- Several tech companies have introduced hiring freezes and layoffs to brace for a potential economic slowdown.
- Hiring pauses can also be concerning for those already working for a business.
- Insider spoke to tech recruiters to find out what to do if your company presses pause on hiring.
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Hiring freezes and layoffs are spreading across the tech sector.
Earlier this month, Meta announced it was cutting more than 11,000 staff and extending a hiring freeze until the first quarter of next year, with a small number of exceptions.
Twitter also laid off about half of employees under its new owner, Elon Musk, while Amazon is reportedly gearing up for a round of management layoffs.
Tech giant Apple has slowed hiring, including freezing recruiting completely on some teams, Insider reported. Last week, CEO Tim Cook told CBS that Apple was being "deliberate" about hiring and "continuing to hire, but not everywhere in the company."
"It's like almost every second day you're hearing about a new company or big tech company announcing hiring freezes," Nikita Gupta, founder of resume review company FAANGPath, told Insider.
Companies such as Uber and Meta have announced they are putting the brakes on recruiting as the threat of recession rises.
"The war for talent has been really hot," said Chris Abbass, CEO of tech recruiting platform Talentful. "But now people are probably going to see a drop in demand."
Although these pauses are primarily a problem for job seekers, hiring freezes can also cause employees to worry about job security.
Insider spoke to specialist tech recruiters to find out what to do if your company enters a hiring freeze.
1. Don't assume the worst
Hiring freezes are not just another way of announcing layoffs. In times of economic slowdowns, a hiring pause is not "necessarily a bad thing," according to Abbass. "It could be your company just being very sensible."
Favorable economic conditions in the past year have allowed many companies to invest and expand.
"There's a lot of companies, especially in the last 12 to 18 months, that have been growing incredibly fast because the economy has been booming," he said. "Now that the market is going towards a downturn, that's putting a lot of pressure on those companies and they're having to adapt really quickly, which means hiring freezes."
"It's not always layoffs," FAANGPath's Gupta said. "If a company has said officially that they are doing a hiring freeze, this generally means that they are not going to hire more people but there can be multiple reasons behind it."
2. Check on your company's growth
Understanding how recession-proof your company is can put you in a better position during a hiring freeze.
Talentful's Abbass recommends looking closely at a company's growth and revenue. "Ask yourself, was that company growing before the pandemic? Have they had a steady pace of growth over the last three years?"
"If so, that probably tells you that they can withstand some hard times," he added.
Some industries are more affected by economic downturns than others.
"If there's a downturn, ask yourself if people still need it, or is it a luxury? For example, there's been a lot of layoffs in instant delivery," he said. "When people are short on cash they're not going to spend a premium to get something delivered in 10 minutes."
Some roles are also less likely to be affected by hiring freezes. "There are always more secure roles," Gupta said. "Obviously developers are always in need and engineers are always in need."
3. Find out what your company is prioritizing
Companies that implement hiring freezes will be looking at their business costs.
If you think your company might be considering redundancies, you'll want to mark yourself out as important.
"When companies do make layoffs, they look at the areas that they don't need, but then they also tend to keep the high performers across the company," Abbass said.
"They need criteria on why they're making the redundancies and to have a logical process. Normally the first place that companies start is a performance ranking based on the employee's performance."
Abbass recommended having a frank conversation with your manager about what being a high performer means and which of your goals contribute to the company's key priorities.