May hurt. Nearly 16,000 tech employees were laid off in May. The pendulum just swung the other way: from a crazy hiring blitz to layoffs, in a very short period of time. We’d love to speculate on why…but honestly, the current climate for hiring/layoffs is unprecedented. But everything from interest rates to volatile stock prices and a war in Ukraine have been cited as possible reasons. Is there a recession coming? No one knows for sure, but fears of one are enough to change the hiring practices at some employers. Regardless of the cause of this change, after a frenetic hiring landscape, some tech companies have dialed it back and have experienced layoffs…notably, Snap, Netflix, PayPal and Klarna. Start ups as well as established companies alike have seen layoffs. As always, employees and candidates as well as employers must adapt.
What are we to make of this situation? At TalentReach, we get to see this up close and personal. Some employers that were on a hiring blitz now are reporting hiring freezes. It can come as a surprise even to the top HR executives. Companies that have been running on venture-backed capital are now having to show some ROI to investors, and sometimes that means slashing budgets. Here is the advice we’re giving our candidates as they try to navigate this wild ride of hiring in 2022:
- Always be ready for a move. The days of working for one employer for a lifetime are gone. Even if you’re happy in your current role, keep that LinkedIn profile up to date, and always be adding to your skills and experience. Take advantage of any professional development opportunities given by your employer and seek out new responsibilities to add to your list. If you complete a big project, document it and if you can share it on LinkedIn.
- Ask questions. You can’t control your employment destiny completely, but you can take charge. If you’re interviewing at a brand new start up, it’s ok to ask about profitability and revenue. Is there a timeline for profitability? Are they burning mountains of cash while being many years from having a viable product? It might be worthwhile to ask. If you’re happily employed, but hear rumblings about layoffs, it is ok to ask around, and see if any particular departments are at risk. Again, you can’t control everything, but it’s always good to start making contingent plans.
- Don’t be discouraged if you’re laid off. If you have the right skills, someone is always hiring. If you’ve got solid experience, there are multiple options for you. It is important to keep your emotions in check too – while being laid off can feel personal, it is usually just an impersonal business decision. Budgets get cut, departments get slashed, some people are let go and others are not. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the why of it all – just move forward.
- Have a recruiter on your side. In times of transition, it is best to have a professional on your side. A recruiter can help position you best for your next move, and will have knowledge you do not about current employers and the general landscape. While there may be others in your position, looking for work, those with recruiters on their side will have an insider’s edge, and will be interviewing in front of employers in no time.
One thing is always constant and that is change. There may be no such thing as the recession-proof employer, but there are so many opportunities for the person willing to be flexible and to keep adapting to the changing times. While layoffs in the tech industry will come and go, we still have 200+ open positions at top tech companies. Interested? Give us a call.