- This week, Accenture told Facebook contractors they would be suspended from working for the company.
- The company only offers the option to formally apply for work on other Accenture projects.
- A performer previously told Insider about the “confused” period leading up to his recent release.
Accenture has told approximately 60 Facebook contract employees working 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 deal with the company to provide hourly workers for services such as content moderation and business integrity services. They learned they had been “moved” from their jobs at Facebook in a Tuesday video meeting that Accenture representatives held, a person familiar with the conversation told Insider. Accenture did not immediately offer the affected contractors other jobs or “direct transfers” within the company, according to reports from workers reviewed by Insider.
Accenture has given these contractors the option to “re-apply” for available jobs at the company if they wish, as their current jobs are set to expire on September 2. The workers said in the reports that they were told the process would involve new rounds of interviews and there was “no guarantee” that Accenture would rehire anyone affected by the Facebook job losses.
In a follow-up call Wednesday, Accenture representatives told workers that human resources would try to place people with certain skills in 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 to find one,” a worker said in a message discussing the meetings.
Accenture scheduled both talks with little notice and no announcement of what they would discuss, workers said. Once in the video calls, the company withheld the names of all attendees, including the Accenture speakers. The representatives did not introduce themselves, workers said, leaving it unclear who spoke to them.
“I’m guessing it’s HR, but no one knows for sure,” the person said. The representatives did not give a specific reason why Accenture is laying off some employees at Facebook. When a worker asked how people were selected, Accenture representatives said an “algorithm” helped select people at random, according to the workers.
A representative for Facebook, which rebranded Meta last year, declined to comment. Richard Keil, a spokesman for Accenture, declined to comment before publication beyond a previous statement from the company saying, “It would be inaccurate to report that layoff actions are taking place 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 post, Cale insisted that Accenture representatives speaking to workers on the calls were “wired in,” saying the workers may have “missed it.” As for the alleged use of an algorithm, Cale said “we don’t use algorithms to randomly select people.”
Other Facebook contractors lost their jobs last month
The cutbacks at Facebook’s contractors come as the company really looks to rein in costs amid slowing growth and revenue. Facebook imposed a hiring freeze, Insider first reported in May. Full-time Facebook employees fear up to 10% of the company could be cut, Insider previously reported. Several executives at the company, including Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, recently commented and sent memos to staff promoting a new company culture of “heightened intensity,” stricter performance appraisals and the benefits of fewer resources.
Other Facebook contractors lost their jobs last month, Insider previously reported. A former worker said there was a “confused” reason for the job loss, again without dismissal. The work culture at Facebook’s Austin office has begun to change in the past few months since the hiring freeze, the former worker said. Accenture began monitoring contractors’ “productivity” more intensely and monitored and recorded its employees’ already limited vacations, the former worker said, while taking away bonuses covered by Facebook.
The company further scrutinizes anyone who has not properly logged time away from their desks or those who start work even a few minutes late, the former worker added. Accenture placed these workers on what is known as a “performance development plan.” In the industry, this is known as a “performance improvement plan” and employees see it as a precursor to their company letting them go. Employees who were given a performance and development plan by Accenture lost their jobs first, the former worker said.
Are you a Facebook employee or contractor or have information to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected] in the secure messaging app Alert at 949-280-0267 or via Twitter DM at @hayskali. Connect using a non-working device.