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The first wave of Layoffs in the technical field made global headlines with a sense of shock and awe, and accordingly nerd wallet, More technology workers were laid off in 2022 than in 2020 and 2021 combined. While the big tech companies have released unprecedented numbers themselves in a short space of time and continue to grapple with various economic headwinds, the tech industry in general remains focused on innovation and strategic growth.
These signals do not mean that the overall employment economy is bad, nor do they reflect the broader talent market. Accordingly Zip recruiter37% of technology layoffs found a new job within a month and 79% found a new job within three months, underscoring the many opportunities available to them. In addition, churn rates remain at their highest in over 20 years and unemployment is steady at 3.4% to 3.7%, an incredibly low level. These tech workers are also looking at other industries – CNBC notes that many other sectors such as healthcare, education and government are seeing unprecedented interest from top tech talent. Small and medium-sized tech companies are also enjoying renewed popularity.
Related Topics: Why companies need to use outsourced development teams to survive economic downturns and layoffs
Top employees who are suddenly unemployed can continue to call the shots. The battle for talent may be less drastic than it was a year ago, but it still exists. This presents a tremendous opportunity for early-stage growth companies to reflect on recent events and look inward at their culture to ensure they are best positioned to attract some of this talent. Startups’ ability to hire and retain these resources could be a critical factor in future success. However, the matter is not decided yet.
Early-stage companies differ from most other companies in the market because they have the flexibility to quickly transform and innovate their culture. In order to attract and retain this newly available (and incredibly bright) talent in search of opportunities, startups must implement a number of key practices and procedures that allow them to stand out from the crowd.
Here are five strategies you can consider to position yourself for lasting human capital success:
1. Leverage hybrid and remote work environments
Offer flexibility options for hybrid and remote work. Not only will this provide a broader geographic base for hiring, but it will also encourage diversity in the workplace. As Aki Cho points out in her article:The reason bosses are afraid of remote work“Hybrid and remote work environments accommodate a workforce that is more ethnically and gender diverse.”
2. Create a collaborative and flexible co-working space
Early-stage companies need to tear down the walls that once surrounded isolated offices. The office must become a place where employees work want visit versus have visit. Startups can rethink the purpose of the office by designing with collaborative structures and making the interior inspiring and welcoming. There is also the option to extend opening hours so that both early risers and night owls have a place to work during the period when they are naturally at their best.
Related: Your technical staff is your most powerful reputation tool when recruiting your company
3. Offer liberal equity packages and define clear vesting timetables
Most employees at large tech companies own a very small piece of a very big pie. By joining a startup, they now have the opportunity to play a significant part in the success of their business. Offer generous equity packages and encourage employees not only to get involved like co-founders, but to make a longer-term commitment to success. Clearly articulate your company’s vesting plan and communicate the value through regular evaluation exercises. Expand top-ups when targets are met and the company meets well-defined and well-communicated metrics.
4. Create and communicate vision, mission and values that stand for something else
Early-stage companies have an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the big tech group. Create a vision, mission and values that represent clarity, aspiration and inclusiveness. Develop a clear communications plan and incorporate it into employee recruitment, onboarding and retention materials. Stories of laid-off employees are testament to feeling anonymous, overlooked and undervalued. A clear communication plan will serve as a first step in proving that this time will be different.
5. Be purposeful when hiring
Many tech companies have seen massive growth during the pandemic. Accordingly CNN business, some growing by as much as 100% in the 2019-2022 period alone. With those same companies now shedding their workforce in record numbers, those laid off are concluding that their hiring was based on reactive growth and was not properly thought through. Many feel they didn’t matter. Early stage companies can tell a different story if they clearly define the roles they are hiring for, implement a sound company-wide hiring plan, and hold themselves accountable for the longer-term retention of the people they hire.
As the tech layoff trend continues, next-generation leaders are realizing that this time around is more than just a deal. Affected employees reflect on their experiences and reconsider their ideas of a meaningful career. It can be argued that startups are best positioned to tackle this newfound pole star; They are nimble, cooperative, and able to present the most ownership-oriented reward structure. Through conscious planning, focus, and continued mastery, young leaders can leverage this unique recruiting opportunity to build world-class teams that lay the foundation for lasting success.