Twitter Hiring Slows as It Faces Social-Media Headwinds

Twitter “significantly” slowed its hiring in the second quarter, and blamed the company’s financial results on the same macroeconomic headwinds facing other tech giants such as Meta/Facebook and Google.

“We significantly slowed hiring in the second quarter of 2022 and are being more selective about the roles that we are filling, and we have simultaneously seen our attrition rate increase,” the company revealed as part of its second quarter 2022 results, which saw its sales decline one percent year-over-year. “We have also reduced non-labor spend in areas such as travel and marketing.”

The proverbial elephant in the room, of course, is Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s aborted takeover bid for the company. Musk bid $44 billion for Twitter in April; by July, he publicly scuttled the deal, saying Twitter’s executives failed to give him accurate information about the platform’s bot count. Twitter promptly sued, and the whole mess is headed to court. However that lawsuit resolves itself could have a foundational impact on how Twitter operates (and who owns it) by the end of the year.

Twitter’s hiring slowdown isn’t a surprise. In a May memo to employees, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal hinted at the need to tweak the company’s workforce ahead of Musk’s then-expected takeover. “At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals,” he wrote. “In order to responsibly manage the organization as we sharpen our roadmaps and our work, we need to continue to be intentional about our teams, hiring and costs.”

Twitter is also in good company as it taps the brakes on hiring. UberMeta, Google, and Apple have all announced temporary pauses in recruiting and onboarding. Executives at these companies are waiting to see whether to broader economy tips into recession; others (such as Meta) are trying to cut costs as they ramp up expensive initiatives that might not prove profitable for many years, if ever.

Despite this uncertainty, though, it pays to keep in mind that the overall tech unemployment rate remains at 1.8 percent, well below the overall national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. Organizations everywhere continue to need technologists.