Listing Jobs but Not Hiring: Indeed Cuts 15% of Staff
Lots of tech company workers have found themselves unemployed recently. And with the likes of Amazon and Meta confirming new rounds of layoffs just this month—even more former employees of big tech are likely to be job hunting soon.
Many are likely to turn to online job boards to peruse for new positions. Yet apparently that potential influx in site traffic from the hoards of newly out-of-work hasn’t been enough to give the internet’s largest job posting platform a boost. Indeed is enacting its own round of mass layoffs, as announced in a company press statement published Wednesday.
The company plans to cut about 2,200 staff—or approximately 15% of its total workforce, CEO Chris Hines wrote in today’s news release. The cuts will be companywide, and affect “nearly every team, function, level, and region” at Indeed and its temp management platform and subsidiary, Indeed Flex, the exec noted. Hines claimed that the layoffs were focused on minimizing redundant roles and “inefficiency”
“Leading a company whose mission is to help people get jobs, every single day I think about how important a job is in a person’s life,” Hines wrote in the statement. “Losing a job is extraordinarily hard, financially and emotionally. For those who will be leaving, we are working to bring as much support as possible to each of you,” the exec added.
And, to the company’s credit, Indeed’s public notice of layoffs seems more transparent and detailed about protocol and what employees can expect than many others have been. The statement—which was also reportedly shared with employees internally according to an email posted on Blind and sent to Gizmodo by a Blind spokesperson—outlines exactly how and when most employees would be informed about their individual job status (within the hour, and via an email with a clear subject line).
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Hines also claimed in the notice that all departing staff will be granted a one on one meeting with a company leader prior to their exit, that they will retain email access for a few extra days to say goodbyes, that their regular pay will continue through the end of the month, and that all laid off employees will still earn quarterly bonuses.
And that’s just the beginning. Per Indeed’s statement, employees will also receive:
- 16 weeks of base salary, or two weeks for every year of service, whichever is greater
- Four months of COBRA (US only)
- Accrued PTO (where applicable)
- A cash payout equivalent to your [restricted stock units] scheduled to vest on May 1.
- Access to ongoing career placement services for six months
- Access to ongoing mental health services for twelve months
In contrast, some Google employees reportedly only found out their jobs had been cut when their badges suddenly didn’t allow them building access. Among the remaining Google employees, some reportedly only found out that colleagues had been laid off when their emails bounced back.
At Twitter, the repeated rounds of layoffs have been even more chaotic. At least one employee, Haraldur Thorleifsson, was only able to confirm that he’d lost his job through a protracted and hostile exchange with Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
At both Google and Twitter again, employee severance packages were caught up in confusion and alleged delays. Google sent its former workers an inaccurate description of their severance package that required correction. Twitter had to clarify to ex-employees that its severance confirmation emails weren’t phishing scams. A group of former Twitter employees based in California sued the company over the severance package they were offered.
Indeed’s actions in this layoff seem more respectful of its workers’ and former workers’ humanity than many of its tech peers’ have been. That said, the detailed announcement doesn’t eliminate the strain of cuts on employees. Layoffs are never fun. Some Indeed workers have already taken to LinkedIn to indicate they are looking for new positions.
Though Indeed says it will offer career placement services, the economy is at an uncertain moment and the search could be difficult. There might seem to be lots of work available, but not all of it is real. Just this week, internal Amazon documents revealed the company has a history of massively over-listing job openings.
And, though companies often frame the choice to cut staff as a necessary evil for future survival, that’s probably untrue in many cases. Really, it comes down to satisfying investors, and maximizing stock value. Then there’s corporate contagion: If a few companies make cuts, others in the field are quick to follow—to make it seem like they’re adequately considering economic conditions, according to some expert business analysts.
In the long run, layoffs might even make companies LESS, not more, profitable, according to a report from Harvard Business Review. 16+ weeks of severance or not, when companies slash staff—everyone is liable to lose. And if any of the ~2,200 recently cut Indeed staff turn to their former employer’s site for their own job search, they may encounter a slightly worse-off platform than the one they worked on.
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