CEOs like Pichai and Zuckerberg are warning about the new worker mindset.
Zuckerberg noticed that it was becoming more difficult to get all of the employees to attend a meeting because they were occasionally taking time out of the day for personal work.
With global recession fears looming, some of technology’s biggest names have some ominous words to spare: Big Tech has hired more people, but only some of them are doing the work.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Meta (previously Facebook), fired the first warning shot. On the weekly Q&A on June 30, he predicted that the economy would experience one of the “worst downturns in recent history.”
Then he went on.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said on the call, according to a Reuters report. “And part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might just say that this place isn’t for you. And that self-selection is okay with me.”
He claimed that, in addition to reducing hiring, the company was leaving certain positions unfilled.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, echoed the sentiment when he told employees that productivity was not high enough, given the number of people on the company’s payroll, according to CNBC.
“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have. [We need to] create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer-focused,” he said.
Pichai had recently said that the firm would cut hiring and investment through 2023, pushing staff to work with greater urgency and “more hunger” than demonstrated “on sunnier days”.
It came after the company reported lower-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter in a row.
Revenue growth slowed to 13% in the third quarter, down from 62% the previous year.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg noticed that it was becoming more difficult to get all of the employees to attend a meeting because they were occasionally taking time out of the day for personal work.
According to reports, the Meta CEO stated that, in order to be “cost-conscious,” he was freezing or reducing staffing for low-priority projects and slashing engineer hiring plans for the year by 30%.
To be sure, the Covid-induced pandemic prompted Meta to go on a massive hiring spree, increasing its full-time workforce from 48,000 at the end of 2019 to more than 77,800 — a 62% increase.
However, the company must now “prioritize more ruthlessly” and “operate leaner, meaner, better-executing teams,” according to a memo posted on Meta’s internal discussion forum Workplace prior to the Q&A.