Is Meta hiring freeze 2022?

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Background

Meta is one of the largest technology corporations in the world today. Big companies around the world are preparing for a recession that might come in various forms. The overall economy in the world is weak due to various factors like the war in Europe and the ongoing inflation. Meta is no exception to these headwinds. Moreover, because it had already been facing a lot of competition from other apps and has been facing data privacy issues. Meta has already started implementing a hiring freeze in the majority of projects across organization. The senior management at Meta has termed it as a reorganization and restructuring to optimize its finances. The CEO of Meta has highlighted in an internal company memo that the changes that were being done, and unpopular decisions were being taken due to various macroeconomic events that are creating an uncertain economy. One of the main factors resulting out of this situation is that advertisers have significantly reduced their spending in the anticipation of a recession. Advertising is the main source of revenue for Meta. In this situation, with the slowdown in advertising, the financial stability of Meta has been hurt severely. Subscribe below to get access to the collection of Meta interview questions.

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Meta Headcount Decline

The senior management at Meta highlighted that they had hoped the economy would have stabilized by now. But since the economy continues to decline and stay volatile, they are being forced to plan conservatively. Meta senior management also highlighted that the company will be a much smaller organization at the end of the next few years. Meta has also reduced its hiring targets significantly. Earlier during better days, Meta had shared its target numbers for hiring. But the new numbers show that Meta has severely revised its hiring targets. The Meta management team also highlighted that their goal is to steadily reduce the headcount over the next few years. Many teams are going to shrink so that Meta can shift their energy to other priority projects and areas. Only those projects that are deemed critical and aligned with the long term vision of Meta will see a steady stream of investment and hiring of skilled resources to fill in any gaps that may arise. Meta management also highlighted that they wanted to give the individual team leaders the ability to decide how to restructure their teams internally. Individual team leaders have the liberty to decide where to backfill attrition and when to restructure teams while keeping in mind the value they are adding to the long term initiatives that are prioritized by Meta.

Meta Layoffs and Hiring Freeze
Meta Layoffs and Hiring Freeze

Meta Hiring Freeze

Meta is one of the corporations besides companies like Netflix and Robinhood who are also becoming conservative on their hiring plans. And the senior management at Meta has highlighted in an internal memo to the staff that they would pause sourcing candidates and will not make any further offers until the hiring freeze is lifted in later months. This comes in the background of a gloom scenario where there is bleak hope for growth in terms of revenue or active users for Meta. Meta employs tens of thousands of people in various branches across the globe. Meta has its international headquarters in Dublin and Reality Labs in Cork. Meta management also made it clear that some teams will continue to grow based on the value they add to the organization and how profitable they are. Each team will have the freedom to individually decide how to prioritize their projects and restructure themselves so that the company can deliver their top priority products and services. The flow of skilled resources that used to happen by internal transfers of employees earlier will also be frozen. Slowdown in the overall hiding of Meta had already been highlighted for several months ago. Due to the freeze and slowing growth unlike prior years, the company will become a much smaller organization in the coming years.

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Meta Interns Layoff

Meta is also rescinding the job offers that it had shared with the interns across the world. Many interns who had already accepted the job offer from Meta and has declined other opportunities are now at a loss on how to plan their future. The pandemic has pushed out the Meta employees to more flexible work environments. And hence Meta is also working on optimizing its finances by reducing its rented workplaces. Various social media groups have been actively growing during the pandemic season as more and more users actively used the products and the social media ecosystem of Meta. However, in the current economic landscape due to no promising growth potential, the Meta stock has seen severely sold off. The stock price of a company is mainly focused on the growth potential that the stock has over the next few years. But due to the negative press surrounding Meta, there is little to celebrate at Wall Street and hence, the stock price has also seen a steep decline.

Meta Advertising Losses

Meta has been especially hit severely hard by the privacy changes introduced by Apple. Meta's algorithm was mainly focused on the data it collected from users using which it used to show highly targeted advertisements. But the privacy changes by Apple ensured that data collection was no longer possible, which in turn affected Meta's quality of advertisements shown to users. Less relevant ads meant lesser clicks by users and hence, advertisers were seeing less return on investment. Meta has also seen a rising competition from other popular short form video apps like TikTok and Snapchat. It has been reported that Meta needs to increase his graphics processing unit capabilities by nearly five times in its data centers to compete with other similar apps. This will need huge investment from Meta. The algorithm that is being used by other apps are more focused on discovering newer and fresher content that users will enjoy. This is a shift from Meta's existing algorithm, which is more focused on likes and interactions that users had with existing content. This will also ensure a balance of diverse content being consumed by the users of the app. Instagram Reels is one of the main products that Meta is betting heavily on in the competition with other rival products.

Meta Priority Projects

Even though Instagram Reels is currently not bringing in a lot of revenue and profit, Meta senior management has highlighted that it will take a while for advertisers to get accustomed to this format. Once advertisers start putting their ads in Instagram Reels, it will see the temporary decline in revenue gap fulfilled. The Meta senior management is considering this revenue decline as a temporary setback instead of severe damage that has no way to recover. The Meta senior management also highlighted that the leader of each team and product are working on their exact plans for the following months during the hiring freeze. At the same time, they also stressed that it is important that these teams pause recruiting and not bring any new people into their teams while they're doing their work. This will ensure that the finances of the organization are not put under too much stress. Instead, the employees have to work harder and have to learn new skills to achieve their targets. This vision is aimed at a goal that Meta wants to implement because they do not want to hire people for roles that may disappear in the coming months. Thus, the hiring freeze at Meta will continue to stay.

Meta Work-Life Balance

Meta has a variety of reasons of keeping its headcount limited for the foreseeable future. Employees at Meta will see a lot of stress and very little work-life balance in this new model of work. The performance review and management model at Meta has been also fine-tuned in line with this reorganization and high productivity changes. Employees now have to work harder than before so that they are not identified as the lowest performing member in the team. In this new performance review model, the low performing members will be identified by the managers of the team, and they will be removed from th team and provided a grace period. During this grace period, the employees will have to learn new skills and try to find a role in other teams across the organization. Often this process is not guaranteed because employees might not be able to find a place in other teams because all the teams are trying to reduce their size. Meta's senior management has requested all its managers to force out laggard employees who are coasting or failing the company and not meeting the aggressive performance goals.

Meta Layoff Process

Meta senior management is also giving deadlines to its managers to identify workers who need support. The remote presence division of Meta is driving such initiatives and putting aggressive deadlines on such activities. If any manager finds that one of their direct report is a low performer and whom they do not need, or they are failing the company, then that cannot be allowed because everyone needs to be proactively contributing to the overall growth of Meta. Meta has been continuously sharing their performance review management model revisions with its employees and has highlighted that the new model will demand a lot more from the workers. Employees who are not being able to meet these expectations are welcome to move out and try out other opportunities outside of Meta. The senior management at Meta also mentioned explicitly that there are many people in the company who should not be there in the first place. And the new performance model during the hiring freeze will be helping identify these employees and help them move out of the company.

Author: Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul is a journalist with expertise in researching a variety of topics and writing engaging contents. He is also a data analyst and an expert in visualizing business scenarios using data science. Rahul is skilled in a number of programming languages and data analysis tools. When he is not busy writing, Rahul can be found somewhere in the Appalachian trails or in an ethnic restaurant in Chicago.

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