Big Tech Layoffs: A Hiring Opportunity

by Creating Change Mag
Big Tech Layoffs: A Hiring Opportunity

Owner of Kalache LLC and former Silicon Valley software engineer and tech entrepreneur, Sylvain now provides PR services to tech startups.

The U.S. tech industry is estimated to have laid off more than 97,000 in 2022, up 649% from the 12,975 that occurred in 2021. And the trend is continuing; companies like PayPal, Spotify, Google and Microsoft have moved forward with more layoffs, counting 77,000 workers in 2023.

Some analysts have blamed the companies and their leaders for this wave of layoffs, while others blame the slowing economy. Whatever you think, while the situation is a challenge for the tech industry, it can be an opportunity for others. And this opportunity is to hire top tech talent.

Over A Decade Of Solid Employment For Tech Workers

The tech industry hasn’t experienced widespread layoffs like this since the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, the top tech companies were highly coveted by tech workers due to their attractive compensation packages, numerous benefits and promises to improve the world.

When the Covid-19 pandemic came, companies across the U.S. had no choice but to accelerate their digital transformation drastically. McKinsey found that businesses had accelerated their digitization by up to four years, a sentiment echoed by Microsoft CEO: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

That was when the tech industry experienced explosive growth, leading to Amazon, Apple and Alphabet to reach trillion-dollar valuations. To meet the demand, these companies ramped up their hiring efforts during the pandemic.

Over the past decade, many traditional companies have struggled to find tech talent, especially during the recent years of rapid digitization. But many of these companies are now doing fine compared to the tech giants and added 517,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in January, which was the most significant increase in six months. These companies now have the opportunity to hire top tech talent.

The Hiring Tide Is Shifting

The opportunity for other companies to hire tech talent is not only due to the availability of unemployed workers, but also because the reputation of big tech brands may have been damaged by the mass layoffs, making them less attractive.

Three years ago, as Kyle Elliott, a tech career coach, told CNBC reported, “Everyone wanted to work at the ‘big brand name’ companies like Google or Uber. Now, they’re realizing that these larger companies aren’t as stable as they thought.”

These major companies were once viewed as safe and secure—especially for those who provided years of dedicated service—but are no longer considered as such. This presents an opportunity for other businesses to stand out by emphasizing job stability.

Offer Perks That Talent Actually Wants

As a former software engineer at a major technology company, I enjoyed the free healthy food options and on-site gym classes. But these perks come at a cost, and tech companies are getting rid of them. For example, both Meta and Google stopped some campus perks like free laundry services and meal stipends. But top talent might be looking for something else anyway.

In fact, a recent survey found that 63% of tech workers are not interested in returning to full-time in-person work. That’s why companies should consider offering flexibility about where employees can work. While offering only remote working might not be favored by many young workers, it could attract senior talent where flexibility means a life-changing perk to accommodate family obligations.

Companies should also consider providing a home-office budget for employees, as this will empower them to have a working setup they enjoy and feel comfortable with, increasing their productivity.

Act Quick

This window of opportunity to hire top tech talent might last for the foreseeable future, but it won’t last forever. As the number of job opportunities plummets, there is still a strong appetite for tech talent. ZipRecruiter found that 79% of laid-off tech workers found a new job within three months of starting their search. Companies looking to hire these experienced and skilled tech workers should act quickly before the tide shifts back.

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