LinkedIn CEO to staff: 'I am truly grateful'

Despite being on the forefront of recruitment tech, the firm is 'not immune to the effects of the global pandemic'

LinkedIn CEO to staff: 'I am truly grateful'

Professional networking platform LinkedIn has announced plans to let go of nearly a thousand employees amid the slowdown in recruitment across industries.

With companies worldwide scaling back hiring efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Microsoft-owned site has seen demand for its recruitment tools and services fall.

As a result, LinkedIn will be downsizing its global sales and talent acquisition teams, cutting a total of 960 jobs or about 6% of the company’s overall workforce, CEO Ryan Roslansky wrote in a memo.

Read more: LinkedIn’s HR head weighs in on COVID-19’s ‘powerful’ impact

Despite being on the forefront of recruitment tech, “LinkedIn is not immune to the effects of the global pandemic,” Roslansky said. “Our Talent Solutions business continues to be impacted as fewer companies, including ours, need to hire at the same volume they did previously.”

“While this decision will help us ensure that our company and platform are resilient and emerge stronger to reach our vision, there is simply no harder decision to make as a CEO,” he said.

Employees in North America and the Asia Pacific will remain with the team until August 21, while those assigned in Europe and Australia will receive additional details in the coming days.

But the company will also continue to hire for newly created roles in “areas of growth” and will enable retrenched employees to explore these opportunities, the CEO said.

Maintaining momentum
LinkedIn is providing affected employees with financial, healthcare and career transition support.

The severance package includes a minimum of 10 weeks of pay, adjusted based on tenure and country-specific practices. Some workers will also receive bonuses for fiscal year 2020.

US employees will retain their employer-sponsored health insurance for 12 months while those in other locations will receive six months of continued coverage or the cash equivalent of premiums.

Read more: The most popular job searches during lockdown

LinkedIn – long known for its talent acquisition and development tools – is also introducing a career transition program called Momentum, which gives affected employees access to one-to-one coaching, workshops and LinkedIn Learning courses to guide them in their search for a new job.

The company is also giving out gadgets to staff. “All departing employees will have the opportunity to keep LinkedIn cell phones, laptops and recently purchased equipment to help [them] work from home, so they have the practical tools they need to help with career transitions,” Roslansky said.

“To our teammates who are leaving: I deeply thank you for the positive impact you’ve made. Your time and effort have been critical to helping manifest LinkedIn’s vision. Please know these changes aren't a reflection on you or your work at LinkedIn, but rather, the result of strategic changes we are making to accelerate the vision of the company.

“You’ve played an important role in building LinkedIn, and I am truly grateful.”

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