Facebook layoffs could be a boon to Seattle startups
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees Tuesday to expect an additional 10,000 layoffs in the coming months. That’s on top of more than 11,000 employees that Facebook laid off late last year.
Meta will also close 5,000 open positions as the company tightens its belt. The new layoffs will primarily affect recruiting teams.
A Meta spokesperson told KUOW it’s too early to tell which locations will be impacted, but Albert Squiers, managing director of the technology practice at Fuel Talent, said Facebook does have a substantial recruiting presence in Seattle.
“You’re talking in the hundreds of employees from a talent acquisition standpoint,” he said.
Although Meta declined to say whether any Seattle jobs will be eliminated, Facebook is reducing its physical footprint here. Earlier this year, the company announced it will sublease a six-story office tower in Downtown Seattle.
Facebook first opened a Seattle outpost in 2010, hoping to tap the region’s deep pool of engineering talent. Engineering remains the focus of Facebook’s Seattle operation, but the company shifted to a more distributed, remote approach to staffing during the pandemic.
Squiers said the layoffs at Facebook and other big tech companies could present an opportunity for the Seattle startup ecosystem. During tech’s boom years, competition for engineering talent was fierce. It was difficult for startups to compete with the high salaries and generous perks offered by large companies like Facebook. That landscape has changed dramatically as companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and other tech giants slow their hiring and cut costs.
“Just this week we’ve hired a few Facebook engineers at startups,” Squiers said. “The overall ethos and approach to the job market has been much less compensation focused but more around stability, impact, ownership of the job, and I think a lot of startups can offer those exact things.”