Facebook’s Hiring Crisis


In an internal memo called “Why hiring is hard right now” written at some point in 2021, a recruiting leader at the company described how engineering teams are fighting a massive imbalance between high demand for new recruits and low supply.

“All of our tech sites are under pressure right now since we maxed our recruiting feasibility. All of you are now starting to experience that major imbalance between supply and demand — and it doesn’t feel good. We are experiencing growth pains,” the unnamed leader wrote in the memo.

Facebook struggled particularly to recruit Bay-Area based engineers who are designated IC5 level and above in late 2020 and early 2021, according to data in the memo. Just above 50% of engineers accepted job offers for those roles in the first quarter of 2021 — 171 of 320 offers — compared to a median above 65% in 2020. “We’ve dropped to pre-2020 levels on the offer accept rate for IC5+ Bay Area engineers,” the unnamed leader wrote in the memo. “We’re seeing a bit of downward pressure in (Seattle) as well. Why? We’re still figuring it out.”

The memo speculates that while Facebook was able to take advantage of other companies pulling back hiring in 2020 because of COVID-related uncertainty, those same companies are now “flush with VC money” from pandemic-era growth, and they are using that money in 2021 to accelerate hiring the same candidates Facebook seeks for itself. And while the Bay Area offices have had the most difficulty with hiring, every Facebook engineering site experienced pressure in the first quarter of 2021, according to the memo.

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