Airbnb has laid off staff members in its recruitment team

Airbnb trims recruitment staff headcount

US: Airbnb has announced that it is laying off around 30 per cent of its recruitment staff, impacting around 30 employees, although the company expects to grow its overall workforce in the year ahead.

Bloomberg News reported that the cuts affected around 0.4 per cent of the company’s overall employee base, which stands at close to 6,800 workers.

An Airbnb spokesperson said that the layoffs had been necessary to mirror the rate at which the company expects to hire new staff  in other departments this year. Following an 11 per cent growth in its workforce last year, Airbnb aims to increase its team size by a range of two to four per cent in 2023.

Despite this, a company representative clarified to Reuters that the restructuring did not mean that more layoffs were imminent.

Airbnb previously laid off in the region of 1900 employees – accounting for 25 per cent of its workforce – as the reality of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in 2020.

The Airbnb spokesperson said that the company had become “leaner and more focused” over the last three years since the onset of the pandemic and enforced lockdowns, which almost put paid to Airbnb’s entire business.

News of the headcount reduction came shortly after lodging firm Sonder cut 14 per cent of its total employee base, affecting around 100 corporate team members.

Airbnb also saw Bruce Vaughn, who had spent the last year and a half leading its Experiential Creative Product team, return to Walt Disney Imagineering [WDI], the workshop that designs and creates new and unique ideas for Disney Parks.

Last month, Airbnb reported a first-ever annual profit in its Q4 earnings report, capitalising on increasing resilience for travel demand, a strong US dollar and an encouraging return to intercontinental travel across Europe.

The company recorded an annual profit of $1.9 billion for the entirety of 2022 [a sharp turnaround from a $352 million deficit at that stage a year before] and a fourth quarter net profit of $319 million, comfortably surpassing analysts’ forecasts of $171 million.

Revenue for the quarter that ended in December came in at $1.9 billion, a 24 per cent rise on the same quarter a year prior but lower than the two immediately preceding quarters, beating Bloomberg analysts’ average estimate of $1.86 billion.

Airbnb remains optimistic for the future of travel and is prioritising sustainable growth by retaining its cost structure to capitalise on its post-pandemic resurgence.

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