On Monday, LinkedIn revealed that it intends to conduct another round of job cuts before the year ends. The trend of layoffs in tech has certainly slowed but it is still ruthlessly plowing forward. According to Crunchbase News’ tech layoff tracker, US tech companies laid off over 176,600 workers this year alone and there are still a few months to go.
LinkedIn hasn’t cut nearly as many jobs as other major tech firms (including its parent company Microsoft) but their layoffs are still quite substantial With 668 more employees being let go, the company will have reduced its workforce by almost 1,400 in 2023 alone. LinkedIn noted that it will focus on several sectors, primarily research & development, talent, and finance teams.
An unnamed source who spoke to TechCrunch stated that most of the layoffs — around 563 of the 668 — will be in the R&D department.
LinkedIn Lays Off Nearly 1400 Employees this Year
LinkedIn’s announcement comes only five months after the company announced its first round of job cuts in 2023. At the time, LinkedIn said it would reduce the workforce by 716 positions. At the same time, it revealed that it will start phasing out its platform in China.
But, with new job cuts announced yesterday, Microsoft’s job platform will effectively layoff 1,384 employees in 2023 alone. The job cuts also further contributed to the number of layoffs seen in the technology sector this year, pushing it to roughly 242,000 people throughout the year, according to Layoffs.fyi. This includes non-US tech companies as well, though a significant majority of these former employees worked for US companies.
LinkedIn’s announcement said:
While we are adapting our organizational structures and streamlining our decision-making, we are continuing to invest in strategic priorities for our future and to ensure we continue to deliver value for our members and customers.
LinkedIn Revenue Surges by 5% Despite Layoffs
Despite the layoffs, LinkedIn is having a pretty great year and is expecting a 5% increase in its revenue year-over-year. The platform’s advertising services and subscription model have both been remarkably successful and its user base continues to grow.
According to Microsoft’s FY23 Q4 Earnings report published this summer, LinkedIn surpassed $15 billion for the first time during FY23, marking a 5% increase in revenue YoY. The company also highlighted that its Talent Solutions business, which helps companies find great candidates as fast as possible, reached $7 billion in revenue.
LinkedIn Might Keep Hiring AI Talents
LinkedIn is clearly trying to drive even more revenue with its various endeavors related to artificial intelligence. It has so far been at the forefront of AI integrations, likely thanks to its connection with Microsoft which has been heavily pushing AI development. It was one of the first social platforms to launch an AI-powered tool, which helped advertisers generate ads with generative AI.
It seems that LinkedIn’s AI plans don’t stop there either. On October 3, the firm announced new AI-powered products “for businesses to connect and grow.” This is partially also where the latest round of job cuts might come into play. LinkedIn said that it’ll adapt its organizational structures and that it should invest in “strategic priorities.”
While it did not specify those priorities, the company’s refocus on artificial intelligence will likely mean that it will seek to hire more AI talent moving forward. For now, this only remains speculation, however.
The Future of LinkedIn Is Bright
LinkedIn seems to be a decent spot, despite the layoffs. Its user base is continuing to grow as it nears 1 billion people and its AI prospects are hopeful too. Some issues brought on by Microsoft when it was acquired in 2016 are also being fixed.
LinkedIn became less transparent regarding operational metrics and finances after the acquisition, leaving shareholders and users out of the loop. The company is now combatting the problem by releasing regular transparency reports, with the most recent one published on October 12.
LinkedIn said that the report includes government requests and its community report, which shows the company’s actions to remove spam, scams, and fake accounts.
Microsoft itself cited a slowdown in hiring and a decline in advertising spending as headwinds for LinkedIn. However, the platform continues to see constant arrivals of new members, with its community now around 950 million-large.
As for the laid-off workforce, the company said:
We are committed to providing our full support to all impacted employees during this transition and ensuring that they are treated with care and respect.