NSA is snatching up laid-off Big Tech workers from Meta, Zoom, and Twitter in largest hiring spree in 30 years

The National Security Agency (NSA) is scooping up laid-off Big Tech employees in the biggest hiring spree by the intelligence organization in 30 years, poaching talent from Silicon Valley companies such as Meta, Zoom, and Twitter, among others, to add to its spying ranks.

(Video Credit: CNBC Television)

The NSA is scouring LinkedIn for 3,000 tech workers in what it is describing as an “unprecedented hiring effort in 2023.”

It’s been a bloodbath as the Big Tech sector has seen more than 200,000 laid off since last year with analysts and software engineers finding employment within roughly eight weeks of being let go. They are being paid handsome severance packages on the way out the door.

Zoom cut ties with 1,300 workers last week. That was 13 percent of its workforce. The CEO of Zoom, Eric Yuan, has said he would slash his own $1.1 million salary by 98 percent, according to the Daily Mail. Other executives can expect to see their salaries cut by roughly 20 percent and there will reportedly be no annual bonuses in 2023. Those laid off will be given 16 weeks’ salary and healthcare coverage, as well as their 2023 annual bonuses. They will also get stock options vesting for six months, along with one-on-one coaching, workshops, and networking sessions.

“We have made the tough but necessary decision to reduce our team by approximately 15 percent and say goodbye to around 1,300 hardworking, talented colleagues,” Yuan wrote in a message on Zoom Blog 30 minutes prior to sending out emails terminating employees. “I know this is a difficult message to hear, and certainly not one I ever wanted to deliver.”

In November, Meta nixed 11,000 employees in the largest culling the company has seen in its history.

Employees received the confirmation about the cuts in a company-wide email that was sent early one morning. Staffers were able to keep their email addresses for an extra day to say “farewell” to co-workers.

Zuckerberg told everyone that he “got it wrong” in a message and that he “takes responsibility” for the problems that forced layoffs that amounted to 13 percent of Meta’s workforce.

Twitter has also laid off thousands in restructuring under Elon Musk’s new leadership to make the company profitable once more.

The NSA is specifically targeting Big Tech companies for talent. The agency released a statement in January announcing that it was looking for workers in fields that include “computer science, cybersecurity, math, data science, engineering, intelligence analysis, language analysis, communications, business, and accounting.”

“NSA started reaching out through LinkedIn, through some of our career boards, specifically sending messages to people that we thought might be linked to some companies that either were in the news saying they are going to lay off or were predicted to be laid off,” NSA talent management senior strategist Christine Parker told The Washington Times.

“Just kind of let them know that we’re here and that we have this robust, ongoing hiring program,” she noted.

Most of the job postings are for software engineers of “entry to senior level” and require that they work in the NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. But many others will go to Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Texas, and Utah.

“We certainly offer stability, and that’s what’s really kind of front of mind for a lot of people these days in the wake of these layoffs,” Molly Moore, NSA deputy director of workforce support activities, said according to the Washington Times. “But we offer amazing missions, things that people can’t do in private-sector companies for the most part. This is not just a job; it’s a mission.”

“We are at an inflection point, where cybersecurity is a national imperative,” NSA cybersecurity director Rob Joyce told Nextgov in a statement. “NSA is looking to bring in top-talent from early to mid-career/life stages across a variety of skill sets. Whether you’re new to NSA or the [intelligence community], or you’ve worked here before, there’s a path for you at NSA to be a part of this cutting-edge, fast-paced mission.”

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. reported that 102,943 jobs were cut in January alone. That’s more than twice the number announced in December and 440 percent more than in the same period time last year.

PayPal Holdings Inc., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. are all planning to cut thousands of workers.

PayPal announced on Tuesday that it will cut 7 percent of its total workforce or about 2,000 full-time workers. PayPal is the parent company of Venmo, Xoom, and Honey, among other brands.

In January, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce announced they are laying off tens of thousands of high-tech workers as well.



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