I am one of 11 thousand. people made redundant by Zuckerberg
The following article is based on an interview with a Meta recruiter who was made redundant Wednesday. He spoke anonymously to protect his privacy. The identity and employment of this person have been verified by Insider.
Meta has long been my dream job. I’ve already been interviewed twice and didn’t get a job, so when they contacted me at the end of last year, I was really excited to join them. Coming from an immigrant family and working for a company that everyone knows and uses for – plus getting paid what they paid us – was a dream come true.
I worked as a recruiter for a year
My team hired employees for all global operations – so for Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp and Oculus VR. It was one of the most organized, efficient recruiting features I have ever worked with. The bands I supported were phenomenal. The management and organization were phenomenal. It really was a company that I wanted to stay for a long time. Since I am recruiting, my job lost its relevance in September, when basically all the positions for which I was hiring were canceled. My team knew what that meant, but I think we were just waiting to see how long it would take.
I expected layoffs and I had time to prepare for it
A few weeks ago it occurred to me through word of mouth that the layoffs were due on Wednesday. The talks were still ongoing at the time, but I knew someone who worked in HR and heard what was going on. I still hoped it wouldn’t affect me because of course they can’t fire everyone. However, it gave me a few weeks to prepare for such an eventuality – time to process it and prepare a new CV and start preparing just in case.
Every Thursday we have a meeting of all employees with Mark Zuckerberg. Recently, he talked about cutting costs. We were told we would be more critical when it comes to hiring and more prudent when it comes to developing, building and staffing. Many teams probably turned out to be too big. Three months ago, he said layoffs were a last resort, and I really believed back then – and I still believe now – that he had exhausted all avenues to avoid cuts.
I felt different than with previous layoffs I have been going through
Mark announced the layoffs in a morning memo on our inside staff page. At 6:01 a.m. EST, I got an email to my work address.
I think the seniority had a lot to do with who didn’t get fired, because the people who stayed in my team have been in it for over two years. Everyone on my team surpassed their goals so it wasn’t performance based. Therefore, I was hoping that all of us would stay. But it definitely looks like the situation is more volatile.
During our team meeting yesterday, we said goodbye to each other in case something happened
I work remotely, but sometimes I visit the office in New York. I wasn’t there yesterday but my friends who were there said the atmosphere was very strange. Everyone felt it was the last day. People said it was very depressing.
Yesterday an excel sheet was sent to everyone who worked in recruiting to add their names. This is to help you stay in touch and make it easier to find a job in the future. It’s very nice to have such support. So many people have spoken to me already, people are reaching back to their contacts. It’s a loss for everyone: you become a really tight-knit group, and then half of the team gets fired.
I’ve been fired before. That vacation was quite accidental. I felt that in some ways the community was not respected, there was no empathy.
At Meta, I felt that it was done really delicately, with humanity and respect for everyone. Mark was very honest about him screwing up a bit, and I can respect that someone is taking responsibility.
At another company, we had a face-to-face meeting with the vice president of human resources and a director I didn’t even know, and I was just annoyed. In principle, I prefer e-mail, I appreciate its efficiency and transparency.
Being fired is not fun but I think they did everything they could to get it done as best as possible
Several people have already contacted me and said, “Send me your CV”, and I’ve already made an appointment for some interviews. It was an important lesson for me to always present myself well, so that people would want to help you in such situations. The community around me has been phenomenal and I am very grateful to it. The support of my colleagues surprised me.
We got a great severance package from Meta, and also provided the dismissed employees with three months of access to professional resources – such as help with writing resumes, access to job portals and trainers. They really wanted to make sure everyone was supported, which is very nice. I know we will stay connected – they are friends for life.
I have a request for tech companies: stop over-hiring
Losing my job is very difficult for me. It was a very flexible job, with great pay, great medical care and free therapy, which is great. I was
satisfied with these benefits, but also with the culture. It’s a company that aims to keep people connected, but internally is also great at keeping in touch with employees. Every system we use has been well designed and built for us, by us.
Only layoffs are frustrating. I have been recruiting for seven years and have many friends who have lost their jobs in the last two years. I would like companies to stop over-employing and start caring for people.
As a recruiter, I feel used. I get hired when there is a lot of growth, but as soon as we stop hiring, i get fired. It evokes emotions in me, because it makes me afraid to recruit again, because I don’t want to give my best to the company just for a moment.
We’ve hired some really great employees and it’s very stressful to be fired as soon as something goes wrong. I want to be valued as much as I value the company.
Author: Grace Kay
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