Rental company Airbnb laid off 30 percent of its recruiting staff this week, according to a report in Bloomberg. The job cuts affected 0.4 percent of the company’s total workforce of 6,800. A spokesperson for the company told the outlet: “We’ve become a leaner and more focused company over the past three years. The company expects to grow its workforce this year.”
The spokesperson added that the company had made a “difficult decision to reorganize and reduce the size of our recruiting team to reflect our hiring forecasts.”
Airbnb added that it is not an indication of more widespread layoffs. In contrast to last year’s 11 percent growth, the company predicted headcount growth of 2 percent to 4 percent in 2023. Airbnb also plans to expand its overall workforce this year.
While many of its competitors have lowered their growth forecasts due to higher borrowing rates and an industry-wide slowdown, Airbnb is one of the few IT companies to avoid major layoffs. While demand for travel increased due to the pandemic, the travel industry remained largely resilient.
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Last month, the company reported its first full-year profit, with sales up in the last three months of 2022 as travel bookings rebounded. The home rental platform said it made a profit of $319 million on sales of nearly $2 billion in the last quarter of last year.
According to the San Francisco-based company, they ended 2022 with a net income of $1.9 billion, as opposed to a deficit of $352 million the previous year.
During the pandemic, Airbnb had laid off 25 percent of its workforce, or about 1,900 employees. The decision was made when the rental company’s activities all but ceased due to global restrictions due to the Covid-19. Brian Chesky, the company’s CEO, said in a blog post at the time that “global travel came to a halt” as the crisis caused by Covid-19 unfolded.
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