2020: Why? ZipRecruiter and Firing in the Age of Coronavirus
Beware the ides of... 2020? Seriously - are we still in Q1? As the Year of the Contagion (ironically following on the heels of the Year of the Pig) continues to roll back and forth over us like a Zamboni driven by an obsessive compulsive, we continue to see the labor market react.
Over the weekend, ZipRecruiter let go of roughly 40% of its staff. That's a big number - 492 people in total. A (single-digit) percent of those affected will be furloughed without pay, with the intent of being rehired. Insiders tell us that executives are taking pay cuts and that this is not the end of planned layoffs (hopefully, however, it is the largest). The hardest-hit teams included sales & marketing. We have reached out to ZipRecruiter PR for more information, and will update when/ if we hear more on this.
Most of those affected were informed via Zoom meetings. Which is a plus, in a way, when you look at Hobby Lobby's recent "bloodbath-via-email". Btw, good luck with your employer brand when the economy returns. This one may come back to bite you.
Hobby Lobby chose to close its stores yesterday. Today, it fired people by email. People lost their insurance. They offered no severance. They said, "it’s in the hands of God.”— Stone (@stonecold2050) March 29, 2020
Remember that. #always #boycotthobbylobby pic.twitter.com/ushR0ArZrU
By contrast, ZipRecruiter executives have all taken pay-cuts, with the founding team taking a 50% hit. According to ZipRecruiter co-founder & CEO Ian Siegel: "Our customer base looks like the U.S. economy by size, geography and industry... The U.S. economy is hurting and we regretfully have to do what is necessary to make sure we are there for the great American comeback story to come." This may serve them well later as they rebuild post-downturn.
With new business sign-ups down by half, and job postings sliding 40%, the grim reality is that these types of measures are driven by our unsettled times.
In addition to ZipRecruiter, industry heavyweights including Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor have announces hiring freezes.
On the plus side, there is some hiring happening. According to recent crowdsourced research by Candor, companies including Zoom, Twitch, Twitter, Twilio, Roblox, TikTok, Qualcomm, PUBG, Paypal, Palantir, Nvidia, Northrop Grumman, Medtronic, Lockheed Martin, eBay, Doordash, DocuSign, and Amazon are among those hiring.
It's not hard to understand why this is happening - each one of those employers is answering a need driven by Coronavirus. Yes, even TikTok...
To be open, the crystal ball is: cracked; warped; caked in mud; emitting a terrifying keening sound each time it's approached. Anyone who says with certainty: "this is what's coming next" is either a drunk or trying to sell you something. Lately - and understandably - those terms seem to be applicable to many.
So here's the thing: this is not the end. That much is fairly certain. We can expect more hits to come, but - and this is important - the market will return. There's a great deal of chatter about the shape it will take - will the mass-immersion of all of us into remote-working change the nature of the workspace? Can the gig economy survive?Is the US being forced -at a quick-march - into socialized healthcare? The question isn't, in the end, will we be changed. It's, how will we be changed?
More to come on that...
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