We are certainly in the eye of the storm. US Unemployment hit 39M this week — more than the population of Canada.
The tech sector, considered the most resilient, hasn’t been spared. On Monday, Uber laid off another 3,000 employees, making it a total of 6700 employees in two weeks (Source). Since March 11, 450 tech companies in North America have laid off nearly 60,000, with the numbers growing every day.
We have compiled a list of the five most common trends as tech companies adjust during these uncertain times.
- Extending your runway: To survive, employers are extending their financial runway by putting hiring on hold, asking employees to take a salary cut, offering furloughs and reducing schedules. When none of these options are available, they are terminating contractors and laying off employees.
- Reprioritizing roles: Many in companies in the tech sector are faced with having to pivot and reposition. They are shifting their focus from new development projects to a focus on security and other adjustments necessary to enable remote work at scale. We are seeing an increase in demand for cybersecurity engineers, systems engineers and systems administrators to ensure security for remote employees.
- Remote workers: tech companies are typically in the best position to adapt to remote work as most are used to video conferencing and online communication tools. If the best talent for your company is based in another city or country, is there a need for the individual to relocate? With the rise of remote working in all industries we anticipate that companies will look globally for greater access to top talent to fill their roles when hiring picks up.
- Adapting the hiring process: It’s no longer practical or possible anymore to meet candidates in person. But making a decision for a critical position over a zoom meeting can be incredibly risky and challenging. This requires employers to do a more thorough pre-screening and take more time in hiring to ensure they have fully vetted the candidate before making a decision.
- Surplus of talent; increased fraud: As an employer, you can’t afford to waste time on unqualified applicants. With fewer companies hiring compared to the number of laid-off workers, candidates will try harder to differentiate themselves. Be prepared for inflated representations of skills and experiences — resume fluffing. You need to be able to move through candidates quickly and verify their qualifications. Implementing efficient systems and processes is critical to managing inbound applicants.
The tech hiring landscape is going to continue to shift in the coming months. Those companies that are still hiring, will need to focus on developing processes to handle the flood of candidates in their pipeline. The hiring process is the first interaction that a future employee has with your company, so you want to ensure that it is streamlined and effective. At the same time, companies have fewer human resources to manage the process. Using software and services can optimize your hiring process so you get to the top candidates faster. This will save you time and resources and ensure that you are bringing the best talent to your growing team.