This year has been a season of layoffs. Amazon decided not to hire executive position candidates and Apple decided to stop recruitment beyond R&D. Netflix succumbed to extreme competition in the OTT space, firing 4% of their total employee strength and Twitter fired half of their global staff including 150 in India.
Following the big COVID debacle, all the big tech businesses were on a hiring spree. However, with economic change and technological advancement, consumerism and customer expectations went low. This made the giant corporations re-assess themselves and their company’s potential to grow amidst market challenges. In an effort to save money and work towards productivity, several software unicorns started firing their employees.
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What caused layoffs at tech firms?
Layoffs are basically caused by the global recession. Recession leads to decreased consumer needs for goods, services and applications. Post the Russia-Ukraine war, things changed worldwide. Company shares began to drop with Amazon falling 50% YoY in November, making it the first in history to fall more than $1 trillion from its actual place. This drop in top and bottom lines made tech companies re-evaluate their business and curb all unnecessary expenses, which eventually led to global layoffs. We have seen this spillover in Indian tech businesses too.
While most companies gave decent severance packages, there were some that used unethical practices, and compelling registrations. Some even hired bouncers to deal with awkward situations that could happen with abrupt evacuations and sudden layoffs. 44 firms which include unicorns have laid off 15,216 employees thanks to the funding winter this year.
As per experts, these cutbacks have started affecting other parts of the industry too. According to HR professionals, the number of layoffs happening currently is unprecedented. Other than tech giants, the Indian startup ecosystem is struggling with finance.
Amidst all this chaos, small support groups are being formed on social media platforms to help and assist such employees regain their confidence, understand the market situation and also find another job. In fact, companies like Jaguar Land Rover, owned by Tata Motors, are offering jobs specifically to professionals who have lost their work in the tech sector.
What can employers do?
Here are a few examples of how the best workplaces build trust even while taking tough decisions on firing employees:
- Explore all options before laying off employees
- Communication is key while laying off an employee
- Respect and demonstrate care during layoff
- Involve employees in driving change
- Emotional support and severance
- Keep in touch with your employees post their layoff
The times are tough for both the employers and the employees. It is an important juncture for tech companies in India and the world over to understand and evaluate their human resources and give them the support that they deserve.
- Life after a layoff | MoneyControl | November 11, 2022
- Season of layoff | Inventiva | November 12, 2022
- Life after layoffs | Forbes India | November 18, 2022
- Laid off professionals approach placement startups | Economic Times | November 13, 2022
- Employee layoff and trust | Great Place To Work
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