Snap Inc. has initiated a workforce reduction, impacting approximately 10% of its employees, with a focus on roles related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) and HR analytics. This move underscores the company’s broader push towards a Return-to-Office (RTO) model, aiming to foster in-person collaboration and flatten organizational hierarchies.
Reports from Business Insider indicate that employees engaged in internal employee analytics, including surveys and diversity initiatives aimed at enhancing talent diversity, are among those affected by the layoffs. This decision mirrors recent trends in the tech industry, where HR-related roles have faced scrutiny, with instances of job cuts observed at major firms like Google and Meta in 2023.
Despite the prevailing belief among industry leaders that the future of DE&I efforts should leverage HR analytics, Snap’s strategic realignment diverges from this perspective. The company, justifying the layoffs impacting around 500 employees, emphasizes the importance of eliminating hierarchy and fostering face-to-face interactions.
Snap’s RTO mandate, requiring employees to spend 80% of their time in the office, has been met with resistance. Business Insider reports that managers informed employees in November about monitoring compliance through WiFi connections and badge tracking systems. Similar policies have been adopted by tech giants like Meta and Amazon, with non-compliance potentially leading to termination.
In an SEC filing, Snap framed the restructuring as a strategic move to align resources with key priorities and support future growth initiatives. The company anticipates incurring costs ranging from $55 million to $75 million due to the layoffs.
CEO Evan Spiegel addressed the workforce reduction, highlighting the company’s commitment to adaptability and long-term success. However, reports suggest that members of the tech team, including engineers and content moderation staff, were already let go preceding the official announcement.
The decision reflects Snap’s evolving organizational strategy amidst changing workplace dynamics and underscores the challenges faced by companies navigating the transition to hybrid work models. As Snap repositions itself for the future, the implications of its workforce restructuring remain a focal point for industry observers.