Facebook is a social network where people involved are allowed to upload photos, post comments or even share links on the web on interesting content and news. It supports business pages, group pages and fan pages. It has encountered greater challenges in the recent years due to scandals. The scandals have negatively impacted the company’s recruitment strategy; such as, retention of current staffs, decline in worker morale, and attracting top talent to the company.
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Companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google provide stiff competition to Facebook where the companies are willing to pay higher in order to retain their own talent. For instance, Apple’s employees are treated as an executive rather than just a normal worker serving customers, According to Apple's Angela Ahrendts. (“What Everyone Can (And Should) Learn from Apple’s Staff Retention | Inc.com,” n.d.) As many people know about the Cambridge Analytic scandal; which is, a political consulting firm inappropriately obtained 87 million user's data. Since the scandal broke out, Facebook have been having hard time attracting potential candidates and retaining employees. (“Facebook has struggled to recruit since Cambridge Analytica scandal,” n.d.)
Decline in worker morale is another issue Facebook is currently facing. According to a reported internal survey in November, it has been reported that 52 percent of employees are optimistic about Facebook’s future in comparison to 84 percent a year ago, 70 percent said they were proud of Facebook compare to 87 percent a year ago, employee commitment to the company has dropped as well. On average, employees would tend to stay at Facebook for another 3.9 years, compare to the 4.3 years a year prior. Facebook used to be a place where everyone desired to work at to a place where everyone desires to leave. Due to the stock price falling, and ongoing scandals of a maturing tech firm, many employees are motivated to leave and look for jobs elsewhere where they can explore and expand their abilities. (“Facebook morale plunges from last year: WSJ,” n.d.)
Facebook is having hard time recruiting top talent as a result of all the scandals that had happened, and the way they handled it, falling of stock prices and parental leave policies. The company took a significant hit in their reputation once the information of the data breach scandal (and misinformation) has broken out. Many people do not want to work there and even ask difficult questions regarding privacy and values of the company that the recruiters have to fill in.
Cambridge Analytica scandal has impacted candidates to lose interest in their jobs. According to former recruiters, candidates are asking very tough questions about the company’s approach on privacy and values that puts pressure to recruiters where they are supposed to fill a block log under difficult pressures on open positions. Candidates are also turning down offers from what was considered the best place to work at. The data breach scandal was the major issue that has led to a decline in attracting top talents, but other reasons behind the decline are general culture, and leadership of the company. (“Facebook has struggled to recruit since Cambridge Analytica scandal,” n.d.)
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The general culture in Facebook is described as a “cult” by some employees because employees are pressured to pretend to love something they do not, the peer evaluation system they have is a not used as a way for employees to improve and provide constructive feedback rather a “popularity contest”. According to Alexandra Michel, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies work culture, says this type of system tend to break down and cause distrust among peers and create political atmosphere when applied by the company to measure performance subjectively. (“Facebook culture described as ‘cult-like’, review process blamed,” n.d.)
Due to higher competition among other high tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple where they are willing to pay higher salaries to retain its employees and signing bonuses, and these companies have less scandal compare to Facebook. One of the many root causes that negatively affect Facebook in attracting potential and retaining employees is the issue of privacy. For instance, former employees have been receiving lots of e-mails from their former coworkers on if there is a job opening elsewhere and some employees are paranoid about the company monitoring their discussions where they need to use burner phones to keep the company from tapping into their privacy. (“Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse - The Verge,” n.d.)
Furthermore, the cost of living in the Bay Area in San Francisco has skyrocketed. For instance, a former employee has to leave their position even with a six-figure pay because it is not enough to support a family of four living in the infamous San Francisco real estate market. Additionally, some employees need to work from home because they need to take care of their family yet the HR department of Facebook were firm on not letting employees take their work home, do part-time, or taking unpaid leave. (“Why 11 employees decided to leave Facebook - Business Insider,” n.d.)
- Newton, C. (2018, December 6). Facebook's morale problem is getting worse. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/6/18128267/facebook-morale-uk-parliament-emails-privacy-competition.
- sal19. (2018, December 6). Facebook is no longer the 'Best Place to Work,' according to new Glassdoor survey. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/04/facebook-is-no-longer-glassdoors-best-place-to-work.html.
- sal19. (2018, November 14). Morale at Facebook is reportedly in the dumps. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/14/facebook-morale-plunges-from-last-year-wsj.html.
- sal19. (2019, May 17). Facebook has struggled to hire talent since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to recruiters who worked there. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/16/facebook-has-struggled-to-recruit-since-cambridge-analytica-scandal.html.
- sal19. (2019, October 1). Leaked Facebook audio is a sign of decreased morale, former employees say. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/01/leaked-facebook-audio-is-a-sign-of-decreased-morale-former-employees-say.html.
- Abadi, M. (2019, February 21). 11 former Facebook employees explain why they quit the jobs everyone seems to want. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/why-facebook-employees-quit-2019-2#matt-kulka-devops-manager-at-parchment-inc-5.
- MacNaught, S. (2016, May 5). What Everyone Can (And Should) Learn from Apple's Staff Retention. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/stacey-macnaught/what-everyone-can-and-should-learn-from-apples-staff-retention.html.
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