic at SolarCity’s new factory in Buffalo, where the company promised to employ over 1,400 people in manufacturing and R&D, as well as over 3,000 people in the state of New York as part of a deal with the state for the construction of the factory.

The overall growth of the company’s retail and service presence all over the world also contributes significantly to the employee growth rate.

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