- The headlines out of Silicon Valley are enough to send shivers down the spine of any tech worker.
- Layoffs and hiring freezes have happened at companies of all sizes but hit Big Tech especially hard.
- Online shopping, the rise of cloud computing, and the demand for mobile apps have led just about every industry to embrace tech.
The bad news: The pandemic-fueled hiring spree across Silicon Valley — which allowed the tech giants to grow beyond their means — has backfired, now prompting many companies to lay off troves of workers.
Inflation and recession fears
Last month alone, Amazon cut 10,000 workers, Meta slashed 11,000 roles, and Twitter let go of 3,750 people.
Amid high inflation and recession fears, Big Tech companies, including the historically stable Apple, have closed their doors indefinitely with hiring freezes and left their employees feeling uncertain about their futures.
But well-paying tech jobs are abundant if workers look at other industries, new research suggests.
Recruiters and other experts tell Insider that tech workers are in especially high demand in sectors including insurance, healthcare, retail, government, and banking.
“That’s the thing about being laid off in a tight labor market: You discover your worth,” said Julia Pollak, the chief economist of ZipRecruiter.
Analysis from the tech-careers site Dice found that job postings for tech-focused roles were up 25% from January to October compared with the same period last year.
About 60% of the top 100 employers of tech talent during that period were from non tech sectors, like healthcare, consulting, defense, and banking.
For many job seekers the interest in those kinds of companies is mutual, said Allison Hemming, the CEO of The Hired Guns, a tech-recruiting firm in New York City.
“As a recruiter, I ask every candidate: What are your dream companies?” she said.
“It was always the same for years — Google, Amazon, and Meta — and it was hard to peel people out of that.”
So much of working in tech is about finding fixes to vexing problems, inventing new ways of doing things, and bringing fresh creativity to bear.
Those skills and expertise — a crucial part of the job for engineers, data scientists, and product managers — are needed across a variety of industries, says Art Zeile, the CEO of Dice.
Though eye-popping compensation packages inflated with stock options and cushy perks like on-site laundry may not be as common in industries outside tech, the market is shifting and with it the priorities of workers.
“But now with this economic wobble that we’re in,” Hemming said, “a little job safety and security can go a long way and candidates are open to new opportunities.”
Non Tech companies’ tech talent
A common refrain has emerged in the world of business over the past decade or so: Every company is now a tech company.
Online shopping, the rise of cloud computing, and the demand for mobile apps have led just about every industry to embrace tech “because that’s the way we live,” said Zeile, the Dice CEO.
“You order coffee online,” he said. “You do your banking online. You do telemedicine for your healthcare. All those things are creating opportunities for technologists to shine.”
As you may expect, the traditional tech industry remains the largest employer of tech workers, the experts say.
But when you factor in local, state, and federal government workers, the public sector isn’t far behind, says Tim Herbert, the chief research officer at the tech industry association Comptia.
He also pointed to finance, insurance, manufacturing, and information as hot industries for tech workers.
ZipRecruiter’s Pollak said the turmoil in Big Tech was pushing “some tech workers to explore opportunities outside” the usual suspects for the first time.
And because competition for employees is so stiff, they’re discovering they have plenty of options.
Tech workers’ new job
A study from the workforce-data provider Revelio Labs further identified a hidden upside of layoffs.
In its analysis, it found that nearly three-fourths of workers laid-off this year found a new job within three months and more than half found a job that paid more than what they were earning before.
And discovering worth is a two-way street, said Ryan Sutton, a technology talent leader at Robert Half.
He said an economic slowdown was the worst time for a hiring freeze, since it provided the perfect conditions for companies to level up the quality of talent — possibly shedding lackluster workers and giving the chance to “upgrade that seat.”
“When you’re in an upturn, you are typically not always able to get access to the best talent because it’s so fast-paced,” Sutton said.
“A smart company is really in this current economic cycle, trying to strengthen their bench.”
Tech job creation and hiring numbers remain strong, but layoffs keep coming, underscoring a tech labor market in flux.
Sutton of Robert Half urged expediency to anyone who lost their job recently, since he noticed that people laid off near the end of the year tend to delay finding a new role until after the holidays.
“There’s no value in waiting,” Sutton said. “If you are in the job market today, there’s going to likely be less competition competing for that opportunity as there will be in 30, 45, 60 days.”
As for how laid-off tech workers ought to position themselves for these jobs, the Hired Guns recruiter Hemming has some advice.
“Think about what playbooks you have to offer and how they apply to Fortune 2000 companies,” she said.
In other words, reflect on your ideas and experience and think about how you’d translate that knowledge to a new sector.
Perhaps you helped create a data strategy, or you designed a cybersecurity system, or you wrote the code for a digital software product.
“If you can show how you’ll transfer your expertise and know-how,” she said, “that’s a compelling offering.”
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Source: Business Insider