Facebook will now let some employees work from anywhere, but their paychecks could get cut

By Rachel Lerman and Elizabeth Dwoskin


SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is joining the permanent work-from-home trend, saying it will start allowing some employees to apply to work remotely for good.

Facebook could have about 50 percent of its 45,000-person company working remotely in the next five to 10 years, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a public video announcing the policy Thursday. But the social media giant will also lower paychecks to reflect cheaper costs of living in some cases, depending on location.

Facebook will start “aggressively” opening up hiring for remote workers, Zuckerberg said, including for people living in areas a few hours away from its offices and in new hubs it will establish.

“Certainly being able to recruit more broadly, especially across the U.S. and Canada to start, is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn't have considered moving to a big city,” he said.

Twitter employees can work from home forever

Tech companies have been the first to move to permanent work-from-home policies after proving the practice works during the coronavirus pandemic. Twitter said last week that it would allow all of its employees to choose to continue working from home long term even after the pandemic ends.

The industry, which relies heavily on positions in which jobs are completed on computers, is better-positioned than many for most remote work. But the companies have long relied on sprawling open campuses that put an emphasis on hallway interactions and collaboration spaces. The coronavirus pandemic, which has sent most employees home, is shifting that. Many expect that even when companies decide it is safe to reopen offices, the spaces and remote work policies will look very different than they did before.

Facebook is taking a more measured approach than Twitter. It will begin recruiting hires for remote work outside its usual office hubs, Zuckerberg said, and some existing employees can apply to work remotely. But he said choosing to live in cheaper cities could mean employees’ paychecks would be reduced.

“Our goal here is to enable many existing employees to become remote workers, if you want,” he said.

Facebook usage is up amid coronavirus

The company will adjust salaries depending on where employees live — paying less to those who work remotely from cities where the cost of living is lower. Facebook already pays different salaries based on locations, but this means employees who are allowed to work remotely have until Jan. 1 to tell Facebook where they are living and might get a paycheck cut.AD

“That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labor is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places,” Zuckerberg said.

Still, lower salaries in smaller cities might not work for all positions, especially for executive-level jobs. Will Hunsinger, CEO of Silicon Valley executive recruiting company Riviera Partners, said companies like Facebook will need to keep executive pay high to compete with rivals. In addition, the company will likely save money on operational expenses such as free food and shuttle services. 

“They’re going to pay them what it takes to get that talent," he said.

An internal company survey found that about 45 percent of employees interested in remote work were “pretty confident” they would move to another location. It also said about 40 percent of employees said they were somewhat, extremely or very interested in remote work. About 60 percent of employees asked for flexibility, or a combination of remote work and office work.AD

Facebook responding to that survey with its new policy could prove a morale booster for the workforce. Some workers have said that a string of scandals, from the Cambridge Analytica data privacy breach to the use of the company’s platform to spread conspiracy theories and false news, has hurt morale there.

Big Tech was the first to send workers home. Now it’s in no rush to bring them back.

Facebook has already said most employees will work remotely through the end of the year, though it expects its offices will open for a small number of employees starting in July. Initially, offices will only allow about 25 percent capacity because of social distancing guidelines, Zuckerberg said.

Facebook’s decision is likely to send ripples across the industry.

“It’s going to have a big effect,” said Margaret O’Mara, a professor of history at the University of Washington who studies Silicon Valley. “Facebook is big, it hires a lot of people, it’s a big force of recruitment. The landscape of tech right now is so dominated by these five very big companies.”AD

It will also give the company a recruiting advantage by giving it flexibility geographically, she said.

Facebook has the money to keep its Menlo Park campus — something Zuckerberg pledged to do in his Thursday announcement. But the company’s announcement might be even more influential for smaller and midsize tech companies, O’Mara said, which might now seriously consider remote work in part as a way to reduce spending on office space.

Engineers at the company with strong performance reviews will be the first group allowed to apply for remote work.

With the idea of working from home becoming more appealing as people try to limit exposure to the coronavirus, Zuckerberg’s decision also tracks with other moves in which he has been able to quickly seize on a popular idea or product just gathering momentum in the tech industry. He jumped on cryptocurrency as the idea gained traction, working to launch a digital currency. His move to buy Instagram when the company had just a dozen employees demonstrated an ability to see trends in technology moving toward image-sharing long before others, and his mega-purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion showed an ability to understand the role messaging would play in social networking.

But the offer to allow employees to work from home wherever is also viewed as a potentially powerful recruiting and retention tool. Many Silicon Valley start-ups already have moved to remote work in the short term to compete for talent with tech giants.

Now, remote work may become an even more expected part of tech culture.

“I think with Facebook doing it… it will be a standard thing now. It won’t even be a perk, it will be an option," said David Chie, CEO of Silicon Valley recruiting agency Palo Alto Staffing.

The great video chat faceoff: Six apps. Dozens of heads. One came out on top.

Facebook has already broadcast it is recruiting 10,000 people this year at a time when Silicon Valley start-ups are laying off thousands of people. This new permanent work-from-home benefit will become a recruiting tool, increasing its leverage as compared to some start-ups.

Still, some of Facebook’s contract workers are likely to continue to come into the office, particularly its army of over 15,000 content moderators, whose work reviewing graphic posts is generally considered too sensitive to be done from home.AD

Zuckerberg emphasized how this policy would help the company build tools for other businesses that support remote work. The company said its new video chat service, Messenger Rooms, would be available for business customers to host work meetings.

Facebook also announced Thursday that its Workplace tools for businesses on the social network is now used by 5 million paying customers, up from 2 million in October.

“Moving to more remote work I think will give us the opportunity to advance some of the important future technology that we work on,” he said.

How will the recent rash of tech IPOs affect landing that next big technology leader?

How will the recent rash of tech IPOs affect landing that next big technology leader? Read on to find out. In a recent Forbes post, our CEO Will Hunsinger provides expert opinion on the matter, along with actionable steps you can take if you're a company exec contemplating how to land the right tech leader who is willing and able to make the necessary contributions to take your company to the next level. Dive in with this excerpt:


 Companies must embrace digital transformation if they want to remain competitive. That requires hiring technology leaders who can build disruptive products that make transformation possible in the first place. Through that lens, every company is a technology company. Landing the right technology leader is more essential than it has ever been. But that can be tricky when the technology market itself is producing a series of IPOs or other significant liquidity events that keep talented tech leaders in place.

 Extremely smart, savvy tech leaders are the ones creating the most value for companies. With them, the product or service flourishes and the company achieves sustainable growth and market share, which leads to an acquisition or IPO. Technology leaders who have gone through a successful win are in particularly high demand.

 This year has been a particularly active one for tech IPOs. Multiple tech leaders in the relatively small field of players will wear the post-IPO badge of honor. What does this momentum mean for private companies that are hoping to attract “proven” tech leaders? Only the most solid recruiting tactics and opportunities will land in-demand candidates. Here's what you need to know to woo IPO tech pros into your fold.

Riviera Partners Data Science Team Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation C-Accel Award

Riviera Granted up to $1 Million for Application That Puts Women and First-Generation College Grads on Guided Path to STEM Careers

SAN FRANCISCO – Sep. 11, 2019 – Riviera Partners, a leading retained search firm specializing in placements of executive leadership in engineering, product and design talent, today announced that its data science team has been given the prestigious Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel) award by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Riviera, partnering with the University of Virginia Economics department, received the grant for its proposal to build an AI-powered application that can help people successfully navigate STEM, with a focus on developing a long-term career trajectory in tech. The tool, which builds on Riviera’s proprietary algorithms against thousands of technology candidates and hiring insights, will study the role of individual characteristics such as education, skillset, peer self-assessment and others to guide peoples’ career planning. The solution has the potential to impact U.S. labor supply by addressing the increasing demand for technology talent, which has resulted from the rapid digitization and automation of the labor market. It can help bridge the gender and diversity gaps in the high-tech industry by better equipping women, minorities and underrepresented groups in developing a successful technology career path.

A Path for Workers Seeking 21st Century Skills

In the next few years, 140,000 IT jobs will be left unfilled (1). Only 26 percent of the software engineering workforce were women in 2018 (2), only 2.2 percent of first-generation graduates major in Computer Science (3), only 3.41 percent of software engineering degrees are awarded to Hispanics, and only 1.3 percent of degrees are awarded to people who identify as black or African American. There are slightly more Asian graduates at 8.7 percent (4). The Riviera NSF project aims to change those percentages, giving more women and minorities a path to break in to high-demand tech careers, closing the tech skills gap. 

"We believe that anyone can achieve anything if the path and direction are clear,” said Tammy Wang, VP of Data Science and Engineering at Riviera Partners. “There are large populations in the US that don’t know where and how to start a technology career.  Riviera will work with nonprofit organizations to reach out to these communities to make sure our tool is easy to use and gives them perspectives that are practical, feasible, and that can transform their career trajectory. Data science and technology can make life better for everyone, and we are on a journey to help the tech field be more diverse to bring opportunities to more people.”

As a funder of research and education across all fields of science and engineering and with relationships with universities and funding agencies around the world, NSF is uniquely positioned to pilot this approach to accelerate discovery and innovation. NSF C-Accel brings teams together to focus on grand challenges of national importance that require a convergence approach. The teams are multidisciplinary and leverage partnerships; the tracks relate to a grand challenge problem and have a high probability of resulting in deliverables that will benefit society within a fixed term. NSF C-Accel is modeled on acceleration and innovation activities from the most forward-looking companies and universities. Rivera’s project was chosen as part of the C-Accel National Talent Ecosystem track, the ultimate goal of which is to support research and development leading to innovative approaches for employers to support workers seeking the skills required for 21st century work related to AI, data science, predictive analytics, and other technologies of the future.

Riviera matches top engineering and product talent with tech innovators.  Having worked with nearly half of the Tech Unicorns, serving hundreds of clients, placing thousands of tech execs, and working with the most influential VC and PE firms in the business, Riviera already leverages its proprietary AI-driven technology to reduce hiring risks and deliver better candidates to its clients. Through Riviera’s platform, called Sutro, recruiting partners leverage the collective experience of the entire firm, have access to historical, enriched, and real-time data and can leverage machine learning-derived signals, scores, and success factors run against two decades of recruiting process data, With the National Science Foundation grant, Riviera will use its technology to identify and illustrate the typical career paths for engineers, tech product managers and designers, revealing candidate likelihood of achieving overall career goals. When released, the app will be free and available to the public.

“Our data science team is one of the best in the world, and this award is a testament to their amazing talent and innovative thinking,” said Will Hunsinger, CEO of Riviera partners. “Our technology platform is crucial to our ability to place highly skilled technology leaders at the world’s leading companies, and now, thanks to this support from the National Science Foundation, we’ll be able to apply our technology and accumulated knowledge to help more underrepresented people navigate successful tech careers.” 

About Riviera Partners

Riviera Partners is a key driver of innovation for today’s most influential companies by expertly placing executive talent in the crucial areas of software engineering, product management and design. By combining nearly two decades of recruiting expertise with a proprietary platform that uses machine learning to score and predict the best candidate for a company's specific needs, Riviera is the go-to talent partner for leading venture capitalists and technology innovators. Learn more about what Riviera Partners can do for your business at www.rivierapartners.com 

  1. Talent Gap Widens
  2. Women in Technology, May 2019
  3. NACE Journal, November 2016
  4. DataUSA.io

The C-suite hiring puzzle: How companies like Intel are shifting strategies

When Intel Corp. last month picked Bob Swan as its new CEO, the chipmaker was following a new playbook that has become more prevalent in the executive search world.

Silicon Valley recruiting experts told the Business Journal that search times in general are getting longer and more tech companies are looking outside of their traditional lines of search for executives. And as was the case with Intel, more tech companies are pulling CEOs from non-technical backgrounds and promoting to the C-suite from within.  

“It's really hard because it's just not a cookie-cutter design anymore,” said Jason Cooper, who works for Jobspring Partners, a recruiting firm that has worked with companies including Adobe Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Symantec Corp.

Some Intel workers told the Business Journal last week they thought Swan’s non-traditional background struck a favorable chord with employees who wanted a different kind of leader. Swan, who was Intel's CFO at the time, served as interim CEO during the company's eight-month search for a permanent chief executive.

“The war on talent is real and they (companies and boards) say they have these positions open and they need to get projects underway,” said Heather Johnston, district president for staffing services firm Robert Half Technology. "Our surveys show that 90 percent of C-suites are also concerned with their ability to hire those individuals."

Read the full article here ...

Hunt Scanlon - Riviera Partners Acquires Bamboo Talent

Riviera Partners said that its proprietary recruiting platform combined with Bamboo Talent’s vertical specialization and market-specific expertise will allow the combined entity to better serve a national client roster of innovative companies.

“Hiring the right technology leadership is increasingly difficult as demand grows for key individuals that can create value within organizations,” said Will Hunsinger, CEO of Riviera Partners. “This is particularly true in New York where some of the top technology organizations are expanding operations, traditional industries are pursuing digital transformation, and venture capital investment has seen unprecedented growth.”

“This is why it was so important to acquire Bamboo Talent which has an unmatched reputation within the New York City tech community,” he said. “Both Bamboo and Riviera are successful in this vibrant market and bring a strong record of performance, established relationships, deep insights and access to local talent.”

Read the full article here ...

Financial Review - Silicon Valley: Why the smart money is pulling out

"Winter is coming," says Russell Hancock, chief of think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley. "The markets don't lie."

Hancock, who knows Silicon Valley like the back of his hand, might be spot on. House sales in San Jose have soared by 131 per cent, the highest rate in America, according to 2019 figures from real-estate giant Redfin.

Rising living costs, a growing homelessness crisis, Donald Trump and a sense of crisis at some of Silicon Valley's most successful companies is driving a wave of departures from San Francisco. The Bay Area has been the thriving home of the world's most famous tech hubs for decades, witnessing the dotcom boom and bust and the flood of workers looking to make their fortunes at Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google while incubating a side-project a venture capitalist might take a gamble on.

Read the full article ...

Mergers & Acquistions - Technology M&A is thriving

GTCR-backed Resonetics has acquired Caribou Technologies, expanding the buyer's services into centerless grinding, forming, coiling, and machining. The deal represents Caribou's third acquisition for Resonetics in precision micro-manufacturing over the past year, following investments in Medelec and STI Laser. Caribou also grows Resonetics in the medical devices sector. "Consistent with our initial investment thesis for Resonetics, the Caribou acquisition strategically enhances the company’s capabilities, geographic reach and customer portfolio," says Resonetics CEO Chip Hance. "We believe that the recent acquisitions combined with the company’s strong organic growth have established Resonetics as a leading supplier of specialized componentry for interventional medical device companies.” GTCR invested in Resonetics in 2018. Kirkland & Ellis and PwC advised GTCR.

Technology M&A is thriving, and private equity firms are hot on the trail of innovations that will drive sustainable value to customers and make companies more efficient, more effective and less expensive to run. Among the developments appealing to PE investors are: artificial intelligence, data management, data virtualization, digital marketing, healthcare IT, industrial automation, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine learning, payment processing and Software-as-a-Service. To gain more insights into what kinds of tech deals will dominate the field in 2019, Mergers & Acquisitions reached out to 10 private equity firms that are active investors in technology: Francisco Partners, Genstar, Great Hill, HGGC, Insight, LLR, Riverside, Silver Lake, TA and Vista.

Read the full article here …

AlleyWatch - How To Announce a Job Change

Finding a new job is almost always a strategic career move and announcing that change to your network should also be approached thoughtfully. Jodi Jefferson from our New York office shares some guidance on how to approach sharing this exciting news with your network.

(AlleyWatch) How To Announce a Job Change

Have you ever thought about the fact that you are your own brand? Every job you start, promotion you earn, skill you develop, or knowledge you gain is shaping who you are and what you can brand and “sell” for other opportunities in the future. With social media at the heart of so many of our interactions it’s critical that you also manage your online brand as cautiously and efficiently as you would navigate searching for a job while employed somewhere else.

As an experienced recruiter I always counsel my candidates on how important it is to be strategic about announcing a job change – it’s an exciting time and while it may feel great in the moment to post to Facebook as soon as you are hired, it’s frequently not the best long-term strategy. It might seem silly to plan so thoughtfully about something as simple as a job change, but the reality is how you announce your news can have long lasting effects on how current and future employers perceive you.

Here are some tips with respect to how I handle my own personal job change announcements as well as my guidance for those I work with:

Read the full article here...

SF Chronicle - Unease over immigration hurting tech recruiting

Concerns over the recent immigration policy in the U.S. are causing much uncertainty across the nation. As we continue to watch for what happens next, the technical workforce is keeping an even closer eye on the matter and preparing contingency plans to mitigate risks. Riviera's COO Will Hunsinger shares a few thoughts on how Bay Area tech companies who may be affected are responding.

(San Francisco Chronicle) Unease over immigration hurting tech recruiting

Facing uncertainty about their prospects for working in the U.S. and wary of exposing themselves and their families to complications with their immigration status, some tech workers are choosing to put any plans to change jobs on hold, recruiters say.

Workers are worried that President Trump’s actions against immigrants are “not just a temporary thing,” said Mathew Caldwell, a longtime tech industry recruiter and founder of Talent Remastered and Rocket Power, an executive search and consulting firm.

Read the full article here...

Bloomberg BNA - NAFTA Rewrite Could Shift Tech Talent to Canada, Mexico

Researchers addressing the state of tech hiring, nationally and beyond, turn to Riviera data to assess the landscape.

(Bloomberg BNA) NAFTA Rewrite Could Shift Tech Talent to Canada, Mexico

Three years ago, Mexican entrepreneur Mike Galarza founded a fledgling automated bill pay platform called Entryless. The San Francisco-based tech company now boasts of clients around the world.

Galarza entered the Silicon Valley tech scene while on a TN visa, created under the North American Free Trade Agreement for high-skilled Mexican and Canadian professionals to work in the U.S.

Now Galarza is worried that the career path he took could be in jeopardy with President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to re-write the trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It’s difficult enough, Galarza said, for tech entrepreneurs to find enough U.S. talent without looking to foreign high-skilled engineers who might only be able to work in the U.S. on a TN visa.

Read the full article here...