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Last year was challenging on all fronts within tech recruiting and hiring, so what’s next? To discuss his predictions for 2024, Hired CEO Josh Brenner visited the Talk Talent to Me podcast. Based on The Future of Tech Hiring: 8 Bold Predictions for 2024, he shares his thoughts on a tech hiring resurgence, AI, layoffs, and the RTO/remote debate. Get a sneak peek of the episode below and listen to the full conversation here.There were lots of layoffs happening…You seem to think there’s going to be a resurgence in hiring this year. I’d love to know why you think that’s the case.
I want to be clear that we have been through this really interesting journey over the past five years. I think the ‘resurgence’ is not to be confused with the rapid scaling we saw post-pandemic, starting in the spring of 2021. The resurgence I’m talking about is more like a pre-pandemic pace than the rapid period we saw from 2021 to 2022.
We’re feeling optimistic for 2024 because we took a survey from hiring managers, recruiters, and tech leaders. Overwhelmingly, the response was that their budgets for headcount in 2024 will expand. We’re also seeing that companies have been in this strange place where they’ve pulled back. As a result, they started to see the growth rates slow down and their ability to achieve their digital transformation goals, in a lot of cases slowed down as a result.
We’re starting to see some companies, especially the smaller ones, realize that real growth is still important. While managing your costs is important for a small business, they need to show growth, or doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to be in business. We see some of that swinging back around with companies backfilling hires and pulling forward new initiatives. We strongly believe the tech industry is still a really exciting opportunity for people to grow their careers.
I’m not going to name specific names but we have data across a large portion of those companies. We’re seeing financial services companies are back in full swing. In a lot of ways, larger tech companies, while they have very publicly been shedding employees are also hiring on the opposite side of that.
Startups, especially those focused on AI, machine learning, and all of the surrounding ecosystem have gotten a vast majority of the funding over the past year. As you can imagine, with that funding comes the need to hire.A survey response revealed that 68% of tech employers would feel confident rehiring employees they laid off, while only 15% of unemployed workers would definitely accept a job from an employer who laid them off. Do you think people should not go back to employers that laid them off? Or should jobseekers swallow their pride and get their old job back?
That’s a really good question. My thinking on why the companies are so interested in taking the people back is maybe self-explanatory. But I think it’s also worth mentioning there are a lot of benefits to having boomerang employees. They’re vetted in the sense that you’ve already made the decision once to hire them. They clearly have a value fit with the company and were a strong contributor to the team. There’s obviously a lot less ramping up needed to get them back into the company.
I understand why companies would be excited about having people back. I know a lot of companies across the board had to make extremely tough decisions when making these cuts. A lot of the people they had to let go of were people they didn’t want to see gone.
On the employee side, it goes back to the pandemic. Talent used that opportunity while we were in lockdown to kind of reprioritize and reevaluate what they were looking for in a company and employer. We left that period with talent being even more focused on making sure they had a really strong connection with the mission, vision, and values a company had. They wanted to be part of something bigger. They didn’t want to just be coming in and clocking in and out. People that are happy at work are happy at home. And the reverse is true, too. It really impacts your whole life.
All that being said, one of the key pieces of that connection talent has to companies when looking at the values is trust. They want to feel like they can trust their employer. A lot of companies took a lot of care when they did reductions. They tried to help people get other jobs and do the right thing by talent. Those employers are going to have a much easier time getting those boomerangs back. They live the values they talk about as a company.
On the flip side, there were also a lot of companies – more often than not – that didn’t do the right thing by employees they let go. The companies that handled those layoffs poorly will have a very small chance of getting any of those employees back. They have their challenge cut out for them. Not only are they not going to be able to get the boomerang employees back, but they really need to focus on their recruiting efforts.
Because those companies now have employer branding issues. People talk, use social media, and check company review sites like Glassdoor and Blind. People will look at those things. Talent teams now have a hard job within those companies to rebuild trust with jobseekers.
I suggest those companies be very upfront in the recruiting process. They should share why things went down the way they did, what they learned from that, and how they plan to stick to their values going forward. It’s interesting to see such a low percentage (at 15%) of people saying they would go back. I think a lot of it has to do with how companies handle layoffs in this round.Listen to the full episode. Discover more of Hired’s 2024 tech hiring predictions in “The Future of Tech Hiring: 8 Bold Predictions for 2024.”
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