It feels as if, almost overnight, the tech industry flipped from being the land of lavish perks and endless opportunities to a world rocked by mass layoffs, begging the question: has the axe finally fallen on tech?
Experts say it’s a little more complicated than that. The tech industry has been booming for some time, bolstered in recent years by a pandemic that forced most of the world inside and online. That explosion – and the hiring sprees that came with it – is finally slowing, and those at the top are holding their hands up.
When Elon Musk went on a firing frenzy at Twitter, sacking at least half of its 7,500 employees, which recently included its entire Brussels office, Jack Dorsey, Founder and former Chief Executive of the social media service, claimed responsibility. “I grew the company size too quickly,” he wrote on Twitter.
When Stripe, a payments start-up valued at US$74 billion, laid off more than 1,000 employees, its CEO, Patrick Collison, wrote something similar. “We overhired for the world we’re in,” he wrote. “We were much too optimistic.”
And when Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, let go of 11,000 people, or about 13% of its workforce, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, cited his own misreading of a post-pandemic world in a memo to staff. “Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended,” he wrote. “I got this wrong.”
Huh. No, kidding, Zuck. Of course, it’s not all his fault, much as many would like to blame him for just about everything that’s wrong with the world, but rising interest rates, rising inflation and labour costs have all impacted the industry. The global downturn has also led to many brands reducing their digital ad spend – a big source of revenue for many tech companies. And private and public venture capitalists are no longer looking for fast growth in their investments but instead require a strong cash flow and profitability from their portfolio companies.
But here’s the good news – yes, there is some. While Big Tech companies might dominate news headlines, they’re just a part of a much broader industry, and there are lots of smaller firms still hiring tech workers. In fact, some companies are now jumping at the chance to attract those people who would have previously been scooped up by the recruiters of the largest companies. You just need to make sure you stand out by investing in skill development, maintaining a strong online presence, expanding your network and ensuring that you tailor your applications for each role you go for. This is not the time or place for a one-size-fits-all approach.
Speaking of time, it’s now of the essence – don’t wait until the new year. Here are three great roles to apply for today, with plenty more to discover on the Tech.EU Job Board.
Senior Software Development Engineer – Comms Tooling, GoCardless, London
GoCardless is a global leader in account-to-account payments, working with 80,000 businesses worldwide, from multinational corporations to small businesses. Each year it processes US$30 billion worth of payments across more than 30 countries. It’s currently recruiting for a Senior Software Development Engineer to contribute to its engineering culture. If you have experience building web products and services, an awareness of technologies across the stack, you thrive in a collaborative environment and believe the best products are built through collaboration, then this is the place for you. Apply for the role here.
DevOps Engineer, Bauer Media Group, Remote
Bauer Media Audio operates a “hub and spoke” model for digital. The central digital team supports its country business units with strategy, insight, innovation, product management, technology, IP distribution and support. As a department, it’s now hiring DevOps engineers. The brand is embarking on the next generation of audio experiences, and as part of this, you will be involved in an exciting departmental transformation. If you have extensive experience working with deployment pipelines, and professional experience working with AWS, Jenkins, GitHub/GitLab, Kubernetes/Docker and DBA Skills with relational and NoSQL databases, then this could be the role for you. See the full job spec here.
Senior Software Engineer – Back End, Booking.Com, Brussels
A career at Booking.com is all about the journey, helping you explore new challenges in a place where you can be your best self. The brand has always been a pioneer, making it easier for everyone to enjoy amazing experiences wherever they go. It’s now looking for a Senior Software Engineer for its offices in Amsterdam, Manchester or London. You will be responsible for the development, performance, and scaling of its public website as well as internal systems. Within a team you will work independently and will also be responsible for helping steer key technical decisions. Interested? Find out all you need to know about this exciting role here.
Lead image: David Rotimi