The twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the falling job market have created a global stir. Layoffs, furloughs, and salary cuts have become regular topics in our day-to-day conversations and discussions. Undoubtedly, the degree of impact is industry-dependent. But the latest trends tell us that even the best of technology and digital companies are affected in a time where operations have shifted to tablets and VPNs.
Reading further, you will find some stats (and bad news) that pivot around employment. However, don’t lose heart, as we have listed some strategies to help you deal with this situation better.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, there are takeaways for everyone from this blog! So, take a cup of your favourite drink (yes, water counts!) and read on!
• Recent reports from Bloomberg state that “layoffs have slammed tech companies both large and small since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March…U.S. layoffs now exceed those during the Great Depression in sheer numbers and could end up rivalling the 1930s in percentage terms.”
• Reports from The Wall Street Journal state that nearly 70,000 tech-startup employees worldwide have lost jobs since March, led by ventures in transportation, finance, AI, digital tools, etc. Here’s a list of venture-backed startups that are laying off hundreds of tech workers because of the coronavirus financial strains. This is happening because startups this year are cutting costs to make up for a loss of outside funding.
• Microsoft has confirmed job cuts globally for the company to re-evaluate its business.
• Food delivery company Swiggy announced the layoff of nearly 14% of its total workforce.
• Zomato laid off 13% of its workforce and said it would implement salary cuts of up to 50% across the organisation for at least six months.
• LinkedIn, too, joined the bandwagon with approximately 960 layoffs.
Heavy talk, right? Okay, we will stop here. The hard reality is that our world and its people are not doing well economically. But, like two sides of a coin, there’s a brighter side to this trend.
• E-commerce giant Amazon is adding 175,000 workers to help handle a surge in orders.
• KPMG, one of the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms, has not slowed down hiring due to coronavirus.
• Samsung, one of the world’s most admired brands for electronics, is hiring for roles from project managers to data engineers. They have more than 400 jobs available in 30+ countries. Here are some more examples.
Now that organisations world over are realising the benefits of distributed and remote teams, we are working at a breakneck pace to hire the best global talents looking for new opportunities! We are determined to help champion employees get back up from the COVID fall.
In six months, we have managed to create a pool of 800+ remote professionals spread over 6 time zones. Within a short period we have managed to tie up with 25+ companies. Our hack? The will to connect talent and companies.
Breaking ties with loyal employees is difficult. But times push you to take such hard steps, so here we are with some tips to make the process slightly better and digestible.
• Double, triple, quadruple check everything! Review all other options to see if any combination of temporarily lowering salaries, cutting some benefits, changing work hours, etc., help.
• Be transparent. Some people may be planning to leave. Roll out a letter to see who would be resigning anyway. This will help you make better and fairer decisions.
• Compensate. Many organisations such as Mozilla are giving severance pay to their laid-off employees. Remember, something is better than nothing!
• Stick to a script and prepare for handling breakdowns. Overwhelming news, that too abruptly, can shake even the calmest person. Be empathetic, polite, and ready to answer all sorts of questions.
• Extend support. It’s your responsibility to make the off-boarding process hassle-free for employees. Whether it is giving them their due bonus, severance pay, LOR, etc., ensure everything is ready. If you know companies that are hiring, put a word for your employees to them. You can even submit your list of laid-off employees to platforms such as Skuad who can help them find opportunities again.
• Before you dive in. From getting your tech in order to ensuring maximum employee privacy, Jobbatical has listed key considerations of conducting layoff over video call.
Be mindful that layoffs not only impact people financially but also psychologically. Even the survivors are left less enthusiastic and scared! Therefore, training them and reallocating their tasks must also be a priority. After all, they would have to work longer hours, deliver more, and handle new tasks. So take action in the present but be mindful of the future as well.
No matter how much it feels like, it is not the end of the world. Getting laid off, or surviving it, is not a measure of your capabilities. So, take a deep breath and read what we have to say.
• Negotiate. It’s imperative that you don’t let your emotions overwhelm your thought process. Try to keep your calm and negotiate an opportunity for a salary reduction, getting your skills utilised in some other department, or furlough in the worst-case scenario.
• Take your share. Exit the company’s door with your share of the pie. Whether it is severance pay, bonus, reimbursement, insurance premium, LOR, lay-off letter, everything due, and useful for future job opportunities.
• Search your policies. Many countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and so on, offer unemployment aids. See if any such provisions are available in your country and register yourself for that.
• Pause, reflect, understand, accept. Take a moment or more by yourself and absorb the situation. It’s okay to let your anger come out in tears. You need a break, you need to slow down. Once you are composed only then you will be able to chart out your next step. So, breathe in..breathe out.
• Reboot. Remember the time you were straight out of university, looking for your first job? See, you have done it before and you will be able to do it now! Whether you have just 2 years of work experience or 20, there’s always scope to learn. Take this opportunity to upskill by making the world wide web your educator. Simultaneously, update your profile on different job portals at, both international such as LinkedIn, and popular local platforms. The aim is to make yourself visible.
• Explore options. There are endless possibilities to engage in work. The rise of the gig economy, for instance, is attracting eyeballs. Platforms like Skuad offer full-time, part-time, contract, and freelance opportunities. Others like Upwork, Fiverr, etc., are great for small, live projects. This would be a great time to reach out and tap into your network. Be open about your situation. Dial people you think can help or put out a post on social media, every effort counts.
• Work towards your dream. A lot of us aspire to work in different professions or start something of our own. If circumstances changed the course of your life, change it back in your favour! Materialise your thoughts and dreams. Who knows, you may emerge with the next big idea.
Remember when you were in school, nervous about getting a nice college? Well, you did. But then you started fretting about getting a job. Guess what? You managed to get that, too. The point is, we humans never fail to overthink. It’s good to be prepared for the worst but we shouldn’t let unfortunate times define our self-worth. Just reflect back on your achievements, be proud of your accomplishments, and believe that you can get through anything!