Navigating tech layoffs: Looking for top talent in the pool of laid off workers 

By Microserve

In 2023, more than 240,000 people in the tech industry were laid off from their jobs due to economic downturn and budget restructuring. A large portion of these individuals were laid off in large groups from major tech companies across the world; Google, Meta, and Amazon let go a combined total of over 50,000 people in total this year.

These major changes in personnel in the tech industry came as a surprise to many workers, many of whom had been working at the job for several years. Research into laid off workers in 2022 and 2023 shows that the average time people spent at the job they were laid off from was 2.5 years, while the average amount of total work experience was 11.9 years.

In other words, those who are getting laid off from big tech companies are experienced, capable workers. This lends itself to an interesting time for hiring managers looking to fill open positions with top talent. But amongst the large pool of laid off workers, how can you find the best of the best?

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the tech layoffs, examine the current job market and competition, and discuss strategies for attracting top talent.

Why are so many people being laid off in the tech industry?

With so many major layoffs happening in close succession throughout 2023, one has to wonder– how did we get here? Most tech CEOs are citing macroeconomic downturn, budget restrictions, and increased competition as the cause of the layoffs.

In Mark Zuckerberg’s layoff announcement to Meta employees in November 2022, he said revenue turn out to be much lower than he expected following the tech boom during the Covid pandemic. “Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” said Zuckerberg.

Similarly, Amazon’s CEO– Andy Jassy– cited lack of foresight as the reason for its layoff of 9,000 people in March 2023. “For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount,” said Jassy.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in a message to employees of Google in January 2023 that “over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

Who is getting laid off in the tech industry?

Many of the workers being laid off today joined their companies, on average, 2.5 years ago during a hiring spree following a boom in business during the Covid pandemic.

Research into the demographics of people who are being laid off in the tech industry shows that 47.8% of those affected by layoffs were aged 30-40. Those aged 20-30 were the second most affected age group, making up 35.9% of the layoffs.

The research also examined education levels of those affected by layoffs in the tech industry. Most employees affected by layoffs had post-secondary education, with nearly 60% holding a bachelor’s degree, 30% with a master’s degree, and 4% with a PhD.

The same research showed that the HR & Talent Sourcing department was the most affected by layoffs, making up 27.8% of affected positions.

How to hire top talent in 2024

With budget restructuring and changes to personnel, some companies may have a harder time finding the right talent in 2023. Because 27.8% of layoffs affected the HR department, talent sourcing teams may be understaffed and overworked. A strategic approach is required to hire top talent following big tech layoffs.

On average, people who were laid off in 2023 found a new tech job less than 3 months after they were laid off. This means that companies that are hiring need to act quickly to attract top talent.

Be proactive

One of the best ways to be proactive in your hiring efforts is to position your company as an appealing option for top talent. You may miss out on the opportunity to find the best, highly qualified candidates if you delay investment in talent acquisition and employee satisfaction.

To be proactive in your hiring efforts, cultivate a positive workplace culture that boosts employee satisfaction and encourages them to share their positive experiences. Develop a referral culture that incentivizes employees to refer talented individuals to join the team. Get your employees involved in marketing efforts like blog posts or culture videos that help establish your company as a desirable place to work. Apply for lists such as BC’s Top Employers or the Untapped 2023 Workplace Inclusion Awards to further establish yourself as a great employer.

Offer attractive benefits

Many employees are looking for hybrid or remote work that offers flexibility in terms of work location. Following the pandemic, many employees are reluctant to return to full-time office work because of the flexibility and cost savings it offers them.

Employees are also looking to build supportive professional relationships that provide growth plans and opportunities. When you empower employees and create avenues for their professional development, they are more likely to work and grow with your company. If you can demonstrate your willingness to foster employee growth, you may be more likely to attract top talent.

Work with an IT recruitment agency

Your talent acquisition strategy should align with your overall company strategy and vision. Working with an IT recruitment agency can help you align your strategy and talent acquisition efforts to attract top talent.

An IT recruitment agency saves you time and effort by finding the best candidates for you. Microserve’s IT recruitment agency screens candidates and helps you hire permanent employees, contract hires, part-time, or full-time workers with a 30-day guarantee. It takes the pressure and luck out of finding top talent and helps you get the right candidate in the door.

Microserve’s IT recruitment agency is dedicated to helping you find top talent and supporting your business strategies. Get in touch with the recruitment experts at Microserve today. With over 30 years of experience and a database of 45,000+ candidates, we’re here to help.

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