Job seekers

Here’s what job seekers need to know about hiring in the tech industry

  • At a tough time for the tech industry, the worker landscape looks a little more precarious.
  • Still, the picture isn’t dire: Tech job openings rose more than 3% from September to October, the data shows.
  • Experts say the sector is fluctuating, which is expected in a post-pandemic economy.

Big Tech employees are feeling the effects of a spiral economy.

Last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the dismissal of 11,000 workersTwitter rudely dismissed employees and closed its offices, and the payment company Stripe cut 14% of its workforce. And earlier this year, workers at some of the other biggest players in the tech industry, including netflix, Microsoft, TIC Tac, and Oracle – found themselves unemployed. In total, more than 106,000 tech employees were laid off in 2022, according to layoff tracking platform

This series of mass layoffs stands in stark contrast to the runaway success of tech companies over the past decade. Tech giants like Google and Apple posted record profits and growth throughout the 2010s, and startups saw frothy, eye-popping valuations. In turn, the employees appreciated fat compensation packagescomplete with generous bonuses and stock offers.

Yet despite the change in pace, tech recruiting experts remain optimistic about the prospects for job seekers — and the data backs up that claim. General Technology Jobs increased by more than 3% to 317,000 openings in October, according to a tech jobs report by CompTIA and a separate analysis by PR Newswire.

Rob Barnett, a recruiter in New York who seeks candidates for media and technology companies, said he was not bothered by the bad news about layoffs and hiring freeze coming out of Silicon Valley.

“In my practice as a headhunter, I’ve hired people at the worst times in the economy,” he said, adding that he advises job seekers to stay focused on their search, rather than to scroll through their social media feeds. “Whether there are recession fears, or it’s the holidays, or it’s August, never take your eyes off the ball and never be deterred by scary headlines.

“You can always be the right fit for a hiring manager at any time.”

Indeed, experts say that even though some big tech companies have pulled out, candidates still have solid options – provided they are realistic about their prospects, know where to look and know how they position themselves in the market. work.

What does the landscape look like now

The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that many people were still leaving their jobs and were convinced they would find new ones – and better ones. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 10.7 million job offers and 4.1 million dropouts in September.

In other words, it is still largely a market of job seekers. In the technology industry, from October, the unemployment rate was 2.2%, while the national unemployment rate was 3.7%.

Still, there is no doubt that the economic red flags – high inflation, a plummeting stock market and continued supply chain rumbles – loom in the background. In fact, the peak in hiring at tech companies in May 2022 was followed by a drop in job postings in June, Dice’s tech jobs report found.

“If you have a meteoric rise, chances are you also have an aggressive fall,” said Sheridan Orr, chief marketing officer of online tech community Built In.

She said workers made redundant earlier this summer had not experienced lasting unemployment, underscoring how the change was more of a redistribution of workers. “There’s a lot of flexibility in the market, so to speak,” she said.

Andrew Flowers, Senior Labor Economist at appcasta software company that helps companies recruit, said its “impression is that these factors are hurting tech companies, but not tech workers.”

After all, software engineers don’t just work at Google. Retailers, government agencies, and other non-tech businesses also need tech talent. “The outlook for tech professions is much stronger than for the tech industry,” he said.

What it all means for tech workers

If you’re a techie wondering what all of this means to you, the experts have two words: don’t panic. AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, said it’s critical to remember these layoff announcements and that the hiring freeze won’t hit the entire industry.

“I think people, when they heard these announcements, were very worried: is there a tidal wave coming? said Konkel. But in reality, “it’s more like a ripple,” she said of the layoff announcements earlier this year.

Even if the market is a little tougher, talented tech workers will almost always have good job options available to them, according to Will Rippetoe, a tech industry career coach in San Diego. “If you’re an attractive candidate and have desirable skills, the leverage is always there,” he said.

First, Rippetoe recommends protecting yourself against the recession by learning skills and earning certifications. According to a September analysis by Indeed, skills in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud computing are the most in-demand skills in the tech industry.

“Making sure you put yourself in the best possible position to get offers for the opportunities that are out there is really key,” he said.

A woman presents to colleagues around a conference table

Even if the market is a little tougher, the vast majority of tech workers have plenty of good options, experts say.


Next, think broadly about your target businesses. Consider startups, midsize companies, and small businesses. Also look for jobs in other industries. There’s a world of opportunity beyond Meta, Amazon, Apple, netflixand Alphabetaccording to Barnett, the headhunter.

“The good alternative to finding a job at a big tech company is to pursue a similar role at a smaller company,” he said.

In addition, he added, hiring processes at these companies are notoriously long and arduous.

“Every open position has thousands of CVs. You have to be interviewed by eight or nine people and pass all these tests, and then people have to vote for you,” he said. “The odds of getting hired are long, but if you’re lucky enough to make it happen, congratulations, you’re one of countless geniuses and you’re going to be spending a lot of time in meetings.”

If you fancy the experience of a large company, Thomas Vick, regional director of human resources consultancy Robert Half, said many large companies are seeing an influx of hiring and simply continuing their practices of normal hiring. He called companies like Meta and Amazon “not always a direct reflection of the broader market.”

Instead, Vick pointed to an outsized need for IT professionals due to increased interest in cybersecurity, cloud migration, digitalization, and more, as businesses across industries seek to become more technologically savvy.

“While the whole organization may or may not be affected, what we continue to see is that more and more organizations – even these big tech companies – continue to invest money in regarding their IT-related positions,” Vick added.

Finally, it’s important to have an open mind about compensation and equity, said Lauren Maillian, CEO of Digital Undivided, which elevates the financial growth of Black and Latina women entrepreneurs.

Salaries may be less negotiable in smaller organizations, but stock is often flexible. Keep in mind, she added, that stock grants and options awarded during a market downturn can ultimately come in very handy.

“If you change your mindset a little bit about it if you’re someone looking for a job somewhere that’s going to grant stocks,” she said, “it’s like, ‘Wow, it’s a great time to go for the stocks when it’s low, then hold on for a year or two or three and trust that everything happens in a cycle.'”

This article was originally published on May 24, 2022.