Small business workers can still compete with laid off Meta and Twitter staff

  • Tech workers laid off by startups typically don’t get as much support as those from giants like Meta and Twitter.
  • Tech experts told Insider that workers at startups are just as valuable as those at big tech companies.
  • They explained three reasons why startup tech talent is in high demand by companies.

Tech companies have laid off thousands of employees this year to prepare for the next recession.

More than 150,000 tech workers were laid off in 2022, according to the latest data, with Meta and Amazon laying off more than 10,000 employees last month.

Many former big tech employees have since taken to social media to share their redundancy experiences in viral posts and have been inundated with job offers. After a former contract recruiter at Meta, Stephanie Washington, shared a post about her layoff on LinkedIn and garnered more than five million views, she received interview offers from Lyft, Amazon and TikTok.

But employees laid off by startups are not so lucky. Hundreds of startups and small and medium-sized businesses have also laid off staff, including companies like SwyftX, Bybit, Polly and DataRails.

A recruiter, Adam Karpiak, said in a post on LinkedIn, “I absolutely hate that people being made redundant only seem to get help when it’s a company that people know.

“Don’t get me wrong, I feel for everyone, but I can’t imagine being fired and not having a lot of social love because no one knows where they worked and their firing didn’t make headlines. newspapers.”

Nikita Gupta, a tech recruiter and founder of job search firm Careerflow, told Insider that recruiters feel “more confident” hiring people from big tech companies because they’ve already gone through a “grilling” application process. previously.

But she pointed out that workers laid off by startups also have relevant skills and qualifications that can help them land jobs.

Gupta and another expert offered three reasons why startup employees are in high demand by companies.

1. Employees of startups have more expansive experiences

David Richards, CEO of software company WANdisco, said he prefers hiring startup employees because they already have “a wide variety of skill sets.”

“The problem with a really big company is that often you’re a small cog in a really big process and it’s almost like you’re part of the production line,” Richards explained, adding that a “big brand” is not enough to get hired.

He said if he had the option of choosing between a fired employee of Twitter and an employee fired by a lesser-known company with the same credentials, he would likely choose the latter.

“[At big tech firms] the scope of your work is so narrow that you’re not exposed to the wide variety of things you do in a small business for example in a small business if I don’t develop this feature the business could go out of Company. But on Twitter, if I don’t create this feature, nobody cares.”

Richards asked, “How many people at Meta have been out for an after-work beer with the CEO? Zero.”

Startup workers have more access to senior management like the CEO, which means “your closeness to business strategy is much closer than at a large company where you don’t really understand why decisions are made, or what the company’s goals are.”

2. It’s all about brand impact

Gupta said employees who have done impactful work at their company are the most valuable hires.

In interviews, candidates who emphasize valuable contributions they’ve made to a company, such as increasing profitability or doing other amazing jobs, are valued much more than those who say, “I used to work at XYZ tech company and I had no impact.”

“I don’t think brand matters at all,” she said. “If this small startup has a good network and good connections and the person has made an impact, then no one can stop them.”

3. Big tech employees are overwhelmed with offers

Often, big tech employees who have been laid off and gone viral on social media are inundated with messages and offers, so reaching out as a recruiter has little impact.

“Even if I leave a message there, even if I reach out to the person, they might already have a job,” Gupta said.

Gupta said she would not “lean” on a big tech employee for a position, but rather continue her sourcing and outreach to other candidates.

“If I get a candidate from a small business or startup and fill my role through those candidates, that would be good for me because the goal is to fill the role with a quality candidate,” he said. she declared. “So to me, it doesn’t matter if they’re from Google or they’re from a small business.”

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