Sat, 02 Jul 2022

Following market tumbling, US tech firms slow down hiring

Robert Besser
25 May 2022, 04:58 GMT+10

NEW YORK CITY, New York: Tech firms have slowed or frozen hiring, and even accelerated layoffs, in response to the uncertain economy.

Salesforce is just the latest firm to slow recruitment. Twitter, Meta, and Uber also slowed hiring, with officials noting the rising inflation and an on-going stock market sell-offs.

"Since the onset of the pandemic, organizations have accelerated their digital transformations to support new ways of working and reaching customers," said Jamie Kohn, research director at Gartner's HR practice, as quoted by Computerworld. "Tech companies have been at the center of it all. Now, they're taking a step back to re-evaluate what they need for future growth. Therefore, these freezes are most likely short-term pauses."

However, hiring continues at a brisk pace through much of the high tech industry, where an ongoing shortage of talent continues.

"Outside the tech industry, the demand for tech roles is still pretty high," said Kohn. "A lot of companies are still struggling to recruit the talent they need to support their growing tech needs. Tech workers are still going to have a lot of options on the job market, even if they're not in major tech companies."

In a bid to control expenses, officials at cloud software vendor Salesforce will temporarily halt recruitment.

However, in a statement, Salesforce said it will still hire 4,000 workers this quarter.

Facebook owner Meta has said it will temporarily cease hiring for some engineering roles, according to The Verge.

The company has told staff that it would pause hiring for its engineering division for the remainder of 2022, according to a company memo reported by Business Insider.

Meta CFO David Wehner said the freezing of hiring was due to an "industry-wide" downturn, along with the invasion of Ukraine and data-privacy changes.

Twitter also has begun a hiring freeze, in anticipation of a $44 billion takeover by Elon Musk, though layoffs are not currently planned, according to The Verge.

Also this week, Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, announced it will reverse plans to hire aggressively in 2022, as a result of the market downturn.

"Heading into this year, we planned to triple the size of the company," Emilie Choi, Coinbase's president and COO, said in a blog post. "Given current market conditions, we feel it's prudent to slow hiring and reassess our headcount needs against our highest-priority business goals."

Meanwhile, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has sent out a staff memo detailing plans to cut spending and treat hiring as a "privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount," according to CNBC.

Tech industry companies that are reducing the size of their staffs include Netflix, which is laying off 2 percent of its U.S. workforce, as well as 70 part-time positions, according to Variety.

Also, online trading platform Robinhood reduced its workforce by 10 percent in April.

Meanwhile, layoff tracker site Layoffs.fyi reports that more than 80 tech firms have reduced the size of their workforces this year.

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