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Meta rehires alumni at lower salaries in strategic pivot

The news: Meta is rehiring some of the scores of workers it laid off since last year, and it will be paying them less.

  • Dozens of workers have been rehired since Meta cut 25% of its workforce in multiple rounds of layoffs between November 2022 and May 2023, per Insider.
  • The social media company has increased its pace of hiring, especially for engineering and technical roles, and has created an “alumni portal” to allow former employees to reapply for open positions.
  • Hiring trends show that recently laid-off workers are being favored over new candidates by a ratio of 10:1, a source familiar with the matter told Insider.

Year of inefficiency: Meta’s deep workforce cuts were part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for a “year of efficiency.” However, rehiring laid-off workers increases rather than decreases costs for companies.

The rehirings point to a tendency to repeat past mistakes. During the pandemic, Meta hired too many workers for it to sustain, resulting in significant cuts. Rehiring laid-off employees indicates that Meta may have missed the balance and gone too far in the other direction.

  • The focus on rehiring for technical roles is a sign of fierce tech industry competition in areas like AI. Loss of talent or failure to attract talent is a stumbling block for companies.
  • Wall Street’s influence on Big Tech, with a laser focus on quarterly earnings, could be a pitfall for tech companies that have the challenge of crafting a long-term strategy amid rapidly advancing innovation.

Mixed outcomes: Meta’s workforce roller coaster has taken a toll on morale. At the same time, the rehirings show that Meta is on stronger financial footing.

The tech giant’s ability to bring former employees back into the fold while paying them less also shows Big Tech’s upper hand despite an appetite for tech workers among other industries.