Google confirmed it will lay off hundreds of staff members who helped recruit and hire employees, as Silicon Valley continues its cost-cutting efforts.
The latest cuts come after Google parent Alphabet in January eliminated 12,000 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, across the company as it grappled with economic uncertainty that hit the company’s bottom line last year, especially its core advertising business.
During Google’s July earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was continuing to slow its “expense growth and pace of hiring.”
“We continue to invest in top engineering and technical talent while also meaningfully slowing the pace of our overall hiring,” Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini said in a statement Wednesday, adding that the workload for recruiters has declined as hiring slows. “To ensure we operate efficiently, we’ve made the hard decision to reduce the size of our recruiting team.”
The layoffs were earlier reported by Semafor and CNBC.
The cuts will affect a few hundred members of Google’s recruiting organization globally; most of the team will remain and continue hiring for critical roles such as top engineering talent, according to Google. The company did not specify the exact number of layoffs in the department.
Google also said the recruiting cuts are not part of any wider layoffs, and that affected employees will be supported with severance offers and other benefits.
Some Google recruiters for the company’s cloud, user experience, software engineering and other teams posted on LinkedIn, noting they had been affected by the layoffs.
“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,” one affected Google recruiter wrote.
Alphabet grew its workforce by more than 50,000 employees starting in 2021 as booming demand for its services during the pandemic boosted profits. But last year, the company’s core digital ad business slowed as fears of an economic downturn or a recession caused advertisers to pull back their spending.
This year, the company has emphasized its efforts to cut costs as it works to stabilize its business. Google in July said its profits had grown nearly 15% year-over-year in the quarter ended in June, as the company’s Search and YouTube ads businesses continued to recover.
As of the end of 2022, Alphabet had 190,234 employees, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By the end of June, its headcount had fallen to 181,798, according to its most recent filing.
A wide range of other tech companies also made major layoffs this year as they attempt to cut costs amid economic challenges, including Meta, Microsoft and, more recently, T-Mobile.