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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about slowing hiring

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained his plans to tighten hiring throughout the year. It could impact the plans of anyone wanting to work at the company, which controls Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and the Oculus line of virtual reality devices.

According The New York TimesZuckerberg told staff members on a recent internal call that Meta will hire between 6,000 and 7,000 engineers this year, which is significantly below the previous target of 10,000. He also said the pace of internal company work would increase, with fewer resources for staff.

“I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and self-selection is for me,” Zuckerberg reportedly said. “In reality, there’s probably a bunch of people in the business who shouldn’t be here.”

The hiring freeze will have a particular impact on junior engineering positions, and managers will promote internally rather than hire externally. Meta is currently facing significant challenges, including slower ad activity. Apple’s strict privacy controls on iOS also reduce the amount of user data Meta receives, which impacts its customers’ ability to target potential customers.

Last but not least, Meta is spending billions of dollars on the “metaverse,” the term the company uses to refer to an ecosystem of virtual reality and augmented reality apps. Although Zuckerberg believes the metaverse is the future of the web, it could be years, if not more than a decade, before the technology is widely adopted.

Rumors of a hiring freeze at Meta have persisted for months. In May, The New York Times reported that company perks such as on-site laundry and dry cleaning were being phased out, reportedly as part of broader cost-cutting initiatives.

Despite this turmoil, Meta remains one of the highest-paying technology companies, especially for software engineers with the right mix of skills and experience. For example, an engineer at rank M1 can earn $235,092 in base salary, nearly $300,000 in stock options, and a bonus of $53,326 (according to levels.fyi, which collates compensation data). That’s comparable to what technologists earn at Google and other big tech companies. Meta may be cutting costs and slowing hiring, but it will still need well-paid technologists if it is to survive in the current moment.