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By Maureen Nzioki.

Nov 14, 2022.

Meta, the parent company of the most popular apps, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, confirmed the massive layoffs of some of its employees on Wednesday barely a fortnight after Twitter laid off nearly half of its employees.


Tech giants have been seen to reduce their employees significantly, from Stripe who laid off 14% of its staff earlier in the week, to Salesforce, Twitter, ride app Lyft, and now Meta. Unlike the other companies, the Meta redundancies were expected and did not come as a surprise to its staff. Among the 80,000 plus employees around the world, 11,000 people, 13% of the Meta workforce have been confirmed to be leaving the company. Despite them losing their jobs, the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has ensured them a severance pay of up to 16 weeks and two additional weeks for each year worked, they will also receive compensation for the unused remaining time off and health insurance for the workers and their family members will be offered for up to 6 months.

The company, earlier in September announced that it would be going on a hiring freeze after it expanded its staff by 28% up till this decision was made. Mark Zuckerberg said that the cause of the layoffs was social media’s huge low revenue caused by increased competition. Tiktok, the short video app, which has since become popular since the start of 2020 has now become the biggest competition of other social media applications. Zuckerberg has since said that they will implement strategies and refocus to elevate the overall performance of his applications by mimicking some of Tik Tok’s features that made it popular.

Earlier in the year, the company came up with the idea of building a metaverse, which is a virtual world where people can shop, work and interact in the comfort of their homes in the physical world. This has been a huge gamble for the company, as it has been heavily investing to make the metaverse come to life. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses moved to advertise on Meta platforms (Instagram, Facebook) and this significantly increased their revenue this was expected to be a permanent change but did not go as expected. The company has reported a decrease in its daily users since competitors entered the market.

The overall loss of Meta this year is estimated to be a total of $10 billion after the privacy restrictions on mobile phones could not allow the company to have access to online data of the activities of users, this affected Meta’s ability to provide targeted advertising. Employees at Meta are worried that they would have their annual bonuses reduced or some could still be laid off as the company is looking to reduce low-performing employees.

Below are some of the criteria that businesses or organizations use to determine layoffs:

  • Business- Based criteria.

When looking to reduce operating costs, the top management often starts by adjusting the business plan, reallocating expenditures, and changing the structure to be able to support the new strategy. Layoffs should reflect the business goals moving forward. When companies are facing challenges, they often prioritize revenue growth and profits. Management will therefore focus on “need” instead of “want” revenue-generating positions.

2)    Skills- and Knowledge-Based Criteria

Once the management sets the new structure an attempt will be made to align the already existing talent within the business strategy by deciding which roles, skills, and experience are needed to meet the changes ahead. During this talent mapping exercise, the management will also point out the positions that are no longer required and the skills that are outdated. Employees who fall into these categories are more likely to be laid off.

3)    Performance-Based Criteria

The management will often assess the work performance of team members and rank them against their coworkers using a curve (a practice known as stack ranking) to retain the top performers, all while identifying and weeding out lower performers. Aside from that, some managers will consider the work ethics of the employees, how they perform in a team setting and their communication skills among other skills required in a work setting.

4)    Financial Criteria

Mostly the management will use human capital metrics, like the value an employee adds to the company compared to their expenses and their ROI, to finalize the layoff list. However, long-term employees, might be reconsidered and the company to use the rule of “last in, first out” to prioritize layoffs—meaning that the most recent employees to be hired will be the first to be let go.


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