Blog: CareerBuilder layoffs are ‘closer to 400’

Employee recruitment blog Cheezhead is swarming today with comments from CareerBuilder workers who say they were laid off Friday in a big downsizing at Chicago headquarters — cuts the Gannett-controlled website hasn’t formally acknowledged. A published report yesterday put the number of jobs cut at more than 300 — just two months after CareerBuilder won a $2.9 million city tax break to add jobs at its main office.

A Cheezhead poster wrote today: “The number is actually closer to 400. They have been laying/firing small numbers since August to avoid a mass layoff. There were several executives and managers laid off. Job losses were not just from sales — but from all areas of the company. With the Tribune filing for bankruptcy, there will be more.”

At 400, the cuts would equal about 20% of the 13-year-old company’s more than 2,000 workers. I’ve left a second message today with CareerBuilder, seeking comment. I’ve also left a second message with the city of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development; it granted CareerBuilder the tax giveaway in early October, in return for promises it would add 185 jobs.

Blogger: How it went down
Cheezhead gave what it said was an inside account of Friday’s layoff:

“Apparently, certain groups were alerted via e-mail at 12:50 p.m., CT that at 1 p.m. they were to go to a conference. Those going to one room were safe, while those in the other were cut. Then, at 3:30 p.m., there was a company-wide conference call with CEO Matt Ferguson (left) who communicated the difficulty of the day.”

Cheezhead continues: “Most people cut were apparently from the small business units, which call on companies with less than 100 employees. However, every unit was said to be ‘affected in some capacity.’ Marketing was another department that may have been hit harder than most. Sources explained the firings were in large part due to the fact that ‘revenue is down 5%.’ One source expressed fear that if the economic decline continues, there will be more cuts.”

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