How laid-off tech talent can be leveraged by non-tech sectors

While techies are going through an uncertain time period, they may have opportunities awaiting them in the non-technical industries.


In recent months, the tech industry has seen a significant number of layoffs as companies adjust to the economic impact of the pandemic. While this is a difficult time for those who have lost their jobs, it may also present an opportunity for other industries, even the non-tech firms, to benefit from the talent that is now available.

According to Amit Das, director of human resources and CHRO, Bennett Coleman and Co. (Times of India Group), these layoffs at big tech companies have occurred across their global offices, and across domains and teams. Those impacted include programmers, designers, testers, as well as support staff, many of whom were working on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and metaverse.

Traditionally, organisations have always been focused on hiring for jobs. And while doing so, there’s a tendency to look for the perfect fit, or at least the closest fit.

“Companies in a position to do so will take advantage of the situation to speed up their recruitment process for technology positions.”

Amit Das, CHRO, Bennett Coleman and Co. (Times of India Group)

Rajlakshmi Saikia, VP, Genpact, points out, “Today, the focus is more on being ‘skill first’. Therefore, it is essential for organisations to be able to identify the skills”.

She further adds, “Keeping that lens on, it’s important for businesses to look at the skills becoming available as a result of the big tech layoffs. If those skills are really applicable to the strategy of the organisation or the industry, it’s a great opportunity to tap into this niche talent.”

However, it is important for industries to consider the specific skills and experience needed for their specific roles, as the technology and processes used in different sectors can vary greatly. Additionally, as the job market changes, it’s always a good idea for employers to be prepared to adapt and remain competitive. Specialised hiring may be more beneficial for the specific needs of the job and the organisation.

According to Das, the recent tech-sector layoffs are expected to slow down salary growth and lower job candidates’ expectations. This will allow other sectors to attract tech talent for their existing specialised roles faster. Companies in a position to do so will take advantage of the situation to speed up their recruitment process for technology positions.

One sector that could see an influx of tech talent is banking. As financial institutions continue to digitise their operations and improve their online offerings, they will need skilled workers to develop and maintain their technology systems. Additionally, the increasing use of data analytics in banking can also create opportunities for data scientists and engineers.

“The opportunity has to be assessed objectively”

P. Dwarakanath, former non-executive chairman, GSK

Manufacturing will also benefit from hiring tech talent. Manufacturers are looking for workers who can help them implement advanced technologies such Pas robotics and automation. These technologies can improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase competitiveness, making them an attractive option for manufacturers.

While P. Dwarakanath, former non-executive chairman, GSK, admits that it is a great opportunity for sectors to hire tech talent, he also advises that “the opportunity has to be assessed objectively”.

This chance to hire specialised tech talent can bring innovation, technological improvement, as well as future growth aspects to the organisation.

What the organisations or rather the sectors need to do is, understand the business requirements today and the likely forecast in the next few years. They need to assess the kind of people they need, and whether they fit into a scheme of things where they can add value to the business.

“Today, the focus is more on being ‘skill first’. Therefore, it is essential for organisations to be able to identify the skills”

Rajlakshmi Saikia, VP, Genpact

Das observes that employees from technology domains prefer working with organisations that have technology at the core. After all, these are the companies that are able to provide them with greater domain exposure and a more visible career path.

Therefore, both the employees and the organisations have to adjust and see whether they have the adaptability to change their mindset and fit in better. 

Dwarakanath opines, “Organisations need to look at a cultural fit as well as a job fit, as both are of paramount importance. While there is scope, organisations should beware of repeating the same mistakes as some of the tech companies made — of going overboard with the hiring”.

Clearly, massive layoffs in the tech industry have created opportunities for other sectors, such as banking and manufacturing, to tap the required talent from the rich talent pool available. 

Making the most of the opportunity, companies should assess the specific skills and experience required for their specific roles. They should consider the culture fit as well as the job fit, from the perspective of the organisation as well as the employee. 

Additionally, organisations also need to consider the preferences of tech employees, who prefer to work with technology-oriented and technology-driven firms. All factors need to be taken into consideration before organisations can make their hiring decisions in this rapidly-changing job market.

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