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WeWork is not on a pre-IPO "hiring spree", despite reports

4 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in

All eyes are on WeWork ($WEWORK) as it gets set to go public, including our own, from how the company is looking to attract female executives, to how it's shifting hiring activity to reflect its future public status.

But one thing WeWork is decidedly not doing is going on a hiring spree, despite recent reports to the contrary. After reports from The Information that the company is losing top talent in its human resources team, subsequent reports from Insider based on public filing documents implied that the company is on a hiring binge. That report notes the company claims 12,500 employees, signaling a hiring spree at WeWork. But we can access LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:MSFT) data, which corroborates the 12,000+ employee number. Still, it doesn't reflect a recent hiring 'spree.' Instead, it shows a steady, normal climb.


Meanwhile, hiring data from WeWork's own careers and recruiting sites do not corroborate any sense of hiring urgency at WeWork. In fact, overall, hiring has slowed of late.

Earlier this week, WeWork listed 1,230 openings on its careers sites. That's down from a month ago, when openings totaled 1,590. That's a drop of 23%, and it began exactly when initial reports that the company planned to go public first made headlines.

The aforementioned reports note that much of the reported hiring has been focused on replacing lost talent in WeWork's HR department, which it categories as its "People" division on its careers sites. But hiring for that division is at nearly at an all-time low, with just 36 openings, down from 50 at its recent peak in July.

Since July, WeWork has listed 84 unique positions for its "People" division. The most common title was for a "Candidate Experience Coordinator" in New York, which began appearing July 1. The second-most common position for for a "Manager, Talent Attraction" in Tokyo, which appeared 45 times since July 1, indicating it is likely a multi-opening job description.

The most senior position listed since July appears to be for a "Head of People, Japan", which was originally posted on June 24, 2019. Other senior HR hires appear to be for a "HR Director" posted on August 6 and then again on the 12th.

By looking at job categories at WeWork quarter-over-quarter, we gain a sense of how priority at the company has changed as a reflection of recruiting needs. 

In the past quarter, the largest gains — when it comes to job openings — occured in WeWork's "Community" division, a group that handles customer-facing office operations. Other QoQ hiring uptick occured in the company's "Real Estate", "Marketing", and "Legal" groups (to see the movement, you can slide the time scale, just hit the play button to watch categorical change over time).

Instead, what you'll see in that bar chart is that hiring for WeWork's "People" category actually saw a QoQ decline.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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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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