Google has verified its decision to lay off a substantial number of staff members from its recruitment division. This move is in line with the broader cost-cutting initiatives that have been evident across Silicon Valley. Earlier this year, Google's parent company, Alphabet, had already made significant reductions, eliminating approximately 12,000 jobs, which accounted for nearly 6% of its entire workforce. This decision was primarily influenced by the economic challenges that impacted the company's primary advertising business in the preceding year.
CEO's Statement on Hiring Slowdown
During a recent earnings call in July, Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, highlighted the company's strategy to decelerate its expense growth and hiring pace. “We continue to invest in top engineering and technical talent while also meaningfully slowing the pace of our overall hiring,” stated Courtenay Mencini, a spokesperson for Google. She further elaborated that the demand for recruiters has seen a decline due to the reduced hiring rate. As a result, the company felt compelled to downsize its recruiting team to maintain operational efficiency.
Details of the Layoffs
The recent layoffs will predominantly affect Google's global recruiting organization. However, a majority of the team will remain intact, focusing on hiring for pivotal roles, especially in engineering. The exact number of affected employees within the recruitment division remains unspecified by the company. Google has also clarified that these layoffs are exclusive to the recruitment sector and are not indicative of a broader company-wide downsizing. Affected employees will be provided with severance packages and additional benefits. Several Google recruiters have taken to platforms like LinkedIn to express their sentiments regarding the layoffs. One recruiter shared, “My heart is heavy for everyone that was impacted alongside me, and I know better days are ahead for all of us as much as today doesn't feel like it.”
A Look at Google's Workforce Trends
In 2021, Alphabet expanded its workforce by over 50,000 employees, driven by the surge in demand for its services during the pandemic. However, the subsequent year witnessed a slowdown in the company's core digital advertising business, prompting advertisers to reduce their expenditures. This year, Google has been emphasizing its cost-cutting measures to stabilize its operations. By the end of 2022, Alphabet reported having 190,234 employees. This number decreased to 181,798 by the end of June the following year. It's worth noting that other tech giants, including Meta, Microsoft, and T-Mobile, have also implemented major layoffs this year due to economic challenges.
Back in January, Microsoft dismissed reports of 11,000 layoffs from the company as rumor, before confirming 10,000 job cuts days later. Amazon has recently let go of 18,000 workers across its corporate and non-corporate businesses. Companies such as Meta, PayPal, Twitter, and Spotify have also reduced workforce this year.