June 28, 2022

Layoff Posting Is Fear Porn

Hosts:

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

Subscribe to the Talent Insights podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, (recommended for Android users), Amazon Music, or Spotify. Watch us on YouTube—and don’t forget to rate us!

Hiring is currently Schrödinger’s cat: it’s both alive and dead at the same time. Depending on who you ask.

Layoff posts are currently dominating social media. Another day, another announcement. 

We empathize with anyone who’s life was turned upside down. But why are layoff stories going viral seemingly every day when there’s still a massive talent shortage, unemployment is at 3.6%, and James’ favorite diner closed because they can’t find a cook?

Jeff Smith and James Hornick will break down the seemingly contradictory job market in episode 46 of The 10 Minute Talent Rant, Layoff Posting Is Fear Porn

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Transcript

The 10 Minute Talent Rant is live. I’m James Hornick joined by Jeff Smith and we are on the clock. The 10 Minute Talent Rant is our ongoing series where we break down things that have broken in the talent acquisition and hiring space. Maybe even pitch a solution or two. Before we dig in, all of our content can be found at talentinsights.hirewell.com.

This week’s topic, episode 46: layoff posting is fear porn. Oh man. We’re going to get slammed on this one. I don’t know, man. I felt like when I was kind of teeing this one up earlier on LinkedIn, it actually got a lot less hate than I thought it would. Yeah. I would like to say the title was kind of a joke, but not really.

I think what kind of set this off is we’re just generally annoyed with the like the past month has been nothing but layoff post after a layoff post and everyone, like the sky is falling. And I just had like this, in my back of my head, I’m like, I think this is disconnected and Jeff and I will figure out how to rant on it, whatever.

Yeah. So started digging up numbers and I do not believe what I found. I couldn’t believe it when you- I thought I was like seeing things or this had to be made up. I found this CMBC article, layoffs hit a record low, 1.2 million people for April. Now, I’m like okay, CMBC’s gotta be wrong here. I’m like is this record low for this past year, rolling 24 months? I finally went in and found some data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. No.

1.2 million is an all time low since they started collecting this data in the year 2000. The least amount of people have ever been laid off in a month in April, 2022. Right. And you see it, like you said, it just, it’s completely contradictory to the vibe on not only LinkedIn, but basically all social in general.

Like the sky is falling. Chicken little is dead, you know, like super high profile layoffs. And there are offer withdrawals, you name it, I’ve seen it. And I want to be clear here, like the serious part of the rant. I’m not downplaying anyone’s particular situation. There are a lot of folks who lost their jobs.

It sucks. We feel for you. But the overall tanner of the situation feels overinflated. The jumping on the pile. Like if someone like posts something on LinkedIn, they had something unfortunate happen to ’em. I feel for them, I hope they find the next role. I’m glad they’re using a platform to do that.

Yeah. But the added fear posts that have been driving me crazy. And it turns out they’re completely disconnected from reality anyway. Yep. So like big picture, LinkedIn is it’s a tech bubble. They make their money selling LinkedIn recruiter, LinkedIn sales navigator licenses. Those are the power users.

They’re people who skew towards working in servicing, selling to tech organizations. Yes. So it’s a big tech platform. Companies that have a lot of money buy a ton. And when things change a little bit, when there’s a ripple just within that community specifically, everyone loses their minds.

Like we found out, turns out everyone can’t work for Netflix. They can’t. Not enough- not enough seats. Anyways, some more data on this if you’re not completely convinced. People are leaving far more than they’re being let go. This was another thing that came from that same CNBC article early 2020. So right before the pandemic started, 40% of separations were layoffs initiated by the employer. 2022

so far, these last several months, only 20%. People were still leaving willfully more than layoffs are happening. We are still in the same quitters market we’ve been since the year started. Exactly number two, there’s still a completely unfillable amount of technology, specific roles open. Yeah. And this was sourced by computer world.

3.9 million. 3.9 million jobs are open in technology right now, onshore in the United States. Yeah. So we’re already projected to fill a 100,700 tech positions in 2022. That’s this year, that’s like already, that’s already been fulfilled. Already this year. 69% more than the same period in 2021.

So look, the demand for technologists is still scorching hot. We qualify new IT roles daily. It’s the same struggle. You know, there’s still issues with how companies are assessing that talent. And so that can be a different rant, but the jobs are there, right. This is a different conversation than the company

doesn’t know what they’re looking for and so they can’t hire somebody. Like there’s still an opening there than there are people to fill it. So again, I don’t want to make light of anyone’s personal situation if they were let go. But the fact remains, there’s just more openings in tech than there are people to fill them.

Yeah. Third point I want to get to, the type of work you do specifically matters. Mm-hmm. Pulling some data- so Matt Massucci and I will do like, we’ll do a quarterly show kind of like data insights and whatnot. And we always kind of come back to software engineers and recruiters. Those are kind of the two skill sets we follow most closely. Mm-hmm. Pulling some data off the layoff stop FYI site, which is like everyone’s favorite site

all of a sudden, they’ve been tracking all the big tech layoffs, right. But only the big tech layoffs, right. So grabbing some of their data, overlaying it with data from LinkedIn, I was basically able to ascertain that of the companies that let me pull it down- because not everyone lets you do that-

there’s roughly been an even split. There was, I found 216 laid off engineers, 215 laid off recruiters. Except pulling basic data off LinkedIn, devs make 11% of LinkedIn population. Whereas recruiters make up five. Yeah. Or you are twice as likely to get laid off if you’re a software engineer. And as we already kind of established,

there’s a million software engineer jobs out there. So you’re going to be just fine anywhere. I mean, I made the joke when we were prepping. I mean, I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous recruiter salaries and we mentioned 180. I did. I saw $180,000 offer- no offense to anyone who gets a nice offer as a recruiter.

And you could be willfully gained, but like this person was not all that experienced. Minimal. Yeah. Very obviously an anomaly to everyone, probably other than that person, no offense to us at all as a profession. But like you literally walked into your own layoff. Mm-hmm. Like everybody knows that.

So it goes into the next point, like late stage startups, i.e the ones that make those offers obviously are the ones making the most cuts. Again, from crunch base. So it’s not a shock that the layoff talks that get a ton of hype are also the places are the most high profile places that are making the most cuts.

So 56% of these cuts in the sector are from companies stage C or beyond. Specifically with awards topping a hundred million dollars in total. So it’s a lot of money to mismanage that, but hyper growth and ill equipped go to market strategies are recipe for turning a unicorn into a pony as it were, right.

Your software company that sells software to another software company that sells software to another software company and has licenses and perpetuity that no one likes paying. Like eventually people cancel that subscription just like they do their streaming services they don’t need anymore. Just a thought.

Yeah and they do not come back. Yeah. All right. Well, let’s be fair about this. Tech unemployment might be up a smidge. But it’s still insanely low. So tech unemployment, and again, so this came from Dice but I think they pulled this from the US Labor Statistics. 1.4% in March. 1.7% in April. 2.1% in May. But total unemployment, it’s still 3.6%, which is like 40 year all time lows- I shouldn’t say 40 year all time low- it’s 40 year lows.

But going back, like you have to go back before our lifetimes even though when unemployment’s been better than it is right now. Yep. So tech is still leading the way. Now, the thing is, you also have to forget about, we’ve been talking about tech, tech, tech, but like what’s happening in other industries like durable goods? Booming. CPG? Booming. Supply chain? Booming. Our friend Charlie Safro at CS recruiting,

I was asking her about this. So her firm does specifically all supply chain, a hundred percent, like what observations she had. So there are a few things. So May, they had their highest number of rejected offers, which for the uninformed that does not mean their recruiters didn’t get the job done.

That means all the candidates they had kept getting crazy counter offers nonstop because that’s how in demand supply chain people are right now. Yep. Meanwhile, they saw 2% spike in director positions and a 20% spike in management lead level positions. So they’re just getting more and more like supply chain industries are blowing up right now.

In their average day, the field decreased. So I actually like this one. They’ve been educating their clients so much that things are so competitive, you have to hire faster if you want to have any kind of a shot. Mm-hmm . So these are kind of the indicators we look at in recruiting and in the supply chain space, same in manufacturing, other areas like that, like things are booming.

Yep and it’s evident in our client base too. Our manufacturing supply sector is- we can’t stop working on it. So anyway, takeaways. Number one, pretty self-explanatory, get out of the tech bubble. All the stuff that you’re reading on LinkedIn and all your other channels, all your other feeds, it is. It’s by design tech obsessed.

So there is a world out there outside of tech. There are food and beverage companies, your joke was lumber companies need marketers too. It’s okay. So does everyone. It’s okay. I mean, some of the richest sales people I know, they do employer benefits and real estate and insurance, you know, companies that actually make and sell a product

people want. Unlike web three, which is still yet to actually solve a single problem. Crazy. There was a good debate internally about it though. But yeah. It’s kinda like we said before, like I think that a lot of these go to market strategies, a lot of places just were a little bit too bullish. All this like easy cash and not giving a crap about profitability.

I mean, it’s a bull market phenomenon and the stock markets down a little bit, like you’re not going to be able to keep printing money, free money from VCs forever. It’s going to be some kind of a correction but that does not mean the entire market’s falling apart and that the job market’s falling apart. I mean, might just be us.

Our corn fed, you know, Midwestern, go get ’em attitudes. Like sometimes concepts like running a profitable business is, you know, maybe that’s important. Right. Second takeaway, you might need to retool. So this is the one thing I guess, from like a job seeker perspective. I did a podcast with Chris Taylor

who’s an enterprise architect. He’s a big champion and proponent of like pivoting, but specifically kind of in the low code, no code revolution, which is coming. More and more organizations it’s getting easier to actually come from a completely different background and getting into technology, which we said, there’s no shortage of technology positions.

And I guess we have to say specifically, when we talk about technology, we’re talking about not necessarily being like there’s tech obsession from a company standpoint, but from a skill standpoint, like every company needs these people. That’s why there’s all the unfilled positions out there. If you are in a kind of a tight position, tight spot like career wise for whatever reason, there’s a lot of things out there in the tech space. Potentially in non-tech specific companies or any kind of company where you can still, it’s a great place.

There’s just not enough people that can do a lot of these things. Yeah. It’s more accessible than you would think. Finally, unplug from social. Like your feeds are going to be tech dominated. People are going to continually for the rest of time spout, anecdotal observations that don’t actually match with reality.

The fact that when you did the research and it was that abrupt of like, yeah. Yeah it was like, wow, I’m completely wrong. And this is completely counter to everything that I’m reading. Like stick to the facts. Find a few trusted sources, dig into those and use those to construct your worldview.

And if you’re a content creator out there, for the love of God, get some data points occasionally. Just do a little bit of research to base your opinion on. It’s still social. You don’t have to actually back everything up but at least put in and make an honest try out of it. I don’t know.

 

Episode 43

Call time tracking. Cliques. Micromanagement. Unrealistic expectations. Confusing and bogus comp plans. No work-life balance. Complete lack of empathy. Bullying. The recruiters reading...

See more...

Our Shows

Our Latest Blog