Lyft is reportedly freezing its hiring through the end of the year.
The ride-sharing giant, which competes fiercely against Uber, saw its costs skyrocket 36 percent in the most recent quarter, according to Reuters. As with other tech companies, persistent fears of a coming recession have led Lyft’s executives to cut spending however they can, despite surging demand for rides.
“I was supposed to do a virtual onsite this week at Lyft,” one anonymous technologist wrote on Blind, which allows tech workers to (anonymously) post about their hiring and work experiences at some of the tech industry’s biggest companies. “My recruiter called me earlier this morning to say that they just got word of a hiring freeze until the end of the year, so they're pausing ongoing applications such as mine.”
Another commented: “Layoffs coming soon, so stay away for now.”
Whether or not layoffs actually happen, it’s clear that many companies are tapping the brakes on hiring after years of exuberant spending on talent (fueled by lots of VC money, in the case of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft). Pay at many of these companies has also been quite generous; for example, a software engineer at Lyft can easily make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year once you factor in salary, bonuses, and stock options. However, it’s an open question whether any slowdown would impact pay packages—after all, these companies must fiercely compete for talent, no matter what the broader economic conditions.
Nor was this move totally unanticipated; at the beginning of summer, Lyft announced it would slow down hiring. At roughly the same time, Uber also indicated that it would take a hard look at expenses. “We will treat hiring as a privilege and be deliberate about when and where we add headcount,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a May email to employees, according to CNBC. “We will be even more hardcore about costs across the board.”
And keep in mind that, despite the travails of some companies and industries, the tech industry overall remains robust, with an unemployment rate of 2.3 percent, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). From finance to retail, industries everywhere continue to hire technologists for a variety of tasks, from cybersecurity to web design.