Google, has officially announced its intention to reduce its workforce by letting go of hundreds of employees responsible for recruiting and hiring, aligning with the broader trend of cost-cutting initiatives in Silicon Valley.
These recent staff reductions follow Alphabet, Google’s parent company, cutting 12,000 jobs, roughly 6% of its total workforce, earlier in January. This move was a response to economic challenges that negatively impacted the company’s financial performance in the previous year, particularly within its core advertising sector.
During Google’s July earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai affirmed the company’s commitment to slowing down the growth of expenses and the pace of new hires.
“We remain committed to investing in top-tier engineering and technical expertise, but concurrently, we are significantly decreasing the rate at which we onboard new employees,” stated Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini on Wednesday. She further explained that as hiring activities have decelerated, the workload for recruiters has diminished, prompting the difficult choice to downsize our recruitment team. The layoffs were initially reported by Semafor.
The reductions will impact a portion of Google’s global recruiting team, numbering in the few hundreds, while the majority of the team will remain in place to continue recruiting for crucial positions, particularly in the realm of top engineering talent, as stated by Google. The company did not disclose the precise number of layoffs within the department.
Google’s Recruiting Department Cuts
Google also clarified that these cuts within the recruiting department are not connected to any broader workforce reductions. Impacted employees will receive support in the form of severance packages and additional benefits.
Several Google recruiters responsible for areas such as cloud services, user experience, software engineering, and others have shared on LinkedIn that they have been impacted by these layoffs.
“My heart is burdened for everyone who, like me, has been affected, and I believe brighter days lie ahead for all of us, even though it may not seem that way today,” expressed one Google recruiter impacted by the changes.
Alphabet witnessed significant workforce expansion, with an increase of over 50,000 employees since 2021, driven by heightened demand for its services during the pandemic, which bolstered profits. But last year the company’s main advertising business suffered a decline as fears of bankruptcy or economic crisis caused advertisers to cut back on spending.
In response, the company has prioritized cost cutting this year as part of its efforts to improve its business. In July, Google reported a nearly 15% year-over-year increase in revenue for the quarter ending in June, helped by a continued recovery in search results, research and YouTube marketing.
According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents, Alphabet has 190,234 employees as of the end of 2022. However, according to the latest data, this number dropped to 181,798 at the end of June.
Many other technology companies have also made significant efforts to reduce spending amid difficult economic conditions this year. These companies include Meta, Microsoft, and more recently T-Mobile.
Google’s decision to cut hundreds of recruiting staff aligns with Silicon Valley’s cost-cutting trend. Alphabet previously reduced 6% of its workforce due to economic challenges. Google aims to slow expense growth and hiring pace. Affected recruiters will receive support, though the exact number of layoffs remains undisclosed. Cost-cutting extends across tech firms like Meta, Microsoft, and T-Mobile, reacting to economic difficulties in 2023.