By Martin Coulter
London – Put off by Elon Musk’s muscular management style? Move to us. That’s the pitch being used by talent-starved technology firms trying to lure thousands of former Twitter employees laid off by the social media company under its new owner.
Twitter has fired top executives and enforced steep job cuts with little warning following Musk’s tumultuous takeover of the social media platform. About half of the workforce – around 3 700 employees – has been laid off.
Hundreds more are reported to have quit as a result of his sweeping reforms. On Monday, the head of French operations was the latest senior manager to leave.
Spying opportunity, some companies are now trying to pick up experienced engineering talent by appealing to their disdain for the methods of the world’s richest person.
Katie Burke, chief people officer at US software company Hubspot, blasted Musk over reports he had fired a group of employees that had criticised him on the company’s internal Slack channels.
The reports were not able to be verified.
“As a leader, getting criticised is part of your job,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Great leaders recognise debate and disagreement makes you better and is part of the process. If you want a place where you can disagree (in a kind, clear manner of course) with people, HubSpot is hiring.”
By late on Monday, Burke’s post had earned more than 35 000 positive reactions on LinkedIn.
Twitter and Musk did not respond to requests for comment.
Other companies are taking a similar approach to Hubspot.
Amanda Richardson, CEO of recruitment software start-up CoderPad, published an open letter to Twitter leavers.
Citing Musk’s initial ban on remote working, Richardson described Musk’s takeover as a “s*** show” which had been “terribly frustrating, depressing and demotivating”.
“At CoderPad, we believe your skills say it all. Not where you sit. Not if you sleep at work. Not working 7 days a week for 18 hours a day.”
Other big US tech firms including Meta and Amazon have also laid off thousands of staff in recent weeks due to the uncertain economic environment.
But the public criticism of Musk highlights strong demand in parts of the industry for highly skilled digital workers.
A recent report from market analysis firm Gartner found high attrition rates and a spate of digitalisation efforts across business and government had created a “hyper-competitive” market for technical talent.
Mass job cuts and public resignations at Twitter have prompted worries the firm is shedding vital staff and fears the social media “town square” could face technical troubles.
Michael Weening, CEO of US cloud and software company Calix, described recent events at Twitter as “disturbing”, and promised new recruits they would enjoy a corporate culture that “starts with our team members” in a similar LinkedIn post.
“From our perspective this is a great opportunity, as people who would not speak to us before are disillusioned and looking,” Weening said.
“The toxic culture has people saying ‘no more’.”