- Facebook parent company Meta is pausing hiring for the rest of the year.
- The rare move comes as the company attempts to trim costs and refocus its energies.
- In an internal memo, CFO said a “reprioritization” is in part due to an “industry-wide downturn.”
Facebook’s parent company Meta is reducing hiring targets and has paused hiring across much of its engineering operation for the rest of the year, according to internal notes to employees, a rare move as the company seeks to rein in spending and shift its priorities.
In one internal memo, David Wehner, Facebook’s CFO, cited the invasion of Ukraine, data-privacy changes and an “industry-wide downturn” in explaining issues impacting its business and a hiring freeze, first reported by Insider. The overall result is “slower than expected revenue growth” for Facebook, he wrote.
“We came into 2022 with really aggressive growth targets,” Wehner said. “However, as we look towards the second half, were going to adjust those targets in a couple of ways.”
“We’re still working out what this means for each org, but this will affect hiring goals for almost every team across the company,” he added in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Insider.
Insider previously reported Meta began a pause last month for hiring of certain engineers. Such pauses are rare for the company. The last one happened near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a worker there at the time said. It was put in place due to an inability to train people outside of offices and was short-lived.
A Meta spokesperson said the company “regularly re-evaluates” its hiring and “according to our business needs and in light of the expense guidance given for this earnings period, we are slowing its growth accordingly.” Facebook said last week that it intended to reduce costs this year to no more than $92 billion, down from an initial plan to spend $95 billion.
“We will continue to grow our workforce to ensure we focus on long term impact,” the spokesperson added.
According to one of the memos, written by Miranda Kalinowski, Facebook’s global head of recruiting, the impact of this hiring freeze will impact “almost every team across the company.” Her note detailed engineers, managers and even some director level talent that will not be hired for the rest of the year, resulting in recruiting fewer people than the company previously planned.
“We’re taking a more conservative approach to expense and headcount growth over the rest of the year,” she said.
Meta stock is currently trading at around $213, down almost 40% this year so far, and other tech stocks have also taken a beating. A few other companies in the sector have ratcheted back hiring plans this year. DoorDash’s CEO told staff last month that the company planned to slow headcount growth. Google Cloud has also cut jobs recently.
Managers in other areas of Facebook are actively hiring still, one current employee said. Yet, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it a point on the most recent earnings call to talk about an increasing rate of attrition, or workers choosing to leave Facebook, spinning it as a positive thing. The company now has more than 78,000 staff, up 28% from last year.
Zuckerberg also noted that while Facebook is still doing a lot of recruiting, there’s also a major focus on moving people around within the company, where it’s “shifting priorities” to the metaverse division Reality Labs and artificial intelligence and machine learning teams. Zuckerberg also said he was intent on “slowing the pace” of metaverse investments.
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