- Tech CEOs say they overhired during the pandemic, which is partly behind the mass layoffs now.
- A popular post on workplace forum Blind calls tech workers hired during the pandemic “charity cases.”
- Some users agreed, but others countered, with one user saying, “There’s no skill meter on anyone’s head.”
One popular post on the anonymous workplace forum Blind takes that a step further, saying tech employees brought on during the pandemic were “charity cases.”
“What I think is becoming apparent now is that the majority of us who were hired into FAANG [Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google] the last couple years, including those who hopped from FAANG to FAANG, were essentially charity cases. I include myself here as I never sniffed a FAANG offer prior to COVID and received multiple afterwards,” the user wrote. “Companies were hiring just to hire. COVID created temporary demand and money was cheap which created a ripple effect of companies needing staffing for low value projects. Everything was about ‘growth.'”
The person goes on to say that now, “getting a nice offer from a big company will once again be a meaningful signal about your skill level and previous contributions.”
“We all should have been way more humble and realized what was going on in real time as to be better prepared for the current reality,” they continued. “Hopefully lessons were learned.”
Tech companies added many new employees to their ranks during the pandemic, when business was booming for the sector.
When announcing Meta’s first round of layoffs in November, affecting more than 11,000 workers, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth. Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected.”
In January, when Google announced it’d cut roughly 12,000 jobs, CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”
Some Blind users agreed with the original post that such overhiring affected the quality of work being produced.
“I do hate the fact that many people who don’t belong to tech [were] allowed in, getting huge offers and producing very [little] value,” one person said, echoing sentiments espoused by figures like billionaire C3.ai CEO Thomas Siebel PayPal Mafia members Keith Rabois and David Sacks.
One laid-off Meta employee said she “had to fight to find work” after being “hired into a really strange position where they immediately put me into a group of individuals that was not working.”
At the time time, other commenters on the popular Blind post defended employees who got tech jobs during the pandemic.
“Companies will do what’s best for them so I’ll do what’s best for me. If it’s a lowered bar then there’s nothing wrong,” one user said. “Also I refuse to believe I am some charity case, I was good enough for the company, did their process and got hired. There’s no skill meter on anyone’s head.”