After being on the rise for more than a decade or so, year 2022 took a turn for the worse for Meta, formerly called Facebook. And while 2022 has been a forgetful year for corporates globally, Meta took additional beatings, such as Ads business being hit due to Apple’s app-tracking restrictions, among others. Meta had repeatedly warned that it was planning to slow hiring for some management roles and would “steadily reduce headcount growth.” Now, it has taken things one step further with plans to freeze hiring and reorganize its teams.

This news had an adverse impact on Meta’s stocks, which have been hit hard this year. Its shares have fallen by 60% so far in 2022, and the development shaved off a further 3.7%. The current price of Meta’s shares stand at $136.41.

If Meta successfully reduces its headcount, it will mark the first occurrence of such an instance and mark the end of what has been a period of rapid growth for the social media company. The company’s worth reached $1 trillion in June 2021, thanks to the performance of Facebook – its flagship social media platform – and Instagram and WhatsApp – which Meta acquired in 2012 and 2014 respectively – and the performance of its other teams.

However, these years of strong expansion and growth seem to be nearing their end, if the words of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an internal all-hands call on Thursday were any indication. This bid to reduce its headcount and restructure its teams means that potential layoffs lie on the horizon across Meta’s various departments, so if you are a Meta employee, keep your fingers crossed.

Apart from putting the recruitment of fresh blood on hold, the social media company is looking to bring down budgets within the company, including teams that it had made recent investments in and those that had clocked growth in recent times. Individual teams will have to resolve how to handle headcount changes.

“I had hoped the economy would have more clearly stabilized by now, but from what we’re seeing it doesn’t yet seem like it has, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively,” Zuckerberg told employees during a weekly Q&A session, citing the uncertain macroeconomic environment as reasons for the change.

This echoes a similar sentiment that Zuckerberg had voiced in July, informing that Meta would be slowing down the rate of hiring as it prepared to deal with one of the “worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history.” It also falls in line with what Meta and other tech companies have been going through this year, with many slashing their headcount and slowing down or freezing hiring in order to survive in the tough market conditions.

If 2022 has been tough for the tech sector and tech companies, things have been equally harrowing for job-seekers and employees. Many have found themselves being laid off as bearish market conditions and falling stock prices have led to rising rates of inflation and fears of an economic recession, and companies have struggled to stay afloat in the economic downturn.

Jobs at behemoths like Meta and Google are much sought-after by job seekers because of several reasons – lucrative compensation and perks being two of the major reasons.