Facebook expects to add 10,000 workers in product and engineering this year, says COO Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Thursday told CNBC that the social media company expects to hire an additional 10,000 people for its product and engineering teams by the end of 2020. 

“Our hiring is keeping at a very, very aggressive clip,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg made the comment when asked by CNBC’s Scott Wapner if she would take a pledge of no layoffs.

“We feel fortunate to be able to do that,” she said, speaking of the new hires. “We also have the responsibility to do that — to keep our own employees, but hopefully hire more because we need them,” she said. Sandberg did not specify if the hires would include some contractors or would consist entirely of full Facebook employees.

The pledge comes as the country braces for a massive spike in unemployment. Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that more than 6.6 million Americans filed new jobless claims this week, a new record following 3.3 million claims last week. Prior to the coronavirus breakout, the record for weekly claims was 695,000, set in 1982.

Sandberg also announced that starting on Thursday the company will make it possible for small businesses to sell gift cards to customers through Facebook.

“That’s a great way to support a business,” she said. “If you can’t use their services now, you can pay now, give them the cash and do it later.” 

Additionally, the social network is also now allowing small businesses to run fundraisers on Facebook, Sandberg said. Previously the company allowed users to fundraise for non-profits or specific people, but the company is opening that feature up to support small businesses, she said. 

Since February, Facebook has been proactive about doing what it can to combat the coronavirus. During that time, the company has sent information to users from the World Health Organization and other credible partners. Facebook has also been removing misinformation related to COVID-19. Most notably, the company launched a $100 million program to support small businesses, with ad credits and cash grants.

“We’re hoping they use it to keep afloat and really to pay employees,” she said.