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Oswald’s All Hands Address to Glintstars

Oswald YeoOswald Yeo

This morning Oswald delivered the following address to Glintstars:

My fellow Glintstars, 

Today is a difficult day for us all.

As a company, we have always believed in persevering through challenges and being resourceful in the face of adversity. But as we stay optimistic, we must also face the brutal reality in front of us. It is with deep sadness that I must confirm that in order to adapt our business, we will be reducing our team size and saying goodbye to many of our talented Glintstars.

For those who will be leaving us at Glints, I am truly sorry. Ying Cong, Yong Jie, Steve, and myself take full responsibility for this decision and the decisions leading up to this point.

This decision was incredibly difficult for a company whose mission is to help people realize their full potential. We understand that it will be even more difficult for those who are impacted.

I know there are many questions, and it is important for us to address your concerns and be transparent in our actions. Today, I will explain why and how we made this decision, what we are doing to take care of those affected, and our plans moving forward.

Why and How We Made This Decision

Let me start with why and how we ended up here making this decision. 2021 was a year of solid growth. We doubled down on the tech sector, which was experiencing phenomenal growth. We also doubled down on remote hiring and expansion into new markets, including the Philippines. Earlier this year, we closed our Series D to continue to accelerate our growth in these areas. 

However, the markets have changed drastically over the past six months. Many businesses have been hit hard. With market uncertainty, consumers are spending less, and businesses serving these consumers are also affected. As you can imagine, this has directly impacted our business and has translated to a slowdown in our overall business growth in the short term.

We are now confronted with two hard truths:

  1. We don’t know when the market slowdown will end and how it will play out.
  2. There will be a continued slowdown in hiring in the meantime as global economic recovery is uncertain.

In response to this new market reality, we immediately implemented cost-saving measures across the business. We froze hiring, reduced perks, and expenses, and took voluntary pay cuts for the management team, including the founders. 

Yet, this is not enough. 

Layoffs are always a last resort, but in order to adapt to the bear market and strengthen the resilience of our business, we must restructure and operate as efficiently and lean as possible. It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to part ways with some of our talented Glintstars. 

These personnel decisions were made based on market conditions and business priorities, and we have taken all measures to ensure that this is a one-time occurrence and that there will not be another restructuring in the near future.

We understand that these changes impact each and every one of you personally. Every one of you has been a critical part of our journey toward our vision. Thank you for everything you have done.

How We’re Taking Care of Departing Glintstars

Before I go into detail about how we will be supporting those who are departing, I want to give the assurance that we will be their biggest champions as they move on to their next endeavors. We promise to be clear, transparent, and quick in providing all of the information and support needed.

For those impacted, you will receive an email with the subject line “Your Role at Glints” in the next 30 minutes, with an invite to a 1 on 1 session with your manager and senior team leader today. The email will contain details on the next steps, and your leaders will provide you with further context and be there to answer any questions you have. For those who do not receive a calendar invite, you are not impacted. 

I believe that we can make difficult decisions with compassion. To make sure that we take care of all impacted team members, we have put together a comprehensive support package to go beyond what is legally required in all markets. Some of the details of this support package include:

Career and General Support

We are also here to support affected Glintstars in finding their next career opportunity. Here are five initiatives we will be implementing:

We understand how important it is for people to have some time to say their goodbyes. Impacted Glintstars will continue to have Slack access until the end of today and email access until the end of the week so that you will have some time to say your goodbyes. Due to data security needs, we will be removing access to business operations and organizational systems.

For remaining Glintstars, we ask for your support to your fellow colleagues during this time. We know these changes are hard to swallow, and we ask that you bear with us as we go through this process. We also know the days and weeks ahead will be challenging; let’s stay strong and move forward together.

How We Will Move Forward

The crisis has given us, as founders, the opportunity for self-reflection and to learn from our mistakes. This downturn has forced us to take a hard look at ourselves and our business and to return to our core principles. While we will stay true to our overall company strategy, we will adapt and be more disciplined in our approach.

We will continue to invest in the long term to serve our talent and employer base, and I will provide more information in the coming days.

The 120 million talent in Southeast Asia continues to be under-tapped across the world, and the digital transformation of the HR and talent recruitment industry is just beginning. We continue to see great potential and opportunities for the technology and human capital industries in Southeast Asia. 

As employers around the world look to become even more cost-effective, remote and cross-border teams in Southeast Asia will be attractive. We are already seeing some encouraging trends in our data: on the demand side, Glints’s year-to-date net revenue is up 101% year-on-year. And on the supply side, our marketplace job applications are up 160% year-on-year in Q3.

At Glints, we will continue to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of our talent and employer base. But one thing will always remain the same, the world will always need great talent to inspire, empower, and build big ideas. 

Our mission of realizing human potential by helping people find opportunities and grow in their careers is now even more important in times of economic uncertainty. We are confident that we are well-positioned to capture these opportunities and further our mission of impacting these 120 million lives.

For those departing, we are grateful for your contributions, they will be honored and live on. We are here to support you through this transition. 

We are only less than 1% done with enabling better and faster connections to career opportunities. We have much more to do. 

In closing, I am truly grateful to each one of you for contributing your passion, energy, and talent to making Glints one of the leading talent ecosystems in the world today. Thank you.

Oswald, Ying Cong, Yong Jie, Steve