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$26bn fintech reportedly lays off half of one vital team

$26bn fintech decacorn Block, owner of Square, CashApp and Shopify, has long been absent from the fintech layoffs conversation. Although Shopify has made cuts, Square had been unaffected, but times are changing. Based on comments from verified staff on jobs forum Blind, a number of staff have been let go.

Those staff were in recruitment. Block employees said the cuts applied to "around half the talent team." Staff were made aware of these events via official Slack channels.

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The focus on trimming its recruiters raises interesting questions. While it might indicate a hiring freeze, employees suggest "teams with open positions were asked to wait for a few days until someone else will be assigned to support these roles."

While the names of the people impacted have not been made clear, some recruitment staff from Block's various divisions, left before the announcement. Kevin Calhoun, an operational recruiter at CashApp, left in July to join CocaCola while senior technical recruiter Minal Virma left to become an executive director at sandwich company Stacked.

The company had over 12,000 employees earlier this year, well above the norm for other fintechs. Its annual report in June revealed median total compensation at the company was $198.4k in 2022. Its stock price has been struggling, however: last week, it hit its lowest value since March 2020.

Square did not respond to a request for comment.

Recruiters leaving fintechs seems to be a thing. At $12bn fintech Brex, for example, senior technical recruiter Jake Lu left after four years to join data platform Scale AI in June. It also saw recruitment staff impacted by its layoffs this time last year, including design recruiter Joanna Wu, who spent just six months at the fintech. It seems as though, when there's pruning to be done, recruiters are often caught between the shears.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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