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Platform executives have spoken of cost cuts, hiring freezes and “ruthless prioritization.” One word the company didn’t use: layoffs.
But Meta quietly started alerting a large number of employees By reorganizing the sections And giving affected employees a limited window to apply for other jobs within the company, according to current and former managers familiar with the matter, in a move that would cut staff while preventing the mass issuance of pink coupons.
The cuts are expected to be a precursor to deeper cuts, with Meta looking to cut its costs by at least 10% over the next few months, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. While some of the savings will come from cuts in overhead and advisory budgets, people said, much of it is expected to come from lower hiring.
In response to questions, Meta spokesperson Tracy Clayton referred to the CEO
Changes in Big Tech’s staff
“We have announced that our teams need to transform to meet these challenges,” said Mr. Clayton. Giving displaced employees time to apply for new jobs, he said, is a way to retain talent that you might otherwise lose dead. He declined to reveal how many employees were affected by the latest steps.
The company had lowered its operating expense guidance since the third quarter of last year, but had not previously suggested it would reduce staffing through means other than natural attrition.
Among some Meta employees, the process of reapplying to jobs within a limited window internally is known as a kind of HR purgatory they call the “30-day slate”.
Dead, as of last year Facebook’s parent company name, has long been a practice that employees whose roles are canceled are subject to termination if they cannot find a new job internally within a month. Many other companies are also making efforts to reassign employees whose groups have been closed or restructured. Historically in Meta, only employees deemed undesirable failed to get new jobs. Now, affected employees and managers say, reputable workers and strong performance reviews are paid regularly.
Meta reported that it had 83,553 employees at the end of the second quarter, up 32% from the previous year.
As part of its cost-cutting measures,
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The Google -0.57%
Google has also asked some employees to apply for new jobs if they want to stay at the company. Last week, Google told nearly half of the 100-plus employees in its startup incubator area of 120 that they would need to find other jobs at the company within 90 days, people familiar with the decision said.
Google typically gives employees 60 days to apply for other jobs at the company if their jobs are cancelled, although Area 120 employees typically get more time if their projects are canceled, people familiar with the process said.
In March, more than 1,400 Google employees signed a petition asking the company to extend the typical 60-day period to 180 days for a group of more than 100 employees in its cloud computing division, citing “the transportation barriers many workers face.”
A Google spokesperson said that nearly 95% of employees who expressed an interest in staying with the company found new positions during the notice period. Alphabet had 174,014 employees at the end of the second quarter, an increase of 20.8% over the previous year.
In Silicon Valley, staffing cuts have been noticeable after the largest companies are hired at breakneck speed during the pandemic. In May 2021, Tom Allison, head of Facebook’s app, wrote a note titled “Why is hiring hard now?” Mr. Allison lamented the “significant imbalance in supply and demand between our recruitment needs and the availability of talent”. He wrote that with the severe shortage of engineers, the company was hiring more recruits, but even those were hard to find.
With the economic climate cooling and the digital advertising market in turmoil, the language from some of the most prominent tech executives is now distinctly different.
“Realistically, there’s probably a group of people in the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said at a company town hall in June. Separately, the company’s head of engineering has issued an invitation to managers To identify the employees who were on the move and put it on treatment plans in preparation for its completion.
The memo’s blunt wording led to a great deal of derision and concern in internal company forums, according to what The Wall Street Journal has seen.
Meta’s stock price is down more than 56.6% so far in 2022, and the company’s market capitalization has fallen by more than $685 billion since its September 2021 peak until Tuesday’s close.
Google has been more resilient, but the search giant’s share price has also fallen 27.3% over the past year. In July, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said Google would slow hiring for the rest of the year and urged employees To be “more entrepreneurial”. Mr. Pichai said at a conference earlier this month that he wanted the company to become 20% more productive, without providing details on how he would measure improvement.
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It is among the outliers in publicly declaring layoffs. The company said last week It will cut about 20% of its employees After increasing its head count by about 65% since the end of 2020.
“We must lower our cost structure to avoid incurring significant ongoing losses,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in a note to employees. He said the company is launching an optional talent guide to help departing employees find work outside the company.
Silicon Valley remains a competitive market for talent, so finding ways to move employees within the company can lead to benefits, said Alison Routledge Parisi, senior vice president of personnel at Justworks, a company that specializes in employee services.
“It would be absurd for a company to abandon a group of people they knew, who managed, they had a relationship with, and they contributed, in short without thinking of a methodology that would find them another place and another home within the organization.”
There are also potential downsides to employees competing for a limited number of internal positions, including the impact on productivity and morale, said Dave Fish, CEO of job site Ladders. “There will be a lot of chatter, and there may be a lot of hostility and finger pointing that starts to come naturally,” Mr. Fish said.
In Meta, the hustle of re-employment is in full swing.
“I am a fast learner and eager to take on a challenge, and clearly through this post, someone who is not afraid to put themselves out there,” a meta data scientist wrote in an internal forum last month. I am looking for a new job. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t and I would kick myself if I ended up leaving without exploring every avenue.”
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