Microsoft is ending contracts early for hundreds of workers

  • Microsoft is laying off hundreds of contracted recruiters and talent acquisition staff.
  • The workers were told their contracts will end early this Friday, and they won’t receive severance.
  • The cuts come amid a significant hiring freeze and other layoffs at the company.

Microsoft is laying off hundreds of contracted recruiters and talent acquisition staff as hiring freezes continue across the company, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Microsoft, like many other tech giants, relies on contractors to bolster its efforts in everything from janitorial services to recruiting. Those contractors may work closely with Microsoft’s own staff, but they’re technically not employees — and therefore not eligible for certain company perks or benefits. 

The company earlier this week notified the workers through their agencies that their contracts will end early on Friday. The contractors will not receive severance as the contracts are at-will, but the agencies that hired them will pay out any unused paid time off.

Microsoft recently said it would cut less than 1,800 roles across the company, and has significantly slowed hiring. One contractor, working as a recruiter, told Insider about a month ago Microsoft paused hiring for half of the roles to which the person was assigned, and paused the remaining half the following week. 

The person, who asked to remain anonymous to preserve their future career prospects, said they were directly aware of three agencies that had cut around 200 of their contractors assigned to Microsoft. Most of the contractors had less than six months remaining in their contracts when the cuts came down. 

Another contractor who spoke to Insider said they had a significant portion of their contract remaining. “I thought I was going to be secure for the next year and a half, and here I am, getting let go,” the person said. This person also asked to remain anonymous out of concern for their future career prospects. 

Also this week, Microsoft laid off a team dedicated to reinventing its appeal to consumers, telling employees of the “Modern Life Experiences” team to find another position at the company within 60 days or take severance. One person estimated that team’s size at 200 people.

Microsoft did not comment, but in response to a request about the layoffs this week, a Microsoft spokesperson pointed to Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood’s statement during a July earnings call: “As we manage through this period, we will continue to invest in future growth while maintaining intense focus on operational excellence and execution discipline.”

Do you work at Microsoft or have insight to share? Contact the reporter Ashley Stewart via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (


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