Scaling a dev team during a recession can be a challenge, as companies have become more mindful of their costs and risks, and investors are more prudent with their money. As a result, many software development projects were downscaled, and others were put to a standstill.
However, there are several ways to optimize the costs of hiring tech talent during an economic crisis. As companies struggle to stay afloat, many are being forced to make tough decisions about hiring and staffing. It can be tempting for companies to cut costs by reducing staff or outsourcing to cheaper labor markets. However, when it comes to hiring developers and tech talent, there is a better option: staff augmentation services.
We will discuss the benefits of staff augmentation in the later part of the article. First, let’s look at some numbers to get a lay of the land.
Mass layoffs in the tech industry in 2022-2023
Layoffs in the tech sector were a major story in 2022, as companies around the world were forced to downsize due to global economic turbulence.
In 2022, many major tech companies like Amazon, Salesforce, Twitter, Tesla, Shopify, Microsoft, and Netflix all cut staff, some of them more than once.
- Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other tech companies have laid off more than 70,000 employees in the last year, with Alphabet alone cutting 12,000 jobs.
- Amazon was responsible for the largest workforce reduction, with more than 18,000 employees being laid off.
- Amazon is said to lay off 10,000 people in corporate and technology jobs.
- Meta has recently hit the news with an eye-watering 11,000-person mass layoff.
According to a Crunchbase News tally, more than 66,000 workers in U.S.-based tech companies were laid off in mass job cuts so far in 2022. Other tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, and Oracle have also announced layoffs.
Here are some companies with layoffs in 2023:
Twilio layoffs: 17% of workforce laid off (February, 2023)
Zoom layoffs: 15% of workforce laid off (February, 2023)
Coinbase layoffs: 20% of workforce laid off (January, 2023)
Salesforce layoffs: 10% of workforce laid off (January, 2023)
Vimeo layoffs: 11% of workforce laid off (January, 2023)
In summary, the layoffs affected a variety of tech positions, ranging from software engineers to product managers to customer service representatives. The uncertainty of the global economy was cited as a major factor in the layoffs, as many companies had to adjust their workforce to changing market conditions.
How does a recession affect hiring and recruitment?
The tech industry has been hit hard by the recent recession, with news of slower hiring from tech giants like Meta and Amazon. This offers a unique opportunity to optimize your hiring process for future success. Despite the downturn, certain tech areas are still projected to grow, such as cloud and infrastructure. However, no job is 100% safe in a recession, so it is important to be aware of the implications a recession can have on the tech industry when hiring and recruiting.
What to avoid when hiring during a recession
Recruiting tech talent during a recession can be a difficult process, and there are a couple of strong dos and don'ts. To succeed, tech companies need to be more aware of the potential pitfalls and make sure they don’t fall into them.
Below are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid while hiring tech talent during a recession:
- Don't lay off too many people. You need to strike a balance between downsizing and hiring. Job security will improve company morale and boost employee engagement.
- Don’t freeze your hiring. Refusing to hire the right talent to support your projects may help you save some money, but it can put your projects at risk as people need to take on more responsibilities – and possibly deliver lower-quality work.
- Don’t lose key talent to a competitor who offers more cash. If you have valuable senior employees, reward them accordingly. Hard as it may sound, this may mean you’ll need to offer competitive salaries where deserved. In a recession, offering lower salaries seems the most logical solution, but may lead to a lack of quality applicants and a loss of valuable talents that currently work for you.
- Hire for the long-term, or don’t hire at all. In a recession, companies should focus on finding talent that can stay with them for the long term. Hiring tech talent for a single project is more expensive in the long term.
- Leverage modern recruitment methods. Consider using online assessments, coding tests, and virtual interviews to identify the best tech talent and optimize your efforts.
- Build a strong employer brand. Actively build and promote your employer brand to attract the best tech talent. Organize conferences, demonstrate your expertise, publish thought leadership content, and let your top talent shine.
By following the above tips, companies can ensure that they find the right tech talent during a recession.
How to hire tech talent during a recession?
In a recession, it can be difficult to find the right tech talent for your business. However, there are strategies you can use to weather the storm.
Get more prudent with your hiring
Make sure you don’t overstaff and keep a laser focus on the key skills you really need. Research the market to identify the right skills you’ll need and find the right people for the roles. This seems like an obvious tip, but becomes something especially important in a recession.
Identify your skill gaps
Gain a better understanding of the skill areas where you’re lacking – find out what positions need to be prioritized and act fast to fill them.
Develop and promote your existing talent
When looking for a necessary skill set, it may be best to look at your own employees. There are always a few people that go above and beyond in their jobs. Identify the staff that are instrumental to your success, and give them greater responsibility. This can improve employee morale and loyalty and boost engagement.
Hire fast, fire fast
Adaptation is important to job growth and sustainability. It is an old tenet of business that you should hire slowly and fire quickly. This means that you should take your time when bringing someone into your organization. On the flip side, if it is not working out, let the person go quickly.
In a recession, however, you may not have this comfort. Once you find a candidate to be a good fit, don’t make them wait, or you’ll lose them to another employer. Make an offer quickly – such urgency will make them feel valued and needed, and thus more compelled to jump on board.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
There are limits to your hiring efficiency without external support. Here are some ideas you might try for size:
Consider a recruitment agency
Consider using recruitment technology to help you find the right talent faster. There are a number of platforms and tools available that can help you streamline the recruitment process, such as applicant tracking systems and online resume databases.
When working with a recruiting agency, businesses should reach out to someone with experience in recruiting during economic downturns. They are able to provide expert insight on working closely with prospects, as well as what communication with them should look like.
The first step is to create a clear job description that outlines the skills and experience needed for the position. This will help you narrow down your list of potential candidates and ensure that you’re only considering those who meet the specific requirements.
Leverage networking opportunities to find talent
There are many online communities dedicated to IT and tech professionals where you can post job openings and find potential candidates. You can also tap into your own network of contacts by asking for referrals.
Once you’ve identified potential candidates, reach out to them to learn more about their skills and experience. Consider holding virtual interviews, rather than in-person ones, to be able to communicate with a wider range of potential candidates.
Be flexible and open to opportunities
Consider remote and part-time roles, and consider staff augmentation.
What is staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a flexible hiring model that allows companies to add skilled professionals to their teams on a temporary or project basis.
With staff augmentation services, a company can hire developers and tech talent for a specific project or period of time, without committing to a long-term employment contract. This model provides a cost-effective solution for companies looking to expand their tech talent pool, without taking on the risks and costs of hiring in-house.
Why is staff augmentation especially effective during a recession?
During a recession, businesses need to be even more mindful of their hiring practices. Hiring in-house can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky, particularly in an uncertain economic climate. With staff augmentation, businesses can avoid these risks and enjoy a number of benefits, including:
Staff augmentation is a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to expand their tech talent pool. With staff augmentation, businesses can avoid the costs associated with hiring in-house, such as recruitment, training, and benefits. This can result in significant cost savings, particularly during a recession.
Staff augmentation services can help businesses reduce labor costs, save time, and rapidly bring new products and services to market. Companies can often find cost savings by leveraging the services of remote or freelance workers, who may be paid on an hourly or per-project basis. This can be beneficial for businesses in a variety of industries, including software development, customer service, and data analysis.
Hiring in-house can be a slow and time-consuming process, particularly during a recession when businesses may have limited resources. Staff augmentation provides a quick and efficient way to add skilled professionals to a team, allowing businesses to complete projects on time and on budget.
During a recession, it can be difficult to predict the long-term staffing needs of a business. Staff augmentation provides the flexibility to add and remove staff as needed, without the long-term commitments associated with hiring in-house.
Staff augmentation services can provide businesses with the flexibility to quickly scale up or down their workforce to meet changing market conditions. This can be especially important during a recession, when businesses may have to quickly adjust to changing customer needs and demands. Staff augmentation can help businesses remain agile and nimble during the downturn, allowing them to quickly make adjustments to their workforce as needed.
When hiring in-house, businesses may struggle to find the right talent with the necessary expertise to complete specific projects. With staff augmentation, businesses can quickly and easily find highly skilled developers and tech talent with the expertise required for a specific project.
Staff augmentation services can provide businesses with access to specialized skills and knowledge they may not already have in-house. This can be especially useful during a recession, when resources may be limited and hiring may be difficult. For example, businesses may be able to access experts in certain fields such as finance, marketing, and software engineering who can help them navigate the recession and develop strategies for survival and growth.
During a recession, businesses need to be mindful of their financial risks. Staff augmentation provides a low-risk solution for expanding a business's tech talent pool, without the risks associated with long-term employment contracts.
How to choose the right staff augmentation partner?
When it comes to staff augmentation, there are a number of service providers to choose from. However, not all staff augmentation services are created equal. When choosing a staff augmentation service, it is important to look for a provider with a proven track record of success. A reputable staff augmentation service will:
- Have a large pool of highly skilled developers and tech talent.
- Be able to provide developers and tech talent with the expertise required for a specific project.
- Have a proven track record of delivering high-quality work on time and on budget.
- Be able to provide a range of staffing solutions, including temporary and project-based hiring.
- Be able to provide ongoing support and management of staff, as required.
Recessions can be a difficult time for businesses, with reduced consumer demand and limited access to capital. However, many companies are able to survive and even thrive during the downturn by strategically leveraging staff augmentation services. By utilizing staff augmentation, businesses can access the specialized knowledge and expertise they need without hiring full-time employees, thus saving on costs and gaining the flexibility to quickly scale up or down as needed.
Overall, staff augmentation services can provide businesses with the cost savings, specialized knowledge, and flexibility they need to survive and thrive during a recession. By leveraging the services of remote or freelance workers, businesses can access the skills and expertise they need without having to commit to long-term hires, allowing them to remain agile and responsive to the changing market.
How staff augmentation services can help you overcome in-house hiring challenges
Staff augmentation services provide a cost-effective option for businesses to find highly-skilled professionals and fill key roles. The staff augmentation service provider evaluates a company’s existing capabilities and provides a list of experienced professionals who can fill the identified positions. This eliminates the need for a lengthy recruitment process and the associated costs.
Moreover, the staff augmentation service provider can provide customized training to improve the capabilities of the existing staff and bridge any potential gaps in their skill sets. This can improve organizational efficiency and reduce the need for expensive external recruitment. Staff augmentation services also ensure that a qualified expert is always available when a specific job needs to be done. This means that the organization can focus on their core tasks and increase their efficiency.
Working with RST tech specialists
When looking at employment in global economic turmoil, the best way to survive is to prepare before the storm hits for good. No company is recession-proof. Businesses need to be mindful of their hiring practices and explore new ways of getting the right talent for their projects. Staff augmentation is a cost-effective, flexible, and low-risk solution for expanding a business's tech talent pool, without the risks and costs associated with hiring in-house.
By choosing a reputable staff augmentation service, businesses can quickly and easily add skilled professionals to their team, allowing them to complete projects on time and on budget. So, if you're looking to expand your tech talent pool during a recession, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll explain how we can help.