Google, who earlier fired more than12,000 employees, has once again initiated a workforce trimming operation. In this latest move, it's the HR department that finds itself in the crosshairs. The company conducted another round of layoffs on Wednesday, telling its recruiters that they would be parting ways with hundreds of them by the end of the day.
According to The New York Times, these cuts indicate that both Google and its parent company, Alphabet, are committed to ongoing cost-cutting measures that commenced at the Silicon Valley giant earlier this year.
Google's once robust recruiting department, which boasted over 3,000 employees at its peak, has already suffered significant setbacks due to layoffs earlier this year.
It all started when the recruiters and their colleagues received an invitation to a sudden company-wide meeting with the purpose of sharing some difficult news, as stated in a message on an internal Google chat board that The New York Times saw. Brian Ong, who is the vice president of recruiting, informed employees that he personally wanted to deliver the news to them. He also mentioned that if they were in the office, they had the option to either finish their work from home or go home.
Courtenay Mencini, a Google spokeswoman, said in a statement, “We’ve made the hard decision to reduce the size of our recruiting team,” because the volume of requests for the company’s recruiters has gone down.
“As we’ve said, we continue to invest in top engineering and technical talent while also meaningfully slowing the pace of our overall hiring,” she added.
These reductions are not seen as part of a large-scale layoff initiative. However, it's possible that other divisions within the company may also consider downsizing their workforce.
In January, Google joined the ranks of companies like Amazon and Meta by revealing plans to reduce its workforce by 12,000 jobs, equivalent to 6 per cent of its total employees. It was the first time when Google had implemented such substantial layoffs. As of June 30, Google's employee count stood at 181,798.
Post the firing, employees criticised Mr Pichai for the way he handled the layoffs. They were dismayed by the timing, as the announcements came in the middle of the night, and employees' corporate access was revoked immediately.
These layoffs occurred amidst broader concerns about the implications of the success of AI competitors like OpenAI, which created ChatGPT, and its collaboration with Microsoft. There were worries about what this competition could signify for Google's future in the AI business.