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initial wave technical layoffs captured the world’s headlines with a sense of shock and awe, and according to botanist, more technical workers were laid off in 2022 than in 2020 and 2021 combined. While the big tech companies themselves have laid off an unprecedented number of employees in a very short span of time and continue to grapple with various economic headwinds, the broader tech industry continues to focus on innovation and strategic growth.
These signals do not mean that the employment economy is bad overall, nor do they reflect the broader talent market. In accordance with Mail Recruiter37% of those laid off in the tech industry found a new job within one month, and 79% found a new job within three months, highlighting the many opportunities available. In addition, smoking cessation rates remain the highest in over 20 years, and the unemployment rate is 3.4-3.7%, which is incredibly low. These technicians are also interested in other industries. CNBC notes that many other sectors such as healthcare, education and government are experiencing an unprecedented level of interest from top tech professionals. SMB tech companies are also experiencing newfound popularity.
Related: Why companies should use outsourced development teams to weather economic downturns and layoffs
The best employees who suddenly find themselves unemployed may still be at the helm. The talent wars may be less jarring than a year ago, but they still exist. This creates a great opportunity for companies in the early stages of growth to reflect on recent developments and look inside their culture to ensure they are in the best position to attract some of this talent. The ability of startups to hire and retain these resources could be a key determinant of their future success. However, that’s not all.
Early stage companies differ from most other companies in the market in that they have the flexibility to quickly change and innovate in their culture. To attract and retain this emerging (and incredibly smart) opportunity-seeking talent, startups must implement a set of key practices and procedures that will allow them to stand out from the crowd.
Here are five strategies they can consider to position themselves for sustainable human capital success:
1. Use hybrid and remote work environments
Offer hybrid and remote work flexibility options. Not only will this provide a broader geographic base for hiring, it will actually promote diversity in the workplace. As Aki Cho points out in his article “The Reason Bosses Go Crazy About Remote Work“A hybrid and remote work environment will cater to a workforce that is more ethnically and gender diverse.
2. Create a collaborative and flexible collaboration space
Companies at an early stage need to break down the walls that once surrounded scattered offices. The office should be a place where employees want visit against have visit. Startups can reimagine the purpose of the office by designing collaborative structures and making décor inspiring and welcoming. In addition, there is an option to extend the opening hours, allowing early risers and night owls to have a place to work at a time when they are naturally primed to perform at their best.
Related: Your tech staff is your most powerful reputation tool as your firm hires
3. Offer liberal shareholdings and clearly define vesting schedules
Most people in big tech companies own a very small piece of a very big pie. By joining a startup, they now have the opportunity to own a significant part of their company’s success. Offer generous shareholdings, encouraging employees not only to join the company feeling like co-founders, but also to find a long-term commitment to success. Have a clear timeline for your company’s empowerment and communicate value through frequent evaluation exercises. Renew replenishments when goals are met and the company meets well-defined and well-reported targets.
4. Create and communicate a vision, mission, and values that mean something else
Companies at an early stage have the opportunity to stand out from a large technology package. Create a vision, mission, and set of values that represent clarity, aspiration, and inclusion. Develop a clear communications plan and include it in recruiting, onboarding, and retention materials. The stories of laid-off employees suggest that they felt anonymous, forgotten, and unappreciated. A clear communication plan will serve as the first step towards proving that this time will be different.
5. Be goal oriented when applying for a job
Many tech companies have experienced significant growth during the pandemic. In accordance with CNN Business, some grew by as much as 100% between 2019 and 2022 alone. As those same companies are now cutting their workforce in record numbers, layoffs are coming to the conclusion that their hiring was based on reactive growth, not up to par. Many people think they don’t matter. Early-stage companies can tell a different story by clearly defining the roles they hire for, implementing a smart company-wide hiring plan, and taking responsibility for the long-term retention of those they bring on board.
As the tech layoff trend continues, new generation leaders are realizing that this time it’s more than transactional. Affected employees reflect on their experiences and redefine their definitions of meaningful careers. It could be argued that startups are best suited to address this newfound polar star; they are nimble, cooperative, and able to present the most property-oriented reward structure. With focused planning, focus, and consistent leadership, early-stage leaders can use this unique recruitment opportunity to build best-in-class teams that lay the foundation for lasting success.