Even the largest tech companies aren’t immune to a scandal wrecking their ability to hire great talent. Former recruiters from Facebook are telling CNBC that the company “experienced a significant decrease in job offer acceptance rates” in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed that a political consulting firm had inappropriately collected Facebook user data without consent.
Those nameless recruiters also told the news outlet that the rate of new graduates accepting Facebook jobs had fallen from 85 percent for the 2017-2018 school year to “between 35 percent and 55 percent as of December ,” including students from top universities such as Carnegie Mellon. Facebook software-engineering teams took one of the biggest hits, with acceptance rates plunging to 50 percent by early 2019 (down from roughly 90 percent in 2016).
A Facebook spokesperson pushed back against CNBC’s account, saying that the numbers provided by the recruiters were “totally wrong.”
However, there have been other signs that Facebook has lost its luster among technology professionals. For instance, the company tumbled on Glassdoor’s most recent list of the best places to work, from the top spot in 2017 to seventh by the end of 2018. Employees told Glassdoor that they were less optimistic about the company’s future in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
A recent Dice survey had a full 86 percent of technology professionals reporting that they did not trust Facebook at all. Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken steps in recent months to shift his overall strategy toward private messaging, controversy over everything from “fake news” in Facebook’s News Feed to its data-handling practices has dominated the news cycle.
All of these various reports and surveys indicate one thing: That technology professionals really don’t want to work for companies mired in scandal, even if the pay and benefits are extraordinary. And that makes total sense: Even if you don’t believe that the company is actually bad, you’re no doubt intensely aware of how its presence on your résumé could impact your future career prospects.