More than 2,000 people who had signed employment agreements with Google as temp and contract workers had their offers rescinded, The New York Times reported.
As the California-based search giant deals with shrinking ad revenues caused by COVID-19, Google told employment agencies about its decision in an email last week, the newspaper reported.
“We’re slowing our pace of hiring and investment, and are not bringing on as many new starters as we had planned at the beginning of the year,” Google said in an email to contracting agencies last week that was seen by newspaper.
Last month, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told employees in a memo that the company planned to slow the pace of hiring this year, with the exception of several strategic areas, the newspaper reported.
Reports in April said Google had instituted a hiring freeze and was slashing its marketing budgets by as much as half.
Google reported $6.8 billion in profits in the first quarter, despite what it called “a significant and sudden slowdown” in advertising.
Google has more than 130,000 contractors and temp workers, while there are 123,000 full-time employees. The staff jobs are given high salaries and generous perks. But contracts and temps often get less pay, fewer benefits and lack the same protections.
Some of the would-be Google workers whose offers were withdrawn before the coronavirus took hold in the U.S. had their start dates repeatedly postponed, the Times reported.
“If these people were promised jobs at Alphabet, which is worth a trillion dollars, it seems like the company has a responsibility to take them on,” said Ben Gwin, a data analyst in a Google office for HCL America, a contracting agency. “It’s not like Google can’t afford it.”
In a call with analysts last month, Ruth Porat, Alphabet’s chief financial officer, said the company was trimming expenses by not hiring as many new employees as initially projected.
For Joli Holland, one of the candidates whose job offers were rescinded in April, her would-be dream job became a nightmare.
She applied to Google while working as a lead teller at Wells Fargo. She was offered the position with a start date of March 23. But after having the date pushed back multiple times, Holland said her job was rescinded, the newspaper reported.
“I’m disappointed, because not a lot of people are hiring right now,” she told the Times. “I am disappointed, but it hasn’t completely soured me on the company. I’d still like to work there.”