Is there a hiring freeze at Facebook?

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Background

Meta has frozen hiring for its engineers and data scientists. The senior management at Meta has warned its employees to prepare for an intense period for the next several years. It is indeed a difficult time because the global economy is also slowing down. Meta is also focusing on revising its employee performance management system. Employees at Meta will now have to work harder to achieve the minimum performance standards. Meta has announced that it will focus on an extremely fast-paced working environment and any employee who feels that this sort of working model is not a good fit is welcome to leave the organization. The macroeconomic environment has been used as a main reason by the senior management. In the recent times several technology companies have been forced to reduce their headcount. This is due to the fact that their revenue model has been severely affected as advertisers are spending lesser and lesser, which is Meta's main source of revenue. The CEO of Meta Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that the economy is not going to stabilize anytime soon and so Meta hiring freeze is now a reality. Hence, Meta needs to plan in a way that is more conservative. This will help Meta continue its existing business model for a longer time, even if the situation of the economy deteriorates. Subscribe below to start practicing the Meta interview questions before joining a new team.

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Facebook Layoffs

Initially Meta did not have any plans to lay off its employees, but the current situation has forced the company to take extreme measures. Meta also had lots of plans to hire more engineers, but it had to revise and reduce its target of hiring by a significant amount and will hire only engineers for critical positions in the organization. The senior management at Meta explained that their primary goal is to aggressively reduce the company headcount over the next few years. Meta feels there are multiple teams currently within the organization who are adding little value to the long term vision. So they are going to shift their energy and strength of resources to other areas and dissolve teams that are not important. The senior management at Meta is analyzing and wants to give their leaders the ability to decide how to manage their long term initiatives. Meta has asked the senior leaders in the organization to find out where they can optimize their team size and how they can restructure their teams better while not impacting the overall vision and goal of the company.

Meta Hiring Freeze and Layoffs
Meta Hiring Freeze and Layoffs

Meta Financial Trouble

The senior management at Meta is focused on reducing the budget of most of the teams today. Individual teams in Meta will have to find out how best they can handle the headcount changes. The technology industry has been suffering a significant slowdown in the recent times after a decade of explosive growth. But the war in Europe and the rising interest rates, along with regulatory struggles have led Meta hiring plans in troubled waters. Other companies like Google is also announcing hiring freezes, and will slow down on their recruitment drives. The word layoff is not being used popularly, but the employees are pretty sure that this is what is happening in the Meta hiring meetings right now. Meta is planning on cutting down its expenses by a huge percentage point and that would mean less expenses on the employees, leading to layoffs. The management at Meta hiring is going to be very tight across all the teams to minimize their costs. The recruiting freeze will allow the teams in Meta to focus on prioritizing which projects are actually important. It will also help in reorganizing different departments. The employees who will be removed from the projects will get time to find other positions within the organization for a limited time. The positions that will be vacated will not be automatically filled, and many of these positions will no longer be present in those projects. Meta is trying to pause internal transfers. Meta has been constantly trying to optimize its staffing plans so that it can manage its finances better.

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Meta vs TikTok vs Snapchat

The increased competition from rivals like TikTok and Snapchat is also taking away a considerable amount of revenue from Meta. The users who used to spend time in Meta are now spending significant amount of their social media time daily in other apps. Due to this, the advertisers spending is also being spread out across different apps, and Meta is getting a lesser share than before. The restructuring of teams in Meta is including processes to identify low performing workers. Workers who do not meet the new performance review standard at Meta will be removed from the team. Mark Zuckerberg also announced that the budget of employees would be reduced, thus leading to freeze of hiring across most of the teams in the organization. Each team in the organization would be given the authority to fill any open positions based on the urgency and criticality of the long term vision. Each team would also be able to shift workers to other teams in Meta and should be able to decide and identify people who are not succeeding or working as efficiently. This will help Meta cut the costs considerably.

Meta Employees Scared

But what this will also do is create an extreme sense of fear among the employees. Every Meta employee will try to secure their job and this will add to mental health issues and more stress among the employees. Mark Zuckerberg and the senior management explained that the economy was supposed to be more stable, but that is not happening. And that is the reason they are forced to take such measures. Many experts are also highlighting that many of the decisions that are being taken maybe not actually required. But the economic scenario is giving the senior management an opportunity to take such unpopular decisions easily. Meta employees have also highlighted that they were very sure that Mark Zuckerberg would start a search of low performing employees within the organization. Finally, that process has started, and the company is now filled with employees who are scared of losing their job. The employees in Meta are now very scared. Every employee is trying to not be the lowest performing employee within the team. If they are identified as the lowest performing employee in the team, then they risk losing their job.

Meta Revenue Decline

Even if the Meta employees are placed out of the project for a while, there is no guarantee they will get another opportunity to get into a team within the organization. This is because all the teams across organization are trying to reduce their team size. After the limited time that the employees will be waiting to find a project, they will be told that they are out of time. This is the layoff process in Meta that employees are facing. The reason for this is the slowing revenue growth of the organization. The privacy changes that has been introduced by Apple is also one of the reasons that advertisers are now investing less in Meta. The amount of data processing and collection that Meta used to be doing earlier to show accurate ads is no longer working. Advertisers are spending their money in other places more and hence Meta is getting affected. Meta has identified some areas where it wants to invest more money and energy into. Meta is going to hire skilled resources in those areas and will continue to hire as much as needed but only based on criticality.

Meta Projects Prioritization

The senior management at Meta mentioned that there are teams that will shrink in size. The team leaders will have the ability to decide how to optimize their teams. Long term initiatives are priority in Meta. There are certain projects like the Metaverse that the company wants to invest heavily on. Metaverse is one of the projects that Meta deems as the future of social media. There virtual reality and artificial intelligence concepts are being used. Demand for these skills are thus very high at Meta, but only a few positions are available. The requirement is immediately fulfilled because even though the requirements of these technologies and skill set is there, there is not enough money to afford many candidates. Few of the top skilled associates will get hired for these positions. Meta has also removed many of the job positions that they had posted earlier. Meta is now only keeping the job postings listed for those roles that it absolutely must fulfill. There are many roles of low level data scientists that are being dissolved in the organization.

Meta Job Security

One of the most common roles that is at risk are the Meta recruiter positions. Over the last few years, the demand had been extremely high for new employees and resources. This led to an increase in demand for recruiters who will help screen the new associates and help with their onboarding and hiring. But with the decrease in the demand for new employees, there is no need for the existing recruiters. Hence, these positions will be dissolved extremely fast. And the employees in Meta are always scared about their job security. There is no guarantee who will be next. The Meta employees are getting used to not getting the perks they used to get along with their jobs. Meta employees are also been informed to cut back on extra spending and travel expenses. Employees will see less number of office parties and reimbursements of expenses. In this current economic situation, Meta is in deep trouble because it had already been facing multiple challenges due to data privacy issues. Competition from fresh content and fresh algorithms created by TikTok and Snapchat is only adding to the decline of Meta. There is no new user base growing and Meta is also losing the new generation. It is now a matter of time when we will be able to understand how Meta will be able to survive in this extraordinary storm.

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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