Alphabet executives described its plans to reduce hiring as Google’s parent company reported its third-quarter earnings.
"Our Q4 headcount additions will be significantly lower than Q3," CEO Sundar Pichai said on the earnings call Tuesday evening, adding that the tech giant will be "focused on moderating operating expense growth."
He told analysts during the Q&A portion that Alphabet has "been clear that we’re going to moderate our pace of hiring going into Q4 as well as 2023." In July, Alphabet also expressed plans to slow hiring for the rest of the year.
"We are seeing a lot of opportunities across a whole set of areas and every time, you know, talent is the most precious resource," he said Tuesday. "We are constantly working to make sure everyone we’ve brought in is working on the most important things as a company and particularly so, and that’s a lot of what sharpening our focus has been about."
Pichai added that Alphabet is "reviewing projects at all scales," including "pretty granularly," to "make sure we have the right plans there and based on that, the right resourcing and making course corrections." The practice will be an "ongoing thing" that the company continues doing "going into 2023 as well," he said.
CFO Ruth Porat, reiterating Alphabet comments from the second-quarter call, said the company’s "actions to slow the pace of hiring will become more apparent in 2023."
Alphabet saw over 12,700 people added to its headcount in the third quarter, including "more than 2,600 of those joining Google Cloud as part of our acquisition" of cybersecurity firm Mandiant, Porat said. A majority of the new hires were for technical roles, according to the CFO.
"In the fourth quarter, we expect headcount additions will slow to less than half the number added in Q3," Porat went on to say.
She noted, however, that "within this slower headcount growth next year," the company "will continue hiring for critical roles, particularly focused on top engineering and technical talent."
The comments about Alphabet’s hiring plans come as the tech giant missed on third-quarter earnings.
The company reported $69.09 billion in third-quarter revenues, up 6% from the $65.12 billion reported in the same period last year but lower than the roughly $70.6 billion expected by analysts. It said earnings per share was $1.06, which also came in lower than estimates.
Meanwhile, Google advertising generated $54.48 billion in revenue for the third quarter, compared to $53.13 billion in 2021's Q3. According to Alphabet, YouTube ads came in at $7.07 billion, a slight drop year-over-year.