Do Silicon Valley’s layoffs present an opportunity for retail?
Laid-off workers from Meta, Google, Twitter and other tech hubs are creating a rare opportunity for old-school sectors such as retail to snag skilled talent and accelerate digital plans.
“This is an opportunity for those industries, that have traditionally lagged behind in digital transformation and cybersecurity, to hire talent at a level they may not have been able to before when the tech industry was gobbling them up,” Simone Petrella, CEO of CyberVista, a cybersecurity training and development company, told CNBC.
Among others that have laid off workers are Shopify, Salesforce, DoorDash, Lyft, Klarna, Robinhood, Stripe, Coinbase, Netflix, Microsoft, Peloton, Snap and Tesla. In many cases, the layoffs stem from a quicker-than-expected slowdown in online growth after ramped-up hiring during the pandemic. Plunging technology valuations and a dormant IPO market are also hurting the job appeal at tech upstarts.
In an article for Harvard Business Review, Vijay Govindarajan, a professor of management at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and Anup Srivastava, a professor and specialist in digital disruption at the University of Calgary, said that, beyond recruiting laid-off workers with sought-after skills, including artificial intelligence, automation and data science, opportunities to poach employees may be more available with stock options likely underwater.
The professors wrote, “A year ago, an aspiring, young, software engineer would probably be more inclined to join a crypto exchange than the e-commerce division of a bricks-and-mortal [sic] retailer. Now, with technology companies reducing staff, a bricks-and-mortal retailer, or any company with sound fundamentals that has yet to completely modernize, can now outcompete tech companies in hiring the talent it needs.”
Demand for tech skills reportedly still remains strong, however, and retailers will be competing with other traditional sectors such as health care and the government that have also faced challenges competing against flashy tech gigs. Retailers such as H&M and Gap have announced their own layoffs amid a worsening economy.
Continued tech turbulence nonetheless could have candidates looking at more stable firms. A Recode article details how Amazon’s layoffs announced in November and its moves to rescind job offers risked damaging its reputation in the job market for tech talent.
- Laid off tech workers from Meta, Google and Twitter are being wooed by the federal government – CNBC
- How Fashion Can Build Its Own Tech Talent Pipeline – Business of Fashion
- Tech Talent Is Flooding the Job Market – Harvard Business Review
- Big Tech Laid Off Thousands. Here’s Who Wants Them Next – Wired
- Here’s a rundown of tech companies that have announced layoffs in 2022 – CNBC
- Layoffs, buyouts, and rescinded offers: Amazon’s status as a top tech employer is taking a hit – Recode
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see the layoffs in the tech sector creating a near-term or long-term recruiting opportunity for retailers? What are retail’s strongest selling points in seeking to attract tech talent?