The biggest names in tech are putting the brakes on hiring as they prepare for tough economic conditions.

Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Meta have all slowed the rate at which they hire new staff over the past month with some temporarily putting a stop to new hiring altogether.

Google has just put a two-week pause on hiring as it prepares to slow the pickup of new talent for the rest of the year.

Senior Google VP Prabhakar Raghavan told staff this week Google would “use this time to review our headcount needs”, in an email seen by The Information.

A Google spokesperson told Information Age the company was “pausing most new offers for two weeks to enable teams to prioritise their roles and hiring plans for the rest of the year”.

Microsoft is likewise taking an axe to its job listings, reducing open job postings across different parts of its businesses.

In May, Microsoft admitted it had slowed hiring for its Windows, Office, and Teams business units which was followed by plans to strip back the headcount of its new dedicated cyber security unit.

Now Microsoft’s cloud business Azure will feel the hiring squeeze. As Bloomberg reported this week, Microsoft is removing open job postings for Azure although it will continue honouring already-made offers.

Microsoft said it was “making sure the right resources are aligned to the right opportunity” and that it “will continue to grow headcount in the year ahead”.

Another Bloomberg report this week, citing “people with knowledge of the matter”, said Apple was cutting back on hiring and spending growth over the next 12 months.

Some parts of Apple won’t be backfilled under the planned hiring slowdown while others simply won’t be allocated the same budget for new hires, according to Bloomberg.

The budget cuts aren’t expected to stop Apple’s product launches which should include its long-awaited mixed-reality headset.

Late last month, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced similar hiring pauses and said he was going to increase performance expectations to squeeze out certain staff.

“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here,” Zuckerberg told staff at a recent employee meeting, the audio of which was leaked to Reuters.

“Part of my hope, by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals – and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit – is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn't for you.”

Meta has cut its original plans to hire 10,000 engineers in 2022 by about a third.

But while the US giants are slowing down, Australian tech darling Atlassian is going full steam ahead with its plans to increase headcount from the current 8,000 staff to 25,000 by 2026.

“We are still hiring with no plans of slowing down,” an Atlassian spokesperson said.