- Accenture said this week it would lay off Facebook contractors working for the company.
- The company only offered the option of formally applying for jobs on other Accenture projects.
- A contractor previously told Insider about the “mess” left recently.
Accenture has told an estimated 60 contract employees for Facebook who work out of its Austin office that they will soon be out of a job, Insider has learned.
These contractors work with Facebook through Accenture, which has a $500 million-a-year contract with the company to provide hourly workers for services such as content moderation and business-integrity services. They learned they had been “removed” from their jobs at Facebook during a video meeting held by Accenture representatives on Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the call told Insider. Accenture did not immediately offer other jobs or “direct transfers” within the company to the affected contractors, according to employee messages seen by Insider.
Accenture gave these contractors the option to “re-apply” for available jobs at the company, as their current jobs will disappear on September 2. The workers said in the messages that they were told the process would include a new round of interviews. There is “no guarantee” that Accenture will rehire anyone affected by Facebook’s job losses.
In a follow-up call Wednesday, Accenture representatives told workers that human resources would try to place people with certain skills on other projects if they applied for them. Otherwise, for those workers who are not rehired or choose not to reapply, they will be paid by October 3.
“I want a new job but I don’t want to be forced,” one worker said in a message discussing the meetings.
Accenture scheduled both calls with little notice and no communication about what they would discuss, the workers said. In one video call, the company withheld the names of everyone present, including Accenture representatives who spoke. The representatives did not identify themselves, workers said, leaving them unclear as to who was speaking.
“I’m assuming it’s human resources, but no one knows for sure,” the person said. The representatives did not give a specific reason why Accenture cut some of the jobs at Facebook. When a worker asked how people were chosen, Accenture representatives said that an “algorithm” helped select people at random, according to the workers.
A representative for Facebook, which rebranded to Meta last year, declined to comment. Accenture spokesman Richard Keil declined to comment beyond the company’s previous statement, saying, “It would be incorrect to report layoffs in Austin.” The term “layoff” can be a specific legal definition of employees losing their jobs due to their employers’ cost-cutting efforts. After the publication, Keil insisted that while Accenture representatives who spoke to workers on the calls “made introductions,” workers “may have missed that.” As for the alleged use of algorithms, Keil said, “We don’t use algorithms to randomly select people.”
Other Facebook contractors lost their jobs last month
The decline in Facebook contractors comes as the company looks to rein in costs amid slowing growth and revenue. Facebook had imposed a hiring freeze, Insider first reported in May. Full-time Facebook employees fear the company could face cuts of more than 10%, Insider previously reported. Several company executives, including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have recently commented and sent memos to employees that promote a new company culture of “increased intensity,” stricter performance evaluations, and the benefit of fewer resources.
Other Facebook contractors lost their jobs last month, Insider previously reported. A former worker said there was a “mess” about losing their jobs, again without severance. The work culture inside Facebook’s Austin office began to change over the past several months after a hiring freeze, former workers said. Accenture began tracking contractors’ “productivity” more intensively, and monitored and logged their employees’ already limited breaks, the former worker said, when Facebook took over covered facilities.
The company also scrutinized anyone who didn’t log time from their desks properly or started work even a few minutes late, the former worker added. Accenture employed these workers in what was known as a “performance-development plan”. Throughout the industry, this is commonly known as a “performance-improvement plan,” and employees widely see it as a precursor to letting go at their company. Employees placed by Accenture on performance-development plans have previously lost their jobs, former workers said.
Are you a Facebook employee or contractor or do you have insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected], in the secure messaging app hint at 949-280-0267, or via Twitter DM at @hayskali. Contact using a non-working device.