Despite Tech Layoffs, Startups are Still Hiring

September 9, 2022

Hiring is hard, even in the best of times. Record high inflation rates, an economic downturn, and skyrocketing living costs can make it nearly impossible for a startup to find the right people.

Despite a few high profile tech companies laying off employees, most tech startups are still hiring.

While the news may seem dire for the tech industry, hundreds of newly added jobs across multiple industries tell a very different story about the demand for tech employees.

But what does all of this mean for tech job seekers? Data from Underdog.io’s Still Hiring tracker offers some insight.

Why are tech layoffs happening now?

It's been a brutal year for job cuts at startups and recently public companies, with more than 37,000 positions eliminated this year. Compare that to 3,000 announced at the same point in the previous year. 

This year, as the economy slows and uncertainty mounts, many VC-funded tech companies are pulling back on their hiring and expansion plans. Big name tech companies have also carried out layoffs and hiring freezes.

Oracle, Tesla, Peloton, Shopify and Redfin all laid off staff in the last few months. Meta, Google, Microsoft and Intel have made plans to slow or freeze hiring efforts. Even Twitter and Coinbase have rescinded job offers, citing economic uncertainty. According to Layoffs.fyi, more than 580 startups have laid off over 70,000 workers so far this year.

The companies that have struggled the most in terms of layoffs have been highly funded, with high burn rates and rapid fire hiring during the financing boom of the last few years.

Now that a recession may be looming, companies that were aggressively hiring earlier this year are now backing off and rethinking their recruiting plans.

A focus on employees who have the skills to contribute to specific success metrics has increased competition in an already tight market.

According to the most recent VC data, venture capitalists are still investing heavily – they’re just being more selective about who they invest in. And startups seem to be following suit when it comes to hiring.

Which startups are still hiring?

When it comes to tech jobs, the data is clear – the tech job market is as strong as it's ever been.

According to an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by CompTIA, the number of tech jobs across all industries increased by an estimated 239,000 positions in July. Tech unemployment fell to 1.7% in July, just below the all-time low of 1.3%.

Brought to you by Still Hiring Tracker - Underdog.io

Underdog.io’s Still Hiring Tracker was launched in June 2022 to track tech companies that are still hiring during the economic downturn. So far, the tracker has collected 5000+ views and 100+ company submissions. To maintain accuracy, the job submissions were reviewed and updated weekly. Within the last month,162 jobs were tracked across 70+ companies.

By gathering information from hundreds of submissions across industries, we have been able to discover some useful data points that may help tech candidates looking for work.

→ While the hybrid vs remote vs in-office debate rages on, the tracker shows that 36% of new jobs are hybrid roles, 59% are remote and only 4% are completely in-person. 

→ The major tech hubs still dominate the locations of new jobs. Of the hybrid and in-person roles, 25% are in NYC, 18% are in SF and the rest are distributed in Austin, Chicago & Atlanta.

→ Plenty of startups across industries are still hiring. SaaS (27%), FinTech (18%), Healthcare (7%), and E-commerce (9%) are leading the charge in new tech jobs added.

As in any economic contraction, job seekers in volatile industries and job functions may face more challenges than others.

Entry level job seekers, recruiters, and HR personnel are especially vulnerable to instability. Less than 5% of all open roles are for employees on the frontlines of shifting recruiting plans. Technical candidates (software developers, product managers, design professionals) are still seeing strong markets with an abundance of open roles.

Landing a tech job despite layoffs

The tech job market is more competitive than ever with thousands of new job seekers trying to take advantage of the flexibility and high salaries that tech jobs offer. That being said, there are a few things every job seeker can do to make themselves stand out in a crowded market. 

Improve your technical skills

Regardless of a candidate’s job function, every tech job requires a level of technical knowledge. Taking this time to improve your technical skills and learn some new ones will help any job seeker survive and even thrive in this market. 

For Software Engineers and other tech professionals, Interview Kickstart is a great resource to prepare for technical interviews with expert-designed courses and learning tools. They offer 18 interview prep courses, each tailored to a high-demand role in tech (such as back-end engineering, data engineering, TPM, etc). Attend IK's Free Interview Prep webinar to learn more.

Diversify your job search

Additionally, using non-traditional platforms to connect with hiring managers offers job seekers a leg up in the hiring process. Massive job boards tend to drown out even the most talented candidates. 

Specialized hiring marketplaces such as Underdog.io, curate a more personal experience between tech candidates and exciting startups. These hiring marketplaces or reverse job boards, also simplify the job search and get candidates in front of hundreds of companies with a single application. 

In a complicated market, one of the most effective things a candidate can do to stay on top of new opportunities is to keep track of which startups and tech companies are still actively hiring. Resources such as our Still Hiring tracker and Layoffs.fyi can help candidates keep track of new opportunities.

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