Vice Media's rough year - a look at the data leading up to layoffs
Today, Vice Media ($VICEMEDIA) announced that it would lay off 10% of its staff, or approximately 250 people. This news comes in the shadow of layoffs at BuzzFeed ($BUZZFEED) and Verizon Media ($NYSE:VZ) last week, bringing the total number of media layoffs to about 1,250 in just two weeks.
As we've reported, hiring and sentiment at Vice has been down as of late. Slowdowns in hiring, as we've found time and again, often precipitate employment contractions, at least in the media industry.
What follows is a data snapshot of Vice Media across several datasets up to today.
LinkedIn Employee Count
While LinkedIn can have issues in representing an employer's true headcount, looking at trendlines of those companies can reveal a steady increase — or drop — in what the employment picture looks like.
The number of employees who claim to work for Vice Media (either as legit full-time workers, part-timers, freelancers, contractors,, etc.) is currently around its lowest point since October 2017. Technically, the drop of only a few hundred people doesn't look too bad on the surface, but also consider the potential for non-full-time workers and wannabee Vice journalists claiming they work for the company.
On Vice Media's official website, the number of job listings has dropped significantly over time from mid-July (84 jobs) to today (20 postings). This acts like a canary in a coal mine for the layoffs that recently happened, as a company that is cutting staff isn't going to be putting as many job openings out there.
On Glassdoor, the story of Vice Media's issues takes an unexpected turn from the narrative, as it seems current and former employees aren't bombing their employer (yet). Vice's CEO Nancy Duboc has seen her approval rating drop from 51%, but not by much, as it sits at 41% today.
The company's Business Outlook is also relatively stable, which is surprising given the presence of layoffs.
Despite layoffs, Vice's Recommendation rating — whether employees would recommend a job there to a colleague — is also stable, currently sitting at 49%.
One interesting trend through all of this is the overall review ratings from the past year. During this time, the number of 4-star reviews of the company climbed 16 percentage points, a wild swing given how much positive reviews can help a company's ratings in other categories.