Buzzfeed hiring slowed to a trickle before layoff announcement

2 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Buzzfeed will lay off 15 percent of its workforce, amounting to more than 200 jobs. The layoffs will hit multiple divisions at the company, including Buzzfeed News. Shortly after the report, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti confirmed the cut.

But ahead of the layoffs, hiring at Buzzfeed has slowed dramatically as we reported in October. In April 2017, Buzzfeed was hiring for as many as 185 positions. As of last week, it listed just 48 openings.

Hiring at Buzzfeed News has all but stopped. In August 2017 the division was hiring for 21 openings. By October 2018, BuzzFeed News listed only one open position.

Hiring slowdowns of this sort often predict layoffs, as they can be an early sign of reduced payroll overhead and strategic shifts in the kind of talent a company is looking for. Peretti said in an internal memo to BuzzFeed staff that the layoffs are intended to "put us on a firm foundation and allow us to invest and grow sustainably for years to come."

He also noted that the cuts are intended to allow the company to "focus on the content that is working."

What that content may be is unclear, but as of January 15, of the roughly 47 open positions, the most common job categories include Engineering followed by Media Brands.

Brand

Title (Count)

Engineering

8

Media Brands

7

Creative & Operations

5

Sales

4

Client Services

3

People Team

2

BuzzFeed News

2

Data

2

BuzzFeed Originals

2

Design

2

Entertainment Operations

1

Product

1

External Development

1

Accounting & Finance

1

Information Technology

1

Video

1

Legal

1

Product Labs

1

BuzzFeed Editorial

1

Affiliate Editorial

1

Within the "Media Brands" category, two Video Producer positions within Lifestyle were listed along with three food-related positions.

Title

Brand

Location Text

City

State

Posted Date

Managing Editor, BuzzFeed Media Brands

Media Brands

New York, NY, United States

New York

NY

20190114

Culinary Manager

Media Brands

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Los Angeles

CA

20190114

Freelance Editor, User Generated Content

Media Brands

New York, NY, United States

New York

NY

20190109

Video Producer, Beauty/Lifestyle

Media Brands

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Los Angeles

CA

20190109

Video Producer, Lifestyle/Parenting

Media Brands

New York, NY, United States

New York

NY

20190109

Tasty Fellow

Media Brands

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Los Angeles

CA

20190109

Freelance Food Specialist

Media Brands

London, United Kingdom

London

20190109

It should be noted that hiring has slowed at other new media brands, including Vice Media and Vox Media. In the case of Vox, hiring has seen a slight rise for freelancers and temporary workers, which isn't a great sign for those looking for job security in the always-volatile media industry.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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