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Facebook’s Bad Reputation: Higher Salaries Needed to Hire and Retain Employees

Jonathan loves talking politics, economics and philosophy. He carries unique perspectives on everything making him a rather odd mix of liberal-conservative with a streak of independent Austrian thought.
Published: December 23, 2021
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Facebook is struggling to hire and retain workers. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The tech industry is one of the highest paying industries in America, with companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc. paying handsome salaries to its top talent. However, Facebook specifically seems to be pushing itself to pay the highest salary possible to its key personnel. According to a report by Business Insider, this tactic has been adopted to prevent the company’s deteriorating public image from pushing away talented workers.

Facebook reportedly has over 4,300 open jobs. This year, the company has seen decreasing rates of acceptance for its job offers. Several high-level executives left the company this year. According to many recruiters, Facebook used to be a place where it was harder to get people out of. But now, many employees are openly considering leaving their jobs.

“There’s a scummy feeling you have about the company that you never had before,” an experienced tech industry recruiter said to Business Insider. The scandals surrounding Facebook, whether it be the charge that the platform is being used to spread misinformation, its censorship policies, etc. have resulted in many disgruntled employees who are no longer happy working for the company. 

A former Facebook employee who left the company last year said that working at the firm could now be seen as a “black mark” on an individual’s career.

According to Zuhayeer Musa, cofounder of Levels.fyi, an online platform that collects data on salaries and other benefits, people who remain with Facebook or newly join the company are getting higher base pay and stock grants.

For an upper mid-level engineer (E5), salary at the company went up to $400,000 in the second quarter this year from $380,000 a year back. For an E4, the salary jumped from $256,000 to $276,000 during this period. 

Even when compared to Google, stock rewards being offered by Facebook are quite generous and increasing. While entry-level employees at Google get stock grants of around $20,000 to $38,000, Facebook employees at the same level get $40,000 to $60,000.

“Generally most large companies have significantly increased compensation over the last year… But Facebook has been outbidding candidates on their competing offers to close them faster. So they’ve had higher ceiling,” Musa said to Business Insider.

In October, Protocol reviewed Facebook’s internal documents which showed the company was struggling to hire workers. The firm could not find enough engineering candidates from the Bay Area. The company failed to meet its recruiting goals for early 2021 as well as in 2019.

“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… The memo also shows Facebook was determined to invest in engineers outside of the Bay Area, but that managers often failed to do so because they were more interested in hiring quickly,” according to the media outlet.

Facebook’s struggle with hiring workers and its decision to raise salaries comes as companies overall are expected to increase wages next year. 

According to a survey of 240 American businesses conducted by the Conference Board think tank in November, businesses are setting aside 3.9 percent of their payroll budgets for salary hikes next year, which is a record high compared to increases over the past decade. Gad Levanon, chief economist at Conference Board, told CNBC that the trend of rising salaries will strengthen over the coming months since the labor market is in a situation where employers will have to favor the demands of employees.