The pandemic has prompted a shift in the global job market, with companies in various industries facing financial difficulties and making the difficult decision to lay off employees. As a result, HR professionals are facing the challenging task of managing these layoffs while also trying to retain their remaining staff. Not always companies navigate the delicate balance between cost-cutting measures and maintaining employee morale, job security, and overall company culture.
In this article, HR professionals from local tech companies respond to layoffs at global tech companies, discuss the strategies that could be employed to mitigate its impact, and the long-term effects of layoffs on the workforce.
Head of HR at Qubstudio
Meta: The parent company of Facebook and Instagram has announced its second significant round of job cuts in just four months, with plans to lay off 10,000 employees and eliminate 5,000 open positions. This news comes as the company seeks to streamline its operations and cut costs.
In 2021, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) announced the reduction of more than 11,000 employees and plans to cut another 10,000 by the end of 2023. As of September 2022, Meta had a workforce of 87,314 people. If the company carries out the planned layoffs, its workforce will be reduced to 66,000 employees, which will represent more than 25% of the total workforce. Meta’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, justified the massive layoffs with high inflation, the return to offline life, and a decrease in advertising revenue. Specifically, competition with TikTok, changes in Apple’s privacy rules, and investor doubts about large investments in the Metaverse have led to a market price drop of the company of more than $1,5 trillion, and according to analysts’ forecasts, it will drop by about $67 billion in 2023.
To assess the scale of layoffs at Meta, it is necessary to analyze the situation in the global labor market. Special attention should be paid to the American technology market, where most of the leading tech companies are concentrated.
During the past year, many companies, including tech giants, have carried out massive layoffs to reduce costs. According to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., over 1,8 million employees were laid off in the United States in 2022. Of these, over 416,000 layoffs were in the technology sector.
The first wave of layoffs in the American technology sector began in November-December 2021 and continued over the following months. According to a job market study conducted by Dice, the percentage of companies planning to conduct layoffs increased by 25% compared to 2021.
Even larger layoffs are predicted for 2023. According to research by Gartner, the number of layoffs in the global tech industry could increase by 4% compared to 2022. And January 2023 confirmed these forecasts.
Overall, in 2022, about 152,000 employees were laid off from over a thousand companies around the world. The layoffs affected tech leaders and startups. The largest number of layoffs occurred in November, when companies laid off nearly 53,000 technical employees. This is the highest monthly total since 2000. According to Layoffs.fyi, in January 2023, more tech company employees were laid off than in any other month since the beginning of 2022.
However, an important aspect should be noted. During the pandemic, the number of employees in the technology market increased very rapidly, especially for FAANG companies.
For example, let’s look at how the number of employees has changed over the past three years:
Apple stands out among the tech giants as the only one that has not yet announced massive layoffs, but during the pandemic, it only increased its workforce by 20%. In the summer, the company reduced the number of contract recruiters and slowed down hiring. Now the company has reduced iPhone production volumes, but has avoided negative publicity and collective lawsuits from laid-off employees.
In other words, the mass layoffs in the technology sector are a consequence of the frantic hiring pace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last three years, among FAANG companies, Meta has been a leader in terms of the number of new employees.
Most of the employees who were laid off were not upset about being let go, but about the incompetent communication surrounding it. Developers at Meta claim that they found out about their layoff from a WSJ article and received an email asking them not to come into the office at 6 am. At the same time, the metrics for selecting those who were laid off remain unknown.
However, the company provided some compensation to its laid-off employees, including payment of salary for four months, six months of medical insurance, and support during their job search.
It is particularly important that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially addressed the employees and explained the reasons for the mass layoffs, as well as provided financial compensation to those affected.
Mass layoffs in the technology sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are a difficult challenge for businesses and employees. However, it’s not always possible to develop a strategy that would satisfy all stakeholders, including laid-off employees. The most important aspect of the downsizing process is humanity.
As an HR specialist, I believe that it’s important to have a clear and transparent plan of action that will allow terminated employees to feel supported and understand the reasons for their dismissal. Transparent communication is a key element in this process.
During layoffs, it is important to make it clear to the laid-off employees that their contribution to the company was valuable, and that the reason for their dismissal is not related to their personal qualities. It is important to explain in detail the reasons for the layoffs and make it clear that it is not a decision that was taken lightly.
It is also important to provide support to laid-off employees in finding a new job and financial compensation that will allow them to get through this period. The company must demonstrate its responsibility and provide proper support to its former employees.
Crises have a tendency to end sooner or later, but it can be difficult to regain a company’s lost reputation after it is over.
Head of International Recruitment at N-iX
Virgin Orbit: World’s first commercial spaceline files for bankruptcy. Is this a strategic move or has the economic crisis affected the space industry? What does that mean for tech recruitment?
The recent news of Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy filing has understandably caused concern among industry professionals. However, it’s important to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. While the news may be disappointing for Virgin Orbit’s employees and shareholders, it’s not necessarily an indication of a broader economic crisis in the space industry. There are several reasons to be optimistic about the future of the industry and the opportunities it offers for tech professionals.
Firstly, it’s important to note that Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy filing could be a strategic move on the company’s part. The move is likely part of a wider plan to restructure and refocus operations, positioning itself for long-term success in a rapidly evolving market. Richard Branson’s rocket company has always been willing to take risks and pursue innovative ideas, and this move may simply be a reflection of that approach.
Furthermore, there is significant interest in space exploration and development worldwide, and this interest is only increasing. Governments, private companies, and individuals are all investing in space-related projects driven by a wide range of factors, from scientific curiosity to national security concerns and the potential for commercial applications. This interest is driving rapid technological innovation in the industry, creating exciting new opportunities for tech professionals with a range of skills and expertise.
One example of this is the growing interest in satellite internet services. Companies such as SpaceX and OneWeb are developing ambitious plans to provide high-speed internet access to underserved areas of the globe using constellations of small satellites. This requires a range of tech expertise, from software development to network engineering, to cybersecurity.
There are also opportunities for tech professionals to work on projects related to space exploration, such as developing new propulsion systems or analyzing data from space probes and telescopes.
Another reason to be optimistic about the future of tech recruitment in the space industry is the fact that the industry is truly global. While the news of Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy may have a local impact, the industry as a whole is not limited to any region. There are space-related projects and initiatives taking place all over the world, from NASA in the United States to the European Space Agency to the burgeoning Chinese space program. This means that even if one company or region experiences challenges, opportunities will likely be elsewhere.
In addition, as the space industry becomes increasingly commercialized, there is likely to be a growing need for tech professionals with specialized skills and expertise in areas such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Companies such as SpaceX are already developing sophisticated autonomous systems to manage their space missions, and this trend is likely to continue as the industry matures. Tech professionals who are able to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in these areas will be well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
So, what does all of this mean for tech recruitment in the space industry? In short, it means that there are still plenty of exciting opportunities available for tech professionals who are interested in working in this sector. While the news of Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy filing may be disappointing, it’s important to remember that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of any industry, and that there are still many exciting developments taking place in the space industry that require tech expertise.
To capitalize on these opportunities, tech recruitment managers should focus on staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the space industry, and building relationships with industry leaders and other tech professionals. It’s also important to be flexible and adaptable, and to be willing to pursue opportunities in different regions or sectors within the industry as they arise.
In conclusion, while the news of Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy filing may be concerning, there are still many reasons to be optimistic about the future of the space industry and the opportunities it might bring.
HR Marketing Manager at Bits Orchestra
GitHub: GitHub is set to reduce its workforce by 10%, which is equivalent to approximately 300 full-time positions.
GitHub, a popular platform for hosting and collaborating on software code, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018, is reportedly planning to lay off approximately 10% of its global workforce, or around 300 employees, as part of its latest cost-cutting measures. We see this trend of layoffs spreading across the world and already know of similar cases of layoffs at Google, Twitter, Meta, and Amazon. The move is in response to the economic uncertainty caused by growing AI, huge drops in stock values after a major bull market which ran throughout most of the pandemic and a need to focus on areas of the business that will drive growth. While cost-cutting measures are sometimes necessary for the survival of the business, it is equally important to ensure that the process is carried out in a humane and professional manner. I will discuss some of the HR do’s and don’ts that businesses should consider when implementing staff reduction strategies.
In conclusion, staff reduction is never an easy decision for any business to make. However, by following these HR do’s and don’ts, employers can minimize the negative impact on employees and also helps maintain the reputation of the business.
HR Manager at Impressit
Twitter: Elon Musk publicly dismissed a disabled employee which sparked a social media backlash.
It was recently reported in the news that Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, who also bought Twitter not a long time ago, publicly fired an employee with a disability. Undoubtedly, Elon Musk is a unique type of entrepreneur, to say the least. I am sure that it was the peculiarities of his views and beliefs that led Elon to the success he achieved.
However, this decision caused public outrage and raised the question of how such actions will affect the future fate of the company’s profitability.
Elon Musk, like any CEO, has the right to make decisions about laying off the employees in his company. However, the dismissal of an employee with a disability can have serious consequences not only for the employee themselves but also for the company as a whole.
First of all, such dismissal often violates legislation on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and, as a result, leads to lawsuits and high fines for the company.
In addition, such a decision can damage the image of the company and provoke a decrease in the confidence of both current employees and candidates, because the employees might not feel that their rights are protected and the expectations for receiving payment and/or compensation will have no basis. Therefore, the question arises whether a person will be able to work productively and whether one would be willing to be a part of such an environment.
Secondly, dismissal is always accompanied by stress and emotional discomfort, a possible decrease in the self-esteem of the dismissed employee, and, as a result, doubts about their qualifications in general. Such decisions, especially public ones, entail a number of negative consequences for both employees’ personal perceptions and the company’s profitability and personnel management.
In the conditions of growing competition and instability in the labor market, layoffs are becoming an inevitable part of the business. Such decisions are not always easy and have many dependencies and influences. At first glance, it is not necessary for the managers of large companies to be involved in the process of dismissal, because it can distract them from strategic planning and business development. Often, such decisions come down to line managers, who pass the information down to the employee. But in the case of mass layoffs, when it is necessary to act quickly and at a low cost, the participation of the owner of the company is necessary. The participation of the CEO or owner can ensure a balanced and mutually beneficial dismissal process that will contribute to the future development of the company. As far as employees are concerned, in the case of mass layoffs, the CEO provides an understanding of the need for change and assures that the cause is not low professionalism or productivity of the employees affected by the layoff.
The methods of such dismissals can be different: from corporate mailing to a collective call or meeting. But in any case, the manager must explain the prerequisites, the current situation, and further actions of the company (in case the recruitment resumes and there is a need for these specialists again).
In addition, the company owner, together with the HR and finance team, define commitments and obligations. For example, adequate compensation and social packages for fired workers should be provided.
As for the work of the HR team, it is worth remembering about the proper off-boarding. It allows you to reduce reputational losses, loss of employee loyalty, and expenses for future recruiting. If there is a need, it is worth hiring a corporate psychologist who will work through the changes and help to accept the new reality.
The pandemic has prompted a shift in the global job market, with companies in various industries facing financial difficulties and making the difficult decision to lay off employees. As a result, HR professionals are facing the challenging task of managing these layoffs while also trying to retain their remaining staff. Not always companies navigate the […]https://itcluster.lviv.ua/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/5.png