‘It’s an employer’s market’: Tech layoffs may have turned big quit into big hire

According to workers and executives, the flood of layoffs in big tech has again upended the dynamic between employers and employees, leading to protracted job searches and widespread fear and anxiety among many in the industry.

“It’s an employer market after years of employees having the benefit of working from home [and] more jobs with higher pay and benefits,” said Angela Bateman, who is looking for work after being laid off by educational technology company Osmo in November. “Employers reassert their dominance – Disney DIS,
+2.14%,
GoogleGOGL,
+1.81%

GOOG,
+1.94%,
when when,
+2.80%,
AppleAAPL,
+2.35%,
Snap SNAP,
+2.10%
[are] asking workers to be on site three or four days a week.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google was the latest tech giant to add to the uncertainty on Friday, announcing the loss of 12,000 jobs just two days after Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
+0.98%
announced that it was cutting 10,000 jobs. The two join a long list of companies that have announced layoffs in recent months, including Salesforce Inc. CRM,
+3.05%,
Parent company of Facebook Meta Platforms Inc., Amazon.com Inc. AMZN,
+0.28%,
Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO,
+1.54%,
Intel Corp. INTC,
+3.59%,
HP Inc. HPQ,
+2.47%,
Coinbase Global Inc. COIN,
+1.45%,
Spotify Technology Inc. SPOT,
+2.07%
and Snap Inc.

For more: A MarketWatch tally of tech companies laying off thousands

As laid-off workers struggle to land new jobs, many executives believe this could make people more willing to stay at their current companies. Former Cisco CEO John Chambers sees it this way: the big resignation, in which tech workers moved from one well-paying job to another, became known as the Great Recommitment.

“Before, a career was two years in a company. That was the case for over a decade,” Chambers, who is now a venture capitalist, told MarketWatch. “From now on, the last hired is the first fired. There has been a trend for employees to reassess their commitment to companies, with a focus on culture. There is a considerably lower turnover.

But as tech executives plan a renewed commitment to jobs, rank-and-file workers are seeing escalating tensions amid job cuts, mandates to work at least three days a week in the office and expectations of higher production with fewer resources. They say they are now more inclined to stay with their employer and forgo the job change of the past few years, rather than embark on a job search that could last up to a year in a context of less d openings and increased competition.

“There’s anxiety about competing with Big Tech people, because I think their profile is a ‘safe’ bet for scared companies, who may be less willing to take risks on people who don’t come. no established brands,” said Alex Gammelgard, a San Francisco-based marketing manager who previously worked at TrustedHealth. During her months of job hunting, Gammelgard told MarketWatch that she had “found almost everything closed” since Thanksgiving.

“I see on LinkedIn that a position will have 100 to 500 applicants in a week, which is way more than normal, showing the impact of Big Tech layoffs,” she said.

In total, more than 56,500 tech jobs — almost all of them in the United States — have already been cut this year, according to data from Layoffs.ai, and more layoffs are coming. In 2022, there were 97,171 job cuts, up 649% from the previous year, consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported.

Read also : ‘It wasn’t sustainable or real’: Tech layoffs approaching Great Recession levels

The sudden purge of tech jobs has cast doubts on employers after years of benefits and rampant hiring. Some 69% of those recently made redundant received no form of support from their former employer, and 60% said they were less likely to trust their next employer, according to a report published in late November. investigation of 2,162 American workers by BizReport.

“Once Meta announced that it was removing 11,000 [in November], others in Silicon Valley soon followed,” Bateman told MarketWatch. “It seemed to open a floodgate; they were just waiting to cut.

Muskification changes perspectives

Layoffs are set to continue, tech executives warn, as companies scale back operations amid slowing sales. Workers who have been laid off by small businesses face the prospect of competing for jobs against the tens of thousands of former Big Tech employees who now scour job boards.

Todd Erickson has applied for 70 openings since he was fired from startup Phase Change Software in October, after six years with the company. He’s only heard of 10 of those jobs.

“It’s been a tough few months,” Erickson told MarketWatch. “I had a role to do everything that needed to be done, including technical writing, legal work and web development, and I didn’t develop expertise that would be useful in that job market.”

Adding to the frustration are ads on job boards that appear to be nothing more than “fishing expeditions”, non-existent openings by employers looking to find talent unrelated to the specific job. description, Gammelgard and others said.

First take: Big Tech’s layoffs aren’t as big as they first appear

One consequence of the current tech employment slump is that some job seekers may have to seek work outside of the industry, Schiffer predicted. “The ‘muskification’ of workforce compression is causing tech companies to rethink the deployment of human capital,” he said, referring to Elon Musk’s moves since buying Twitter in October. “We are in a cycle of contraction after years of overstaffing.”

“The 2023 story is a push for more value and efficiency,” said Freshworks Inc. FRSH,
+1.53%
CEO Dennis Woodside, a veteran of Google, Impossible Foods Inc., Dropbox Inc. DBX,
+2.59%
and Motorola Inc.

The cut of 22,000 Google and Microsoft jobs last week “has compounded the problems for tech job seekers” who aren’t developers or programmers, Eric Schiffer, CEO of private equity firm Patriarch, told MarketWatch. “There’s a lot more pain to come.”

Tech workers may be more needed in non-tech companies

The news isn’t all bad, though. Other industries are eyeing tech workers, economic experts say, and the labor market remains strong, with the unemployment rate at 3.5%, the lowest in decades, in December, the survey found. job openings and employee turnover, published monthly by the US Bureau. labor statistics. Even Silicon Valley added nearly 13,000 workers in December and recorded a 2% unemployment rate that month, according to an analysis by the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Area Studies.

“The other point that I had been trying to make for two years [was that] the rest of the economy lacked technology,” Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller told the Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday. “They couldn’t recruit enough technicians. So you know, guess what? Now there are a bunch of tech workers available for the rest of the economy to hire to do the job.

He added: “So I think there’s going to be a good reallocation of tech talent to the rest of the economy, unlike maybe some other sectors.”

Damien Daurio, who lost his job at DirecTV last summer, found work as a software contractor for Charles Schwab Corp. SCHW,
+0.91%
with the help of recruiters and placement companies. Because of his skills in managing software projects, Daurio said, finding another job was easier than it might have been for a non-technical position.

Meanwhile, others who have recently left tech jobs see an opportunity in the current climate. Donna Estrin left the cybersecurity industry in October and started a consulting business in November. “I think if people are laid off, companies will hire contract workers and not replace full-time workers,” she told MarketWatch. “Companies still have to do the work, so they will need consultants.”

But other job seekers don’t have the same success. The outlook is “pretty barren,” said Erickson, who put off knee surgery because he doesn’t have comprehensive health insurance. “I just applied to Microsoft,” he said, “but I doubt it will work, with 10,000 layoffs.”

MarketWatch writer Gregory Robb contributed to this article.

Leave a Comment