• Sarah

What A Recession Means To Tech Hiring

When whispers of a global recession coming around started circulating towards the end of 2019, nobody but the most psychic of conspiracy theorists could have imagined its effects would be compounded by The Great 2020 Lockdown. But that’s where we are now, in the midst of what the International Monetary Fund says is the worst recession since The Great Depression. So naturally, we’re all concerned about how we go from here, and the impact the current climate is going to have on our careers.

Like most things, we’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good? Demand for tech talent is going to stay relatively high compared to demand for talent in other areas. Relatively. With everyone starting to work from home, it’s likely that there’ll still be quite a number of SaaS companies looking to expand their teams to support the increased demand for their products. Of course, the companies with the most job opportunities could be positioned in healthtech, cloud computing or possibly those involved in e-commerce.

Noticed how we italicized, bolded and underlined relatively? Okay cool. So here’s the bad news: While there are still companies hiring, there’s definitely been an incredibly steep drop in the number of open opportunities around. Even though being in tech means that you’re a teeny bit more protected from the layoffs and furloughs that have been going around, remember that no sector is ever completely safe during a recession. That said, most companies are likely to start with freezing promotions and bonuses before they start looking at retrenchments.

So now that Disneyland is closed, we think that the tech sector is probably one of the happiest places to be, all things considered. But like every other sector, competition’s going to be tough if you’re looking for your next opportunity.

Some of the most highly requested hard skills we’ve heard about from our clients is experience with cybersecurity, and mobile development, as companies everywhere scramble to get their systems remote friendly. If you’ve got a bit of spare time on your hands, these may be areas to look at to give you that extra boost in employability. Plus, the government's got loads of grants available now if you're looking to increase your capabilities. And they're covering up to 90% of course fees for certified courses.

The outlook for nabbing an opportunity is even better if you’re open to contract positions. With the recent focus the government has put on digitizing businesses, it’s likely that lots of the tech work still needs to get done, even with companies trying to minimise their costs. So we expect there to be a pretty good number of contract positions opening up to fill in these gaps.

It’s also likely that hiring requirements may also change during this time. With more talent competing for positions, companies may inadvertently get a bit more strict in terms of what they’re looking for in their next addition. We’ve already seen this in startups especially, where things like culture fit, soft skills and personal values play almost as big a role in your application as your ability to code. So including how you’d be able to fit in well with their teams may give your application an edge.

Of course, if you’d like an insider’s view on what some of the most recognized healthtech and fintech startups are looking for during this time, come talk to us. We’ll give you some insight into what they’re really looking for so you can position yourself for success in your applications. Or, you can take a look at our #covid19 articles for more information too!