Don't panic

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The tech market has been in the midst of a hiring spree since businesses began emerging from the pandemic. Candidates have been more open to moving – motivated by increased pay packets, greater progression opportunities and better benefits – and so companies have been battling it out for the best talent.

That could only last so long, however, and reports now suggest that hiring is starting to slow for the first time in a year. Businesses are weary of an impending recession and, having learned plenty of lessons from the recent past, want to do everything they can to protect themselves.

Sound the alarms! Stop the presses! Batten down the hatches!

Actually, no. If businesses want to weather the next storm, however strong it may be, they’ll need to take a much more rational approach. Now isn’t the time to panic, to halt your hiring, and to simply wait for smoother seas. Rather, it’s an opportunity, as we’ll see. 

What are others up to? 

In July, Google publicly announced it was implementing a two-week hiring freeze. While that had followed an announcement signalling their intent to slow down their hiring, the tech giant had brought in 10,000 new members of staff in Q2 alone, so of course things weren’t going to continue at quite the same trajectory. Others, including LinkedIn, Calm and Peloton, made layoffs over the summer.

According to Layoffs.fyi, more than 37,000 tech jobs were lost in Q2, a sharp increase from the same time last year. But unemployment isn’t rising at anything close to the same rate, and others are still pressing on. Siemens have 1313 active vacancies on euronews.jobs, IBM have 924 listings, there are 515 at Intel and PayPal have 387 roles to fill. We don’t hear quite so much about those, do we?

The fact remains that the tech market continues to grow, despite the pandemic. Yes, we are still catching up with widespread supply chain disruption across the sector and a shortage of microchips and components, and delays to shipments. But it’s a lesson for all businesses; better connections between sales, internal operations and suppliers will pave the way for improved analysis and agility. This opens the door to opportunities within the workforce through improved digital processes.

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what the rest of the market is doing. It’s nice to keep an eye on, sure, but the fact that Google isn’t hiring 3,000 people a month right now shouldn’t be cause for you to start cutting staff numbers. Analyse your market but focus on your position within it – that’s what you should be basing your decisions on.

Weathering the storm

We aren’t blind to the fact that a recession is on its way. It has been expected since the outbreak of the pandemic and it will affect people and companies around the world – not least in the UK, where inflation is soaring. We are in danger of repeating the conditions that were brought on by the pandemic, only this time many companies are complicit.

Mass redundancies, huge budget cuts and hiring freezes will simply wind the clock back a couple of years. Yes, some companies will have to make cutbacks but plenty are pressing on with their hiring for good reason – because it is what’s right for their business. Indeed, as the tech market continues to thrive, the demand for talent remains. If you hit pause now, or worse let some of your talented team go, there are companies waiting with their doors wide open. Standing still could actually mean going backwards and now is certainly not the time to do that.

We aren’t blindly chanting “keep calm and carry on” from the rooftops. What we are saying is don’t get caught up in the firing frenzy. Maybe the Dalai Lama said it best: “Whenever there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity…”

We work with tech companies around the world to help find them the world’s best Software Engineers, and to offer advice on their talent requirements. If you need help with your hiring plans, let’s talk.

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