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Since the pandemic, multiple tech giants have laid off countless employees due to rising inflation and material and labor costs. While some companies decided to focus on consumer retention and automatization, others agreed that cutting operating expenses would be efficient by laying off a considerable part of their employee team.

The 2020 pandemic triggered massive job cuts by 2023, when more than 167 thousand employees globally were announced to be released, according to Statista. Retail startups were the most affected, firing most of their workers and even shutting off their operations. Amazon, Meta, and Google were leading the cutback rates.

Unfortunately, the tech industry isn't reliable anymore, especially for young employees, as they leave people without jobs during difficult times. Numerous reasons drive this movement, and employees must be prepared with additional job resources and offers.

But let’s understand what happens with the tech industry.

Employees vs. generative AI

One of the main suppositions experts make when analyzing this trend is regarding investments in generative AI, a trend that escalated in 2023. Businesses approach it because it helps increase efficiency, improve decision-making, and offer better customer experiences than traditional methods.

For example, TikTok is one of the companies introducing a generative AI tool for businesses to create superior content. The TikTok Creative Assistant can guide creators on the best content-making practices, analyze ads, write scripts, and even brainstorm ideas.

While this tool is helpful for companies lacking creativity, when it comes to marketing a business, a person should work behind the project, whether they buy TikTok followers for organic growth or research customer satisfaction on social media.

Tech companies and competition

Major tech companies, especially Meta and Google, are continuously competing since they’re based on similar research techniques and product advertisements. On the other hand, Meta also competes with TikTok and YouTube since their content-sharing methods are unique.

However, some believe that competition extends to what these tech giants are doing to increase their technology stocks since there have been no market repercussions since the layoffs. Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon stocks have risen considerably in the past year following their job cuts announcements. Although it usually causes layoffs to companies by damaging their reputation, this strategy can increase the interest of shareholders and investors in the company’s capabilities when done right.

Numerous layoffs in Israel, too

The Israeli tech industry was one of the country’s most prosperous, but giant companies hit the country too in response to increasing AI marketing tools. For example, Google's parent company, Alphabet, is preparing around 30,000 layoffs, of which 2,000 are only in Israel. It is believed that Google will implement a new employee rating method that will allow it to fire 2% of its employees in the future.

The situation in Israel is similar to the global crisis. During the pandemic, a massive employment moment wasn’t sustainable anymore when, in 2021, a sudden investment decline slowed down companies’ growth. That’s why some tech companies stopped recruiting while others planned more layoffs of about 5%. Moreover, salary raises were out of the question.

10% of tech employees drafted

The ongoing conflicts led to necessary drafting, and it’s estimated that about 10% of tech employees in Israel took this path. However, the rate is as high as 30% in some companies. Some firms could avoid business disruptions, especially if they were globally active, but startups weren’t that lucky.

While some businesses allowed employees to work from home, they haven’t been able to conduct all activities remotely, such as high-profile tech conferences, which were eventually canceled. Fundraising and dealmaking have also been affected, as investors are wary about their next move in accordance with the country’s condition.

Still, tech companies showed support to the government, such as Microsoft or Google, providing digital services to first responders.

How can employees face the massive layoffs?

The worldwide crisis is making food, accommodation, and health quite expensive, and considering how easy it is for tech companies to fire people, many of them will be affected. But are there ways to overcome the situation and start a new beginning?

Well, the first thing to do is ensure everyone knows you are looking for a job. From family, friends, and the internet, ensure you’ve covered your situation and are searching for a new position based on your experience. This should be done as soon as you find out about being fired, so you’ll have the time to build up a strong resume and maybe learn new skills for any available position.

Tech workers have a lot of potential when it comes to making money because they have a vast array of knowledge regarding open-source computer security projects, so they can expand their search area. However, having a look at what the market is seeking is essential. For instance, talent in machine learning, AI, VR, and NLP are on the rise, and learning them might take time, but you already have a solid technology base to improve.

Widening your job search in various places, whether remote or offline, will offer you more chances to find something suitable for your experience. It’s always best to be open to talking to people in HR because applying for a job online might not be helpful. Sometimes, companies want straightforward employees who are sure of themselves, so you may be making a great first impression if you call the company and specify your situation. Small businesses or startups might be in need of a person like you.

Will there be more layoffs in 2024?

The tech layoff trend started after the pandemic when companies employed numerous people due to more resources and better organization. However, when COVID-19 began to slow down, tech giants realized they couldn’t support the increasing number of workers and make profits, so they started massively laying them off to survive the challenging worldwide conditions. As of the beginning of 2024, tech companies have continued firing people, but we don’t know whether the trend will continue and at what rate.