Employment Law

Google laying off hundreds of employees in global recruiting division

A man is looking at the Google homepage on his laptop browser. Google is laying off hundreds of global recruiters.

Google is cutting hundreds of jobs from its global recruiting team in response to a broader hiring slowdown expected over the coming quarters.

“We unfortunately need to make a significant reduction to the size of the recruiting organization,” said Brian Ong, Google’s VP of recruiting, in a video meeting with employees on Wednesday. “It’s not something that was an easy decision to make, and it definitely isn’t a conversation any of us wanted to have again this year.”

This move follows Google’s announcement in January of cutting 12,000 jobs, affecting about 6% of its full-time workforce, including its recruiting division. Despite cost-cutting efforts, Alphabet reported a 7% increase in second-quarter revenue.

To address previous concerns, employees impacted by the latest layoffs will have continued access to offices and online systems for an extended period.

‘The right thing to do’

During his video message to staff, Ong stated that, “given the base of hiring that we’ve received the next several quarters, it’s the right thing to do overall.”

Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini confirmed the cuts with various media outlets, emphasizing the company’s ongoing investment in technical talent while adjusting the pace of hiring to align with reduced demand for recruiters’ services.

“The volume of requests for our recruiters has gone down. In order to continue our important work to ensure we operate efficiently, we’ve made the hard decision to reduce the size of our recruiting team,” said Mencini.

“My heart is heavy for everyone that was impacted alongside me, and I know better days are ahead for all of us as much as today doesn’t feel like it,” one affected Google recruiter wrote in a LinkedIn post.

Impact on Canadian employees

It is not yet known how many employees working for Google Canada have been affected by these layoffs.

Major layoffs continue

The latest round of job cuts at Google comes amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Major North American companies, including Volvo, Wells Fargo, Roku, RBC, Dell, Telus, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta, are significantly scaling back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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Severance agreements for Google employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at the tech giant are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Rights to severance for federally regulated employees
Severance entitlements during mass layoffs
Severance packages in a recession

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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