Google Targets Recruiters With Latest Layoffs

Unlike prior cuts, the company's most recent round is focused on recruiting professionals.

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Sep 13, 2023

Google announced that by the end of today, it would be laying off hundreds of recruiters, according to insiders. While the tech giant did confirm the layoffs, it did not state the exact number of impacted employees.

This most recent round of cuts comes at the heels of massive layoffs in January, when the company slashed 12,000 workers, which was roughly 6% of its total workforce. And whereas recruiters were included in prior layoffs, this time is different. Today’s culling affects Google’s global recruiting team exclusively.

Notably, Alphabet’s revenue increased by 7% in the second quarter of this year, exceeding expectations by analysts. Which is to say that while cost-cutting was likely a factor, a reduction in staffing needs ultimately yielded a reduction in recruiting needs.

“[W]e continue to invest in top engineering and technical talent while also meaningfully slowing the pace of our overall hiring,” Courtenay Mencini, a corporate spokesperson, said in a statement. “In line with this, the volume of requests for our recruiters has gone down. In order to continue our important work to ensure we operate efficiently, we’ve made the hard decision to reduce the size of our recruiting team. We’re supporting everyone impacted with a transition period, outplacement services, and severance as they look for new opportunities here at Google and beyond.”

According to The New York Times, which cites an internal Google message board, recruiters and other affected staff members had been invited to a last-minute all-hands meeting, the purpose of which was to share the news. The organization’s Vice President of Recruiting Brian Ong is reported to have wanted people to hear the news directly from him — a stark contrast to how Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichal announced prior layoffs in the middle of the night.

“We unfortunately need to make a significant reduction to the size of the recruiting organization,” Ong reportedly said in recording of the video. “It’s not something that was an easy decision to make, and it definitely isn’t a conversation any of us wanted to have again this year. Given the base of hiring that we’ve received the next several quarters, it’s the right thing to do overall.”

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