Meta Instituting a Hiring Freeze in Response to Challenges: Report

Meta (formerly Facebook) has apparently instituted a hiring freeze in response to some recent challenges.

According to Business Insider, Meta CFO David Wehner has circulated an internal memo blaming Apple’s stringent data-privacy rules, the war in Ukraine, and other tech-industry pressures for the halt in hiring, which will continue through the end of the year.

The hiring freeze will reportedly impact all teams. As Insider added, Meta’s headcount has grown 28 percent since 2021, now totaling more than 78,000 employees. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pouring billions of dollars into his vision of the “metaverse,” an ecosystem of augmented- and virtual-reality (AR and VR) apps and services he thinks will define the future of computing; it remains to be seen whether this current hiring freeze will impact the metaverse’s long-term roadmap.

The pressure to cut costs has also affected Meta’s famous perks. The New York Times recently reported the company is eliminating on-site laundry, dry cleaning, and other incentives. Free dinners now start at 6:30 P.M., after the last departure of the company’s commuter shuttles. “As we return to the office, we’ve adjusted on-site services and amenities to better reflect the needs of our hybrid work force,” a Meta spokesman said in a statement to the Times—but combined with the hiring freeze, it’s clear the company is also trying to save money however it can. 

If that wasn’t enough, Meta is struggling to retain talented technologists. At least four members of its crucial Meta AI division have quit in recent months, according to CNBC, headed to either big competitors like Google or startups. Meta is also locked in a poaching war with Apple, which has apparently responded by offering key software and hardware engineers stock-based “special retention grants.”

Once Meta begins hiring again, chances are good it will continue to post open roles for technologists skilled in AR and VR. If you’re interested in working in VR and AR, relevant technology skills include Python, C++, and the principles of project management and software development, all of which pop up in VR and AR job postings. 

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