The tech hiring freezes of 2022 have impacted tens of thousands of workers and affected confidence in the job market.
Amazon, Netflix, and others announced massive layoffs in July. Now, indefinite hiring freezes are in place at most of the world's largest tech companies.
As a result, some workers are looking for new jobs after being laid off and negotiating severance packages. Others are hoping for more job security in case their role is cut.
Below, we look at which companies are still attracting talent (product managers, software developers, and other tech workers) as others shrink headcounts.
- Airbnb has held candidate interest over time and insists they won't freeze hiring.
- Apple and TikTok have both shared layoffs and hiring freezes. But candidates are still preparing for interviews.
- Stripe, Shopify, and Coinbase all see a steep dropoff in candidate interest after mass layoffs and devaluations.
- Big Tech (Google, Amazon, Meta) have all had big drops in candidate interest.
- Workers seek job security amid uncertainty
Airbnb, Apple, and TikTok are Retaining Interest
This graph represents Exponent user interactions as they prepare for interviews at popular companies like Airbnb, Apple, Netflix, and TikTok.
Hiring has remained steady at companies like Airbnb and Apple. By contrast, Netflix has seen a 50% decrease in interested candidates since they announced layoffs and hiring freezes in May and June 2022.
Airbnb's CEO went on record to say that hiring freezes aren't coming to the company. Travel spending is strong and he doesn't expect to see a downturn anytime soon.
Airbnb also shared that they've moved to a remote-first workplace. This has increased demand for positions as more workers continue to want to work from home.
TikTok announced layoffs in July 2022. They say increased pressure from regulations in the US has changed their growth outlook.
However, reports show that only 100 workers have been laid off so far. And despite projections of slowed ad spending, TikTok says they haven't seen that happen yet.
Despite layoffs, TikTok has yet to announce a complete hiring freeze. For now, it looks like tech workers are still vying for positions at the world's largest social media platform.
Apple, like others in Big Tech, also said that they'll slow hiring in 2023.
However, these changes to hiring won't affect every team or vertical. So far, it looks like interest in working at Apple has stayed relatively consistent over the last 6 months.
Apple is expected to launch a new consumer headset product in 2023. Their ad executives have also painted a strong picture for the future of iOS advertising revenue.
Coinbase, Shopify, and Stripe Tell a Different Story
Stripe's Early Indicators
In March, Fidelity cut its valuation of Stripe by almost 10%. This rattling was an early indicator of a larger economic slowdown.
Around this time, candidates' interest in Stripe began to decrease. In July, the company announced a 28% devaluation internally, meaning their own projects of the company's worth fell dramatically.
Candidates seem to be wary of applying to a company with uncertainty in its business model and increased competition in the fintech space.
Stripe has seen a nearly 50% decrease in candidate interest over the last six months.
Economic uncertainty around cryptocurrency hit Coinbase around the same time as Stripe in early Spring. But after announcements of big layoffs and hiring freezes, interest in Coinbase fell with it.
In July, Shopify announced a 10% reduction in workforce. These layoffs triggered a stock selloff as well—shares dropped 14%.
Shopify's value is tied to how well it helped small eCommerce brands grow during the Pandemic. If people's shopping habits change in a recession, fewer small businesses will need Shopify's services.
Since the layoffs announcement, interest has dipped for open positions at Shopify.
Lost Interest at Big Tech Too
Finally, Big Tech has seen a significant slowdown in hiring. Google announced layoffs and plans for a hiring freeze.
Facebook (Meta), despite internally downplaying layoff possibilities, also let go of some of their shopping team earlier this year. Doubts about the metaverse and the company's vision have also pressed downwards on hiring trends that may turn into layoffs.
And even Amazon, which saw a huge uptick in interest during the pandemic because of increased shopping orders, admitted it was overstaffed. Amazon cut about 100,000 jobs last quarter.
Worries of a recession have negative impacts on the hiring outlook for the world's biggest tech companies.
Where Employees are Going Instead
The above shows the share of interest in individual companies since January (excluding Google and Amazon).
Apple, Instacart, and TikTok have all captured more attention from applicants since restructurings began.
Others, like Coinbase, have seen hiring all but flatline.
Interestingly, companies like Pinterest and even Walmart have held steady with their hiring efforts.
Hiring freezes mean uncertainty for many workers. Industries like retail and e-commerce are unsure of their future, while travel companies are struggling to keep up with the pace of hiring.
The long-term outlook for tech hiring remains strong though. The US expects tech jobs to grow by at least another 20% in the next 8 years.