Post Twitter’s acquisition by Elon Musk, the social-media company has been on a layoff spree. Not only did the Company fired many people from the top management, including CEO Parag Agarwal, the employee strength has been reduced from 7,500 to a mere 2,300 in the last three months.
However, hopefully, the status quo will change and things will turn around in some time, allowing the Company to get into hiring mode.
The big question is, ‘Who will join the Company now?’.
Given the manner in which Twitter’s employee-value proposition has nose-dived, the platform will need talent super soon to manage its critical segments. However, with the uncertain turn of events, will there be talent willing to join it?
“Since the gentleman (read Elon Musk) is among one of the top innovators, some people would still like to associate with the platform despite the recent controversies,” believes Shailesh Singh, CHRO, Max Life Insurance.
It’s true that Twitter is a well-known and established company in the tech industry, which makes it an attractive place to work. However, even those interested will be cautious and take into consideration many factors before taking the final call.
“The platform has shown quite a level of uncertainty in recent times, and the new hiring may look like a tangled web. People are generally drawn more towards a stable environment, which Twitter has definitely failed to maintain of late.”
Shailesh Singh, CHRO, Max Life Insurance
Singh adds, “The platform has shown quite a level of uncertainty in recent times, and the new hiring may look like a tangled web. People are generally drawn more towards a stable environment, which Twitter has definitely failed to maintain of late.”
The fact remains that people want to work with a stable company, with a more credible leadership, a finite plan for the future, and almost negligible turbulence, unlike what Twitter has been going through. “People who have a secure job and enjoy stability in their current organisation, will be sceptical of joining such a company as long as the uncertainty persists,” says Nihar Ranjan Ghosh, Senior HR leader and independent Director.
“Effective leadership is a significant factor in drawing new and specialised talent into the organisation. People would generally be wary of joining a place where management’s decisions can’t be explained or presented with a logic,” he adds.
For instance, many tech companies, including the likes of Meta, Amazon and Google, are laying off people. However, their decisions have been portrayed as very responsible management decisions. Although the move (made by the leadership/management) may be erroneous, they have been gracious enough to be upfront.
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, for instance, shared a mail with the laid-off employees, stating the reasons for the move and acknowledging that the decisions have been made in the interest of the company. On the contrary, Twitter did not state any reason for the layoffs nor was any subsequent communication or explanation sent to the affected employees.
“Any employee will look at the leader and the stable future of the company that the leader is projecting, which is somehow missing in the case of Twitter,” observes Ghosh.
With the Twitter leadership having made so many unstable and wrong moves, it will be a very complex task to draw new employees. Irrespective of the career-growth carrot being dangled as a desperate measure to draw talent, people would be wary of joining the social-media company.
“People who are cautious will not be attracted to a workplace providing a lucrative offer, but to a workplace that also supports and shares their intrinsic values. Hence, changes on a fundamental level are required.”
Nihar Ranjan Ghosh, Senior HR leader and independent Director
Another vital factor is the manner in which the management handled the situation. Singh says, “People don’t hold a grudge against the platform for taking critical calls (layoff due to any economic challenge or cost-cutting method), but they do grudge the way in which matters were handled.”
He shares his own experience in his last assignment, where many companies were acquired and many were let go of as well. However, he recalls the maturity in which things were handled every time.
Twitter will apparently need people in various segments and countries as many critical tasks need to be performed. The brand has suffered as a whole, but there surely will be roles that can’t be compromised or left vacant, like how Twitter called back some of its specialised engineers for security and other activities.
However, “the mass hirings will suffer in the future,” says Singh. “It will be historic to see what fundamental changes Twitter comes up with in order to attract new talent,” he adds.
To deal with such a situation, the platform will need to adapt to smart compensation hooks in order to attract prospects. Strategies will be required to retain some of the top talent, which will also include over-compensatory benefits even if it’s for the short-term.
However, Ghosh explains that when employers are on the back foot, they will always take such measures to assure people when it comes to the employer brand. And wherever required, even individual may take such measures if they so wish. For instance, if they are in a difficult situation in their current jobs or seek growth. However, it’s more of a short-term thing.
“Lucrative offers may help draw people in, but how long they can be sustained is a big question mark,” explains Ghosh. Since the individuals being called already have a market worth they’d need all the things as per their way — in terms of work process, company culture, every day work environment, and so on. If they fail to find things as per their choice, these specialised individuals wil not think twice before walking away, as they have the entire market waiting to draw them in.
Hence, “changes on a fundamental level are required. After all, at the end of the day, people will judge you by your actions and not your words,” opines Ghosh.
Another important factor is to rebuild the trust among the existing employees, which ultimately reflects on the new prospects as well.
For instance, Twitter recently said that its corporate office will run the platform with only 1500 employees. The impression that new prospects get is that the people coming in will be doing the jobs of five other employees. It will be necessary to explain to people, why the popular platform suddenly underwent such drastic changes, in terms of technology or in terms of processes. Why is it that it can make do with just a portion of employees for handling everything? Hence, some logic or reasoning is required to explain these abrupt decisions, to make people think about where they’re headed now.
“Employees don’t look at their careers as a gamble,” says Ghosh. While proclaimed benefits may help draw people, it is the intrinsic values that actually hold them within the organisation. They will steer clear of any intimidating environment, threats, or a negative work atmosphere. After all, it’s not the money that matters to them but the overall employment experience. Opportunities to grow and express their creativity is what they seek. Hence, they’d always like to pursue their careers in predictable companies, where they can visualise their career in the long run.
At the end of the day, the way the leader behaves also gives a glimpse of the future that lies ahead. “People who are cautious will not be attracted to a workplace providing a lucrative offer, but to a workplace that also supports and shares their intrinsic values,” concludes Ghosh.