AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Indeed, an employment company co-headquartered in Austin, is letting go of roughly 15% of its staff, according to a letter from CEO Chris Hyams.
The cuts come from nearly every team, function, level and region at Indeed and Indeed Flex, according to the letter, which was sent to employees Wednesday.
The reason for the cut is due to a decrease in job openings following a recent post-COVID boom, according to the letter.
“Your last day of active employment is today [Wednesday]. Your regular pay will continue through March 31, 2023,” the letter reads.
Last quarter, U.S. total job openings were down 3.5% year over year, while sponsored job volumes were down 33%, according to Indeed.
The specific decisions on who and where to cut were “extremely difficult, but they were made with great care,” the letter said.
The letter said that within the hour of receiving the letter, everyone outside of the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Japan would receive an email informing them of their status.
They’ll also receive a severance package including the following:
- 16 weeks of base salary, or two weeks for every year of service, whichever is greater
- Four months of COBRA (US only)
- Accrued PTO (where applicable)
- A cash payout equivalent to your RSUs scheduled to vest on May 1. For employees whose initial grant date was August 1, 2022 or later, you will receive a partial payout for RSUs that would vest on May 1 with the standard one-year vesting cliff waived. The payout will be calculated at the closing stock price on Feb 1. If the closing price on May 1 is higher, you will receive an additional payment for the difference.
- Access to ongoing career placement services for six months
- Access to ongoing mental health services for twelve months
The severance package will have some additions based on role and location, according to the letter.
“Leading a company whose mission is to help people get jobs, every single day I think about how important a job is in a person’s life,” Hyams wrote in the letter. “Losing a job is extraordinarily hard, financially and emotionally. For those who will be leaving, we are working to bring as much support as possible to each of you.”
The letter also said Indeed worked “closely” with HR, legal, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belongings teams to ensure objectivity and equity in the decision.
“With future job openings at or below pre-pandemic levels, our organization is simply too big for what lies ahead,” the letter said. “We need clarity, focus, and urgency to ensure that all of our energy is directed towards investing in our future.”
Hyams said in the letter he’d also be taking a 25% base pay cut. 75% of his compensation is directly tied to Indeed revenue as well.
“I take sole accountability for where we are today. I am deeply and profoundly sorry,” Hyams wrote.
Hyams said Indeed will be instituting additional cost-saving measures moving forward, which will be outlined for employees this week.
“At Indeed we value transparency. I know some of you may feel disappointed that I did not share sooner that we were considering layoffs,” Hyams said in the letter. “Until we knew who would be impacted, I believe any announcement would have increased anxiety for everyone. I am sorry.”
Numerous companies throughout the technology industry have gone through layoffs over the last six months, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook.
How will this impact Austin?
Part of the reason for the cuts was fewer job openings and sponsored jobs. That holds true in Austin.
The Chamber of Commerce reported 68,900 available job postings in January of this year. That’s down by 4,400 postings from the month before.
Jessica Camarillo is the Director of Technology Partnerships with Workforce Solutions Capital Area. She said tech companies have been making cuts after a hiring boom the past couple of years.
“That growth is either plateauing or slowing down. A little bit of a course correction, as far as the size of company and the size of growth that they were expecting in the next five years,” Camarillo said.
Still, Camarillo said there’s no shortage of opportunity for tech talent locally.
Matt Patton, Executive Vice President of Angelou Economics, agreed.
“Austin can weather storms better because we have a diversified tech industry… because of the vibrant tech scene, because of the vibrant start up culture,” Patton said.
Patton said while the Indeed layoffs are very unfortunate, employees in Austin will have a better chance of rebounding.
“We’re in a little bit better position than, say, some other parts of the country,” Patton said.