Ford terminated 13,000 salaried workers from 2006 to 2009 -- either eliminating their positions or buying workers out with a severance package, The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
Felicia Fields, Ford group vice president for human resources, said the rebound reflected a change in the company's needs, which now included software development to keep vehicles up to date with consumer expectations.
"It's incredibly different. It's more diverse, it's more challenging, it's more complex. But we're finding more people in other industries who have an interest," in automotive software, she said.
Ford is recruiting workers through social media Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, Fields said.
"What we're finding is some of these people who have good consumer electronics experience want to broaden that and want to bring that capability into the vehicle," said Graydon Reitz, Ford's global director of electrical and electronic systems engineering.