Alphabet, the parent company of Google is pulling back on some of its investments amidst the pandemic and it is starting from hiring.
In an e-mail to the employees, Sundar Pichai wrote, “We believe now is the time to significantly slow down the pace of hiring, while maintaining momentum in a small number of strategic areas where users and businesses rely on Google for ongoing support, and where our growth is critical to their success. By dialing back our plans in other areas, we can ensure Google emerges from this year at a more appropriate size and scale than we would otherwise. That means we need to carefully prioritize hiring employees who will address our greatest user and business needs. Your leads will be in touch with you about how this will work for your team.”
Pichai noted that the company hired 20,000 employees last year in 2019. The company planned a similar hiring activity this year with 4,000 employees already being hired and few are yet to be onboarded.
Pichai took the reference of the 2008 recession saying preparing early is key to weathering the storm and emerging in a position to continue long-term growth, as the company has done over the past decade.
The announcement shows how the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus response is even affecting some of the richest tech businesses. According to media reports, Microsoft Corp., the largest software company, also paused some recruiting activities.
Recently, the company’s revenue has likely been hit as businesses slash ad spending to save money. The crisis has hammered the retail and travel sectors in particular, and these are major Google advertising customers. "The entire global economy is hurting, and Google and Alphabet are not immune to the effects of this global pandemic," Pichai wrote. “We exist in an ecosystem of partnerships and interconnected businesses, many of whom are feeling significant pain."
Pichai also shared, how despite the ongoing crisis is remarkable to see that the firm is meeting the challenges. He said, “We've continued to show up for people in moments big and small, whether it's providing accurate and authoritative information to keep families safe; supporting products and infrastructure to keep our and others' services running, and delivering great content to keep people's spirits up in tough moments. We've also committed more than $800 million in grants, loans, and ad credits to help small businesses and others affected by COVID-19, and Google.org has committed $50 million (plus an additional $2,500 in gift-matching per Googler) to help communities all over the world.”
To read the full CEO memo, click here.