A cartoon image of a young woman holding her hands to her face. Lightening bolts are above her head, symbolising panic about tech layoffs.
Image: © Mary Long/Stock.adobe.com

Why tech layoffs shouldn’t make jobseekers panic

22 Feb 2023

Hays’ James Milligan examines the effects of the recent flurry of layoffs in the tech sector and explains why jobseekers shouldn’t worry.

For many of us, the first few months of the year is an opportunity for a fresh start, whether it’s a new hobby or a new job. It’s natural to seek out challenges or make changes to improve your life, and at Hays we see that every year in the world of work.

The end of 2022 saw some of the world’s largest tech organisations reduce their workforce, and stories of these company-wide job losses circulated in the press and on social media. Given the recent demand for tech talent, particularly in response to the pandemic, this came as a surprise to some observers.

That’s not to say, though, that this is an unexpected development, and nor should people be put off making that leap into a new role.

Given the rise in the number of jobs made available due to the pandemic, this market correction has still resulted in a higher number of tech roles than we saw pre-Covid.

Let’s look at what this means for specialists working in these roles or similar ones, as well as those looking to start their tech career.

Although some of the world’s biggest tech firms are downsizing their workforce, this is not reflective of the job market overall.

Specialists who have experience in larger organisations are in demand and will continue to be.

There are a range of opportunities for talent that has left these companies.

Ensuring that your skills are up to date is key to success.

Tech layoffs are not universal – but can happen at bigger firms

Although warnings of a global recession did spark fears over job losses in technology, this first truly caught the headlines following Elon Musk’s takeover at Twitter, upon which the company let go of almost 75pc of its workforce.

Let’s remember, however, that Musk’s behaviour is eye-catching and certainly not typical of how other CEOs operate.

Nonetheless, it has meant that any subsequent exits at other tech giants have gained further traction in the news. Redundancies have been made in other global organisations and, sadly, this is a possibility when working at tech giants that employ large workforces.

It’s worth remembering that, with regard to roles in tech, demand has long outweighed supply across the world – it’s something we’ve seen for years now. The need for digital infrastructure was compounded by the pandemic as remote access and communication become vital.

As such, since 2020 there has been unprecedented demand for people with tech skills and, even though the market is correcting itself now, there are still far more jobs than there were three years ago.

What does the future hold?

The first thing to make clear is that there will always be opportunities for people who have left companies as large as the ones who are making the news. That experience is valuable for organisations of all sizes, and tech specialists in particular are not short of offers. If this relates to you, you can be confident when applying to a new role.

Ensure that your CV reflects your experience and what you have to offer. Make sure that you’ve detailed all of your achievements in your last role.

Although it can seem daunting, you should be prepared to speak about how you left your last role in any job interviews. Your interviewer is going to be aware of what’s happening and will be understanding, but it’s important you can demonstrate how your skills were valuable to your former employer, and how you’ve developed those ahead of your next role.

What about those of you who might be concerned about job security elsewhere? Or perhaps are thinking about embarking on a career in tech and worried about the news?

Using our unique insights into the job market across the globe, I’ve already outlined the top 10 in-demand tech roles for 2023.

If you’re looking for work in tech, it’s vital that your skills are up to date and you’re on top of the latest developments. A willingness to learn is a huge plus point for employers as they look to fill tech roles, so make sure that you’re proving your mindset.

By James Milligan

James Milligan is the global head of technology at Hays. A version of this article originally appeared on the Hays’ blog.

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