LinkedIn might be a platform full of milquetoast networking memes, quasi-inspirational posts about networking, and bizarrely catchy networking-themed playlists, but even all of this (questionable) business savvy couldn’t save the platform from the scourge of seemingly endless layoffs brought on by the current hell world happening outside our doors right now.
Earlier today, company CEO Ryan Roslansky announced in a blog post that they’d be letting go of 960 employees—or just about 6% of LinkedIn’s total global workforce. According to Roslansky, the bulk of these jobs will be cut from the sales and recruitment wings of the company, since, well, nobody’s really hiring like they used to.
“LinkedIn is not immune to the effects of the global pandemic,” he wrote. “Our Talent Solutions business continues to be impacted as fewer companies, including ours, need to hire at the same volume they did previously.”
“When we took a hard look at the business, we decided we needed to make some hard calls,” he added.
Moving on from the ominous irony that comes with a job-centric social network being forced to ax close to 1,000 people from its own workforce, the truth is that Roslansky is right: hiring is down right now, not just for LinkedIn, but for everyone. Hell, the platform’s own data showed us as much a few months back. At the time, Karin Kimbrough, the platform’s chief economist, pointed out that hiring rates tanked around April, eventually falling close to 40% lower than they had the year prior. Unemployment rates reached about 14% that month, with some folks comparing the resulting economic crunch to the Great Depression.
Though the country has just started to dig itself out of layoff hell since then, it’s been slow going, and in no way means that jobs in any of these industries are as secure as we’d like. The U.S. saw a surge of coronavirus cases across many regions over the last month, making hopeful recovery data from June a little less hopeful from the moment it was published. When more than two thousand tech-sector employees were surveyed about their feelings on the topic last month, 42% of them—or 966, for the folks keeping track at home—reported feeling that they were “at risk of being laid off” within the next six months, even as the tech sector continues to reap the rewards of us being confined to our homes, arguably more dependent on their products than ever before.
And that goes for LinkedIn, too. This past April—again, a month where unemployment rates were skyrocketing nationwide—the platform reported record-high numbers of job-seekers logging on, reaching six hundred and ninty million registered members, a good fifteen million more than they reportedly counted back in January of this year. But these numbers, along with the “record breaking levels of engagement” that reportedly came with them, weren’t enough to break the bank for LinkedIn if these new layoffs are any indicator.
But the news isn’t all bad. According to Roslansky’s memo, the company is offering ten weeks of severance pay to its freshly laid-off employees, and health insurance for a full year for its US staffers, “to give employees and their families peace of mind during uncertain times.” LinkedIn will also be “be hiring for newly-created roles across the company,” saying it will “work with employees impacted by today’s announcement to explore these opportunities.” Hopefully, their LinkedIn profiles come in handy.