Big Tech Layoffs: A sign of tech talent shift and a positive for SMEs & non-tech companies

Diana Sharma

Large layoffs are taking place across the globe at big tech companies. Recently we’ve all heard of the following – 10,000 layoffs by Microsoft, 12,000 by Google, 18,000 by Amazon, 7000 by Salesforce.

The recent headlines of layoffs in the big tech companies, begs the question – are we seeing a slowdown in tech? tech jobs? Will the market be flooded with tech talent? But more importantly from our perspective what does it mean for new talent considering a role in tech today?

Let’s start from the beginning. Firstly, why are these big tech companies laying off staff?

Most tech companies went on a hiring spree during the pandemic as the world shifted to digital with surging demand. But with the current economic uncertainty, they have all decided to dial it back and cut costs.

For the big tech companies this is a drop in the ocean financially. Less than 5% of their actual workforce. While the impact is very real for the people faced with this, for tech companies an upcoming recession seems like a good time to review their strategy and reinvest in securing their future with roles that will have the greatest positive impact. It is a correction of the hiring spree that took place the last two years.

Let’s look into this a bit more. Is this the worst layoff the tech sector has seen?

No. Ask the baby boomers and Gen X. They have experienced the worst kind of layoffs – the dotcom crash of early 2000s where the tech sector shed a quarter of its workers where the jobs fell by 5% and then the jobs the global financial crisis in 2008 saw the workforce contract by 6%.

But in 2011 the hiring boom kicked off that lasted a decade if not more, where more than 100,000 jobs were added annually, making up for the dot com crash and more. The biggest hiring took place after the pandemic kicked in to meet the growing demand.

What we are seeing today is most likely the correction of this hiring spree rather than the popping of the bubble.

While I don’t agree with mass layoffs as a solution, what is good to hear is that those laid off are getting snapped up by other companies beyond the big tech in as little as three months. There is a shift in where the talent is needed. And maybe this is a good thing.

We are seeing a shift in Tech Talent. And that’s a good sign for both non-tech companies and tech talent.

While Silicon Valley and Big tech companies like Alphabet, Meta and Amazon have been cutting, tech jobs have continued to increase this year. Why? We are now going through an employment reset where much of the talent needs are within the growing and much needed Healthcare, Banking, Retail and primary industry sectors. Every industry is now digital and they need talent.

So as big companies adjust their workforces, it might free up talent for small, mid-sized and more traditional businesses to snatch up these skilled tech workers and continue the march into the digital age. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity as top talent becomes accessible and start ups would no doubt be looking to snap up this talent too.

It also doesn’t mean that there will be no hiring at these big tech companies. It means these companies will be hiring in areas of demand as Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella put it.

What does it mean for tech talent?

Existing and new tech talent have choices to look beyond the big tech companies. Candidates are now looking for work where they can make a big impact. So, talent disbursement beyond the major tech companies is great news.

The demand for tech talent is growing, even as big tech companies lay off employees. In fact, according to an article on HRD, “The hotter-than-anticipated tech jobs report confirms there are still many more employers hiring tech talent than shedding it,” Herbert said. “It’s certainly premature to dismiss concerns over the health of the economy, but this should be a reassuring sign for the tech workforce.”

Why? Because technology is changing so fast that even if you’re not working at one of the big players like Facebook or Google, there are still plenty of opportunities out there for people who know how to code and build software.

The demand for tech talent might fluctuate throughout 2023, but overall I believe that after this initial storm and despite the worry surrounding layoffs most talent should find their way to new jobs. I lean towards optimism in 2023. I truly believe for us to stay ahead and continue innovating, businesses will need to continue investing in tech talent. Investing and building a talent strategy and hiring new talent will be a wise decision in 2023.

And if you’re someone who’s thinking about upskilling in tech in 2023…

Definitely do it! The tech skill shortage is very real, and technology is the future. By investing in tech training with Mission Ready, you’re getting industry-ready in a short pace of time and ensuring a secure future ready career where you’ll have a variety of career options with flexibility.

At Mission Ready, our confidence in the tech industry and our training clearly shows with OUR PROMISE.