Meta asks managers to identify underperforming candidates to fire • The Register
Meta will carry out a disguised layoff by asking supervisors to select staff to be eliminated ostensibly for performance reasons.
In an internal message to managers late last week, Meta’s vice president of remote presence and engineering, Maher Saba, asked lower-level leaders to identify underperformers and submit their names to Meta’s Internal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) tool by yesterday.
“If a direct report is coasting or underperforming, that’s not what we need; they’re failing in this business. As a manager, you can’t allow someone to be net neutral or negative for Meta,” Saba wrote in the memo, which was first posted to a now-deleted thread on anonymous work social network Blind.
“Early identify people who need support, partner with our employee relations team to get that support, and move to leave people who can’t get on track,” Saba wrote.
This either means that Meta, which has about 72,000 employees, is weak at managing its people and has let itself be weighed down by leftovers and vesters, or that it suddenly has to abandon a group of people and will use performance as the excuse (which seems decisive) rather than layoffs (which sound financially unstable).
These movements do not come out of nowhere. Share prices for Meta, along with other tech giants, fell in early February. Financial uncertainties led to a hiring freeze and belt-tightening in the months that followed.
Last month, Zuckerberg slashed plans to hire engineers at Meta for 2022 by 30% and hinted at this latest round of layoffs.
To weed out bad performers, Meta also decided to leave some jobs vacant, his hope being that those who truly belonged to the Silicon Valley goliath would rise to the challenge of taking on the responsibilities of others.
“Part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide this place isn’t for you. , and that self-selection is OK with me,” Zuckerberg said during an internal staff meeting.
Saba’s note to managers was sent late Friday, which means Monday’s deadline for referring employees to Meta’s PIP has passed. It is not known how many people have been referred, or how many people referred will be fired. It is also unclear by what standards Meta determines whether employees are underperforming.
According to investment firm Candor, Facebook uses a stacked ranking system that ranks employees on a bell curve, with each rank having a fixed number of slots. Starting in 2022, Meta only conducts performance reviews once a year, Candor said.
Meta did not respond to a request for The register for comment.
Meta culture has long been a problem. The poor treatment of minority employees, apathy towards user privacy, and the perpetual fear of being fired have tarnished the company’s reputation for years. As layoffs and hiring freezes continue to preoccupy many in the tech industry, noteworthy are the results of a 2019 meta-analysis on employee performance and job security — viz. that for the first to be satisfactory, the second is necessary.
According to the study, “Job insecurity can compromise the achievement of organizational goals in that employees who worry about the future of their jobs are less able to complete tasks… evidence provided should encourage organizations to aim to prevent job insecurity among their employees”. ®