Tech companies were well set up to contend with widespread lockdowns and mandatory work-from-home provisions established due to the coronavirus pandemic. As for weathering the recession, technology has also done an excellent job compared to other industries.
However, this double-whammy of a crisis is still nothing to sneeze at. The tens of thousands have laid-off workers in the tech field. These are the steps that technology companies have been implementing to keep things running.
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1. A quick aside on business continuity planning during the pandemic
Before we look at what technology companies have been doing to cope with the recession/pandemic double whammy, it’s worth raising the issue of business continuity planning. Not many businesses planned for the highly unusual circumstances that 2020 delivered. Still, those that had already considered doing business online as part of a business continuity strategy obtained entirely made to cope with the pandemic than those that hadn’t.
If your business doesn’t yet have a business continuity plan, it’s time to create one.
2. Revisiting Hiring Criteria
Job descriptions for new roles in technology have always been detailed yet clear cut. A job listing for a WordPress developer might list all of the coding languages applicants needed to know, as well as the minimum number of years’ experience.
Tech companies are revisiting and changing hiring criteria, in anticipation of significant changes to come in the wake of coronavirus and the recession.
More students in their final years of college are being forced to take a gap year, while more senior and experienced workers are retiring early, relocating, and getting out of the field.
Companies are also starting to combine roles and responsibilities to reduce their total number of new hires.
3. Outsourcing Teams and Contracting Projects
During this global crisis, things may have slowed down, but few have halted to a total standstill. As companies shuttered offices and sent staff home to work remotely, they have now adjusted and are progressing on projects, products, and troubleshooting tasks.
Some businesses have laid-off workers, others have slowed down on hiring, and many have turned to outsource, contracting, and temporary workers.
Companies that outsource recruitment have increased productivity levels and often acquire the best talent. NH Global Partners facilitates the job outsourcing recruitment process, matching qualified candidates for the roles they are best suited to fill.
These experts in foreign and domestic outsourcing and recruitment can help to fill a position in your technology company.
4. Putting a Pause on New Releases and Projects
By completing all of the work that they currently have in the pipeline without taking on anything additional, technology businesses are managing to pay the bills.
New releases from technology companies have also been delayed or pushed back to allow for them to deal with present issues with staffing. Everything from new video game titles to smartphones has been delayed or put on pause.
Likewise, in-house projects like updating servers, switching over to different CMS, and even enhancing security measures are being put off, at least in the meanwhile.
5. Turning Towards a Completely Remote Workforce
More workers in India are being hired as a result of this significant shift to building remote workforces. Technology experts in India who have degrees and certifications in the highest-demand backgrounds will have many opportunities for remote work made available.
In addition to foreign outsource recruitment, more existing employees are switching to at-home work models. For example, Microsoft recently announced that its staff could continue to work from home indefinitely.
It was certainly not easy to change the work model of employees who were used to coming into work to set up offices in their home, but the transition was worth it. Technology organizations are saving a lot of money by making this critical work structure change.
6. Attracting More Customers with Contactless Service Options
Best Buy began to offer pick-up orders where customers could use their smartphones to walk them through their transactions, from beginning to end. Contactless buying and service options continue to grow in importance and desire in consumers.
As expected, technology companies are offering new solutions to help customers meet their goals. From the increase in food delivery as well as general shopping experiences, businesses in the technology sector are releasing new tools and working on cutting-edge ideas to help lead the way.
7. Shifting Away from Technology Hubs
Rents on commercial properties in New York City and Silicon Valley remain high, which is why some tech companies are choosing to take their headquarters elsewhere. As workers are laid off, and people remain unable to deal with the expense of living in major cities, they are moving to the suburbs.
And that is precisely where a rising number of tech leaders want to be as well. There was already a shift from Silicon Valley to more suburban destinations, such as Denver, Colorado, and Plano, Texas. Technology hubs are popping up in less populated environments, and the companies are going there are doing well, so far.
8. Increasing New Hire Workloads
That is not that common desirable outcome, but it is a practical solution in the tech field. Hiring more senior-level positions, with the expectation that they do the work usually reserved for two or three roles, is becoming more prevalent.
Simply put, technology companies are expecting even more from their existing staff and new hires. With the ability to work from home, some employees are clocking more hours as they no longer need to commute.
Some formerly hourly workers have been switched to salaried positions, which eliminates the possibility of overtime pay. Pinching pennies, cutting corners, and increasing the workloads of staff are common occurrences during recessions.
9. Listing Opening Positions Outside of Major Cities
Because various leaders in the tech field are establishing their main offices, production facilities, and warehouses outside of the major cities where they were formerly located, they are now hiring more staff in suburban locales.
Five years ago, you probably couldn’t find many job listings for web security experts in Boise, Idaho. Finding a position for a website developer in Dover, Delaware, would have been just as challenging to see in the same timeframe.
Now, there are jobs in the technology field that are cropping up in the smallest of towns, all across the US. These roles do not require applicants to relocate or even visit a major city for the interview, as remote work is also taking over.
10. Making More One-on-One Connections with Clients
Tech companies have long utilized comprehensive customer service options as a way of making customers feel valued. Hiring people to handle text chat, email, and phone support is crucial for technology companies that offer products and services directly to consumers, but making one-on-one connections is more of a recent change in expectations.
Through Twitter posts where companies ask their readers questions that encourage interaction, many brands have come to develop something akin to a personality, via the internet.
Tech companies frequently create and post memes, comment on current events, and position themselves as being both ‘on-trend’ as well as approachable when the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, when millions of people had first been shuttered, at home, and looking for something to keep themselves occupied, these types of interactions lead to many more one-on-one connections.
Tech giants, start-ups, and mid-sized companies alike have reacted quickly and succinctly to avoid significant fallout from the current global crises. Also, added protections like PPP loans and government grants have helped lots of companies to recover financially.
They’ve also, by large, shown that they are willing to move out of expensive technology hubs and establish themselves in small towns and rural cities.
Hiring fewer workers permanently, contracting out projects, and outsourcing recruitment make up some of the other solutions tech businesses have turned to. Expect more changes, short-term and long, to hit the tech field soon.