Twitter recently made the news of firing almost half of its employees, and Meta (parent company of FaceBook) joined the headlines by planning to fire eleven thousand employees. In the last few weeks, similar news has emerged from Microsoft, Amazon, Lyft, Apple, Spotify, Stripe, and more. Is the time right to brace ourselves for a long tech winter?
Tech Winter On Twitter
Twitter is going through a significant managerial transition, with Elon Musk trying to make a difference in the company. He fired 50% of his employees and rehired some of them a few days later. The firing of 3700 employees out of the blue was a part of the cost-cutting measure and for implementing the new vision of Musk for Twitter. Later, Twitter decided that some fired employees were essential for the new roles.
Over-Optimism Leading To Mass Layoffs
Two days later, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that his over-optimism had led to overstaffing. According to the spokesperson, Meta will focus on investing in smaller high-priority vital areas. Meta has yet to announce the number of employees it is letting go officially.
Major Tech Layoffs Making Headlines
- Microsoft showed the slowest revenue growth in the last five years in the previous quarter, and it laid off 1% of this workforce, amounting to thousand employees.
- Stripe listed several reasons like limited funding, higher interest rate, inflation, over-hiring, and others in a CEO mail to the employees as it fired 14% of its talent pool.
- BYJU’s (an Indian edutech giant) fired 2500 employees because of redundant job roles. But, the firm is trying to make an international stand as it has just signed Messi as its ambassador and plans to hire 10K employees worldwide with 50% of Indian talent in its workforce.
- Amazon and Apple have frozen new hires in corporate roles, retail operations, physical divisions, and more. According to social media, Amazon is freezing hiring because of economic instability, and Amazon is following the same move two days later.
- Lyft fired 13% of its pool, around 700 employees. The company quoted reasons like increasing insurance costs, the possibility of the 2023 recession, and more. At least Lyft gave ten weeks of pay, health coverage up to next April, and recruitment assistance.
- Salesforce bid adieu to hundreds of its employees, but no official announcement has yet been made to the media.
- Snapchat reduced its weight by 20% by letting go of 6.4k employees recently. It was an expected reaction as in the previous year; its stock price fell 80%. The layoffs targeted game development, Zenly, mini-app development, and others.
- Intel laid off 20% of its marketing and sales staff due to the PC market’s fall. Although there was a momentary rise during the pandemic, the market is on a downward roll.
Christmas-Less Tech Winter For Silicon Valley
The Pandemic has already swiped many jobs, and following that, corporates have repeatedly mentioned over-hiring and job duplications as reasons for mass layoffs. It can be translated as they have the technology and automatic processes to do the same work with fewer employees.
The predicted recession of 2023, if happening, would make several other companies join this list. With more layoffs, the labor market would be rich with talented and experienced techies making it hard for the freshers to crack the market. Also, with high supply, there is always the side effect of value/salary diminution.
Social media giant Zuckerberg said that this low tide is due to increasing competition in the market, online commerce boomeranging back to the old trends, and the macroeconomic slide. Major companies have mentioned that they plan to hire high-talent profiles for a targeted key area to aid the company’s growth.
The Scenario is not the Same Everywhere
Not all companies plan to lay off a chunk of their workforce right before Christmas. HashCash Consultants, an international blockchain entity, announced mass hiring for various roles. The company is planning to expand its operations in India. HashCash aims to create a development center that would require a large volume of specified talents in domains like software development, QA and testing, business development, blockchain development, database & infrastructure, support, marketing, and other areas throughout the value chain.
HashCash focuses on web 3.0 integration, Defi application, and building & supporting DAOs. Thus, it would require highly-specific talent groups and skill building before it can expand in India. Usually, when companies try to expand to a new region, they focus more on the young talent they can mold. But, HashCash is looking for experienced talents and fresh ones.
On the other side of the globe, HashCash is involved in a micro-loan platform that funds women entrepreneurs in Morocco.
Meanwhile, in the US, Indian tech giant TCS plans to hire 1.2k new employees. While the industry is trying to reduce its workforce, TCS is on a hiring spree. It employed more than 1.1k employees in the last five years and has 3k Illinoisans under them. TCS needs more talent in AI, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.
Blockchain: A Potential Safe Haven?
The best way to counterattack this tech winter trend is by choosing fields where most of its progress is ahead of it. When an industry gets saturated, it is more likely to focus on automation, cost-cutting, etc., to look innovative and profitable. However, a growing field like blockchain or crypto trading would need more human talents as all its developments are ahead of it. The market size of the blockchain industry will have 53.7% growth between 2020 and 2025.
Tech winter is coming, and major firms are ready to embrace the thrust of the predicted recession. However, a few firms in the growing industries are open to expanding and hiring new talents. We need to know where exactly to search for viable employers.