In Wake of Wayfair Layoffs, Tech Companies Put on Pop-up Job Fair

February 19, 2020

On Thursday last week, 350 people at Wayfair’s Boston headquarters lost their jobs.

One of the largest employers in Massachusetts, the 18-year-old Internet retailer let go of 3 percent of its global workforce in a bid to drive down its operating costs. The company had continued to report losses in the lead-up to the decision: In its latest quarter, Wayfair lost more than $1 billion in market value.

By that afternoon, after they’d been notified of their collective termination, the former employees had streamed out of the office and set up shop in the bars in and around Copley Place Mall. They were, as Brent Kleiman described it, “drinking like fish.”

“My team was going out to lunch, and they came back from lunch and said, ‘The bars are packed,'” said Kleiman, founder and CEO of the talent acquisition firm Argosight, whose offices are around the corner from Wayfair’s on Dartmouth Street. “‘People just lost their jobs. They’re so upset.’ And from there, we said, ‘We can do something to help them with this.'”

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