The Pachera Group Newsletter
It’s been an interesting end to 2022 as companies adjust their workforce after many saw a surge in hiring just a year ago. Zuckerberg, Benioff, Pichai and other CEOs are grappling with lower productivity on top of cooling economic headwinds.
While remote work got us all through the pandemic, long term it’s proving to be challenging to innovation, speed, retention, and results.
Some employees, without a doubt, are far more engaged in a remote environment, putting in more hours, free from a long commute, almost to a fault.
Unfortunately, there are employees who, while they may be very happy never going into the office, are less engaged, cut out early to enjoy their nomadic lifestyle or simply can’t separate from others in the household.
Fortunately, for most jobs, it’s pretty easy to assess productivity, however you choose to measure it. Who volunteers for assignments, how much code is written, what patents are filed, who ideates in meetings vs who is simply a face on a video tile.
For managers, culturally, it’s harder to engage employees in a mission based, competitive environment through Zoom calls. For those who unlocked that skill, they have access to the best and the brightest irrespective of location.
Some CEOs are addressing productivity by stack ranking employees, cutting the lower performers. This isn’t a new concept, it’s a page out of professional sports. Companies want “A” players and when revenue softens, there’s little room for slackers.
Some companies are getting more rigorous about the business and axing programs that are on the margin, does the world need another high-priced gizmo that doesn’t move the needle? Entire teams may be displaced.
And several companies have admitted to over hiring earlier in 2022 during a time where attrition spiked, less people were in the workforce as a residual effect of the pandemic and competition for talent was at an all-time high. Google’s recent earnings announcement, for example, indicated they added 12K people since July to a total of 186K.
The good news for tech employees impacted by a reduction in force, they are being, for the most part, quickly absorbed into other companies and roles. We simply do not have enough technical talent—so much of what we build requires at least some technical talent, whether that’s the chips that go into your coffee maker, doorbell, air freshener, to the knowhow now needed to run a production line.
Ebbs and flows are a normal part of business, we believe that 2023 will be a year of hiring very specific talent vs general athletes. Headcount will be scrutinized, and every hire will need to be a highly productive, A player.
Linkedin has over 300K jobs posted just in the Bay Area and we know that’s a fraction of the openings that exist as a large number of openings are not posted. Companies are growing, getting funded and there’s amazing work happening across the country.
Successfully Landing a New Job
For those looking for work, flexibility and a great attitude will always be key to landing a solid job on top of keeping your skills current, with a lifetime learning mentality.
Unfortunately, your marketability in landing a new job starts years before most find themselves in the market. We are looking for decent tenures, people who stay in their jobs a minimum of two years—it’s a red flag to see one short tenure after another on a resume.
And, what you work on is as important as what you accomplished. Working on the most modern technologies, with the best brands, on the most compelling products differentiates you from others.
Being open to relocation, open to onsite daily, thinking about how to make something new work vs staying in your comfort zone will often be rewarded with job security. Expect to see a tougher stance with those who have an attitude of entitlement. And, if you haven’t gotten the memo, job seekers do not have the same power they did a year ago so adjust your thinking, be humble and think hard about what you actually can make work.
New this year in California, joining several other states including New York, is the pay transparency requirement. Any company with more than 15 people must now add salary ranges in job descriptions.
It’s a challenging requirement for recruiting, not because top companies want to engage in inequitable compensation practices, they do not, but because companies are often flexible in what talent and experience levels they are seeking.
For example, it’s not unusual for a hiring manager to say, “I’ll take a very strong, up and coming, motivated person who has 5 years of experience but generally, I’m looking for 10 years of experience”. The salary band might be $150K to $250K in that case. Of course, everyone who reads that will want to be on the top end of that range.
Our recommendation is to articulate experience levels along with salary ranges. We wouldn’t encourage posting the exceptions, in this example, post 7 to 18 years of experience to give yourself some room as not all professionals are exactly the same in terms of what they can contribute. You may also need to articulate regional salaries if the role is open to remote work.
In tech, stock options or RSUs are often the wealth creation engine for employees and are used to differentiate performance and work. Because, of course, it’s not about showing up, it’s about performance and contribution in professional jobs.
Bonuses are another way to reward top performance, someone may get 50% of their target bonus while another may get 50% more than targeted. Those aspects of compensation remain opaque.
Pay transparency has the right intention to eliminate compensation disparity, but will require a lot of thought on how you position and message job postings.
How to Up Your Recruiting Effort
I’m often asked to help coach an in-house recruiting team to get better results. From what to measure, how to find, pitch and close better candidates to presenting a more compelling brand image. There’s no mystery around what it takes to be a highly effective recruiter, I’m happy to share all of our industry secrets. Because in the end, it’s far easier to talk about how we work, than it is to walk the talk... Read Post
Hold on to What You Have–Employee Engagement is at a Low Point
It should come as no surprise that working remotely, perhaps getting hired during the pandemic and never meeting anyone is creating a transactional workforce... Read Post
Competing for Talent against the Titans
Most startups get off the ground with a few people who know each other really well and can often get a few more recruits from their networks..then the hard part begins. Read Post
Is This the Right Time to Change Jobs?
We are asked all the time if this is the right time to jump ship. It depends. It may seem contrarian, but a private company, out of the public market’s eye, could be a very smart move.
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