As many high-profile tech startups carry out layoffs, several cash-rich tech giants are for now still comfortable with growing their headcounts.
Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report, which has seen a surge in orders for groceries and other essentials amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is naturally at the forefront here. On March 16, Jeff Bezos’ firm, which had 798,000 employees at the end of 2019, said it planned to hire another 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers. And on Thursday, Amazon said it has already filled 80,000 of those positions.
However, Amazon is by no means alone. On Thursday, Facebook (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report COO Sheryl Sandberg said that her company, which had 44,942 employees at the end of 2019, plans to hire another 10,000 people for its product and engineering teams by year’s end. In addition to adding R&D positions, Facebook has been steadily growing headcount over the last two years for its content security efforts.
In addition, a look at the LinkedIn pages of other tech giants suggest that they, too, are still willing to hire -- even if job interviews have to be done via video calls for now.
Microsoft’s (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report LinkedIn jobs page shows hundreds of engineering and managerial job listings that were added just over the last 24 hours, and a number of others that were added over the last two weeks. A majority of the listings are for U.S.-based positions, but Microsoft is also hiring everywhere from the U.K. to India to Taiwan.
Google’s (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report LinkedIn jobs page also shows hundreds of new openings posted within the last 24 hours. Relative to Microsoft, a greater portion of the new openings involve sales and managerial positions (sales and customer support hiring for the Google Cloud unit has been a priority in recent quarters).
Apple’s (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report LinkedIn jobs page looks a bit like Microsoft’s, with the company having recently posted hundreds of new listings for engineering and (to a lesser extent) managerial positions for the U.S. and elsewhere.
But as tech giants keep hiring, many money-losing startups have -- at a time when both their revenue growth and ability to raise future funding have been put into question -- been paring headcount in an attempt to extend their cash runways.
Some of the VC-funded firms carrying out layoffs, such as scooter-sharing startups Bird and Lime, operate in markets that have undoubtedly seen revenue crater amid COVID-19 lockdowns. But startups operating in fields such as e-commerce and enterprise software haven’t been unscathed either. A recent CNBC analysis of media reports of startup layoffs uncovered more than 3,800 job cuts across more than 40 companies.
Large, cash-rich, tech firms are often poised to get stronger in this environment relative to peers that have a limited amount of cash and are currently burning through some of it. And that first group of companies definitely includes the biggest of the big.