It ain’t easy finding good help these days. That’s why the world’s largest contract chip maker has turned to 7-Eleven to help discover new chip production line workers.

7-Eleven, of course, is a convenience store retailer. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) placed application forms in all of the more than 4,000 7-Eleven convenience stores in Taiwan last month, hoping to attract 600 new line workers for its semiconductor factories, a company representative said.

The firm currently operates two advanced 300mm wafer fab, five 8-inch wafer fabs, and one 6-inch wafer fab. Fabrication plant (fab) operations are centralized in Taiwan, primarily in HsinChu Science Park and Tainan Science park. TSMC fabs are also located in Camas, Wash. (WaferTech), Singapore (SSMC, a joint venture with Philips Semiconductors), and in Shanghai China.

It’s the company’s latest creative venture in seeking new employees. Earlier this year, TSMC worked with Taiwan’s railway administration to put company executives on a decorated train car and travel around the island to meet with prospective job candidates.

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is a fiercely aggressive one. Finding qualified workers isn’t a huge problem in Taiwan, but stiff competition among chip makers, LCD (liquid crystal display) producers and other companies means they have to be creative to attract the best candidates, according to one representative from TSMC.

The company had originally planned to hire 3,000 people this year, but found that wasn’t enough, so they’ve revised the search to 3,600 for the year. So far, the company has hired 2,800 workers, including line technicians and engineers.

TSMC wants 600 more line workers and a few hundred more engineers, the representative said.

The company reckons around half of the line workers it will hire this year will be women, and it is encouraging more women to apply for the positions.

Applicants can pick up the required forms at 7-Eleven stores throughout Taiwan, then fill them out and fax or mail them to a career magazine TSMC is working with on the project, the company said. Individuals who meet TSMC’s criteria will be invited in for interviews.

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