- Accenture told Facebook contractors this week that they are being cut from working for the company.
- The company only offered the option to formally apply for work on other Accenture projects.
- A contractor previously told Insider of the “untidy” expected release recently.
Accenture told about 60 Facebook contract employees working out of its Austin office that they would soon be out of a job, Insider has learned.
These contractors work with Facebook through Accenture, which has a $500 million-a-year deal with the company to provide hourly workers for services such as content moderation and business integrity services. They learned they were leaving their jobs at Facebook in a Tuesday video conference held by Accenture representatives, a person with knowledge of the call told Insider. Accenture did not immediately offer affected contractors other jobs or “direct transfers” within the company, according to worker messages seen by Insider.
Accenture gave these contractors the option to “re-apply” for the available job at the company if they wanted, as their current job will disappear on September 2. The workers said in the messages they were told the process would involve new rounds of interviews and “no guarantee” that Accenture would rehire anyone affected by the job loss at Facebook.
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. Conversely, those workers who are not rehired or choose not to reapply will be paid until October 3rd.
“I want a new job, but I don’t want to be forced into one,” said one worker in a message discussing dating.
Accenture scheduled both calls with little notice and no communication about what they would discuss, the workers said. Once on the video calls, the company withheld the names of everyone present, including the Accenture representatives who spoke. The representatives did not introduce themselves, workers said, leaving it unclear who was speaking to them.
“I assume it was HR, but no one knows for sure,” the person said. The representatives did not give a specific reason why Accenture was laying off some employees at Facebook. When a worker asked how the people were selected, 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. Richard Keil, a spokesman for Accenture, declined to comment before publication beyond an earlier statement from the company saying, “It would be incorrect to report that there are layoff actions in Austin.” The term “layoff” may have a specific legal definition of employees who lose their jobs due to cost-cutting efforts by their employers. After the release, Keil insisted Accenture representatives speaking to workers on the calls were “introduced,” saying workers may have “lost it.” As for the alleged use of the algorithm, Keil said that “we don’t use algorithms to randomly select people.”
Other Facebook contractors lost their jobs last month
Facebook’s contractor cuts come as the company looks to rein in costs amid slowing growth and revenue. Facebook instituted a hiring freeze, Insider first reported in May. Full-time Facebook employees fear cuts could be coming to up to 10% of the company, Insider previously reported. Several company executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, have recently commented and sent memos to staff promoting a new company culture with “increased intensity,” stricter performance reviews and benefits from fewer resources.
Other Facebook contractors lost their jobs last month, Insider previously reported. One former worker said there was a “messy” result until they lost their jobs, again without interruption. The work culture inside Facebook’s Austin office began to change over the past few months after the hiring freeze, the former employee said. Accenture began tracking contractor “productivity” more intensively and monitored and logged their employees’ already limited vacations, the former employee said, removing benefits covered by Facebook.
The company further scrutinized anyone who did not properly clock time away from their desks or who started work even a few minutes late, the former worker added. Accenture placed these workers on what is 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 their company letting them go. The employees Accenture put on a performance development plan lost their jobs first, the former employee said.
Are you a Facebook employee or contractor or have knowledge to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected], in the secure messaging app The signal at 949-280-0267, or via Twitter DM at @hayskali. Stretch using a device that doesn’t work.