Put off by Elon Musk’s muscular management style? Move to us! That’s the pitch being used by talent-starved technology companies trying to woo thousands of former Twitter Inc employees fired by the social media company under its new owner.
Twitter has laid off senior executives and imposed steep layoffs with little warning following Musk’s disorderly takeover of the social media platform. Nearly half of the workforce – around 3,700 employees – has been fired.
Hundreds more are reported to have resigned owing to his radical reforms. On Monday, the head of French operations was the latest senior manager to quit. Spotting opportunity, some companies are now attempting to bag experienced engineering talent by appealing to their dislike for the methods of the world’s wealthiest person.
Katie Burke, chief people officer at U.S. software company Hubspot (HUBS.N), rebuked Musk over reports he had laid off a group of employees that had criticized him on the company’s internal Slack channels. Reuters was unable to confirm the reports. She wrote in a LinkedIn post:
“As a leader, getting criticized is part of your job. Great leaders recognize debate and disagreement makes you better and is part of the process. If you want a place where you can disagree (in a kind, clear manner of course) with people, HubSpot is hiring.”
By late on Monday, Burke’s post had gained over 35,000 positive reactions on LinkedIn. Musk and Twitter would not reply to requests for comment. Other firms are applying a similar technique to Hubspot.
Amanda Richardson, CEO of recruitment software startup CoderPad, distributed an open letter to Twitter leavers. Pointing to Musk’s initial ban on remote working, Richardson described Musk’s takeover as a “s*** show” which had been “terribly frustrating, depressing and demotivating”.
“At CoderPad, we believe your skills say it all. Not where you sit. Not if you sleep at work. Not working 7 days a week for 18 hours a day.”
Other major U.S. tech companies including Meta (META.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) have also fired thousands of staff in recent weeks owing to the uncertain economic environment.
But the public criticism of Musk underlines heavy demand in parts of the industry for extremely skilled digital employees.
A recent report from market analysis firm Gartner detected high attrition rates and a string of digitalization efforts across business and government had built a “hyper-competitive” market for technical talent.
Mass layoffs and public departures at Twitter have sparked concerns the firm is firing vital employees and fears the social media “town square” could suffer technical troubles.
Michael Weening, CEO of U.S. cloud and software company Calix (CALX.N), outlined recent events at Twitter as “disturbing”, and assured new recruits they would delight in a corporate culture that “starts with our team members” in a similar LinkedIn post.
Weening told Reuters:
“From our perspective, this is a great opportunity, as people who would not speak to us before are disillusioned and looking. The toxic culture has people saying, ‘No more.’”