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What is the world coming to? In the space of just a few months, the boom in the job market has vanished in a puff of smoke, turning India into a pit being filled by thousands of laid-off people.
We sincerely hope that you have not been adversely affected by the mass firings or “workforce alignments.” But what to do when we keep hearing news about the biggest companies [see infographic] laying off thousands every week in 2022? Well, we aim to help everyone get back on their feet, whether they are a candidate or a recruiter. Which category do you fall into? Comment!
Laid-off, fired, benched, downsized, streamlined – no matter how much Indian companies [many of whom are counted among global brands] try to sugarcoat reality, we know it is devastating. So how does any person who has been affected by such adverse circumstances bounce back?
Upskill. Reinvent. Laser-focus.
While it is true that employees are most affected by getting laid off, recruiters feel the pressure, too. Whether it is deciding how to close the gaps left by the people whose contracts have been terminated or planning for the future of hiring in the company, every HR professional dreads the day they have to make such calls. If you are a recruiter, you know what we are talking about.
Be it cost-cutting, performance-linked layoffs, restructuring purposes or something else, we saw thousands of job cuts this year. And this is a global phenomenon that is affecting India Inc too.
Make 2023 Your Year!
We are at the business end of the year 2022, which has hardly been a smooth ride for the Indian startup ecosystem. Startup funding is significantly lower than in the watershed year that was 2021 and a funding winter is here, brought about by several macroeconomic factors.
After the public equity markets fell earlier this year, pressured by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, governments around the world deployed anti-recession measures. These measures involved increasing the interest rates, making debt expensive and draining both public and private equity markets of liquidity.
Further, the US Dollar has been gaining strength compared to most of the major world currencies, including the Euro and the Pound.
Even the Indian Rupee has suffered significantly. The rising US Dollar, spurred on by an increase in interest rates, has also forced limited partners to hold onto their money in safe havens, reducing liquidity with venture capitalists.
Funding in Indian startups has nearly constantly declined since the start of 2022. Having raised $4.6 Bn in January, Indian startups could only raise $1.1 Bn in November, down 73% as compared to $4.1 Bn in November 2021.
After last year’s unprecedented, FOMO-driven funding activity, Indian startup valuations are at an all-time high, which has further seen marquee investors tighten their purse strings. As a result, Indian startups are under pressure, with many of them having high cash burn and low prospects of profitability.
The slowdown, starting in March, prompted marquee investors such as Sequoia, KKR and Y Combinator to instruct the startups in their portfolios on how to survive. There was a clear message in common across all investors: cut costs and increase runway.
Many of these startups seem to have interpreted that as a license to fire people as a “cost-cutting exercise”, disrupting thousands of livelihoods in the process.
The magnitude of the problem is macroeconomic, and big businesses attach no value to their employees when their valuations and bottom lines are pressured, as is the case in 2022.
In this scenario, it is important to be aware of what one can do, as a recruiter or as a candidate.
Timeline of major layoffs by home-grown Indian unicorns and startups
December 3: Healthtech Startup HealthifyMe Fires 150 Employees Citing Global Recession Fears
December 3: Traveltech Major OYO Fires 600 Employees Across Multiple Teams
December 2: ShareChat Parent Shuts Down Fantasy Cricket Subsidiary Jeet11, Fires 100 Employees
November 30: Edtech Startup Teachmint Fires 45 Employees Citing Restructuring
November 29: Hiring Platform Hirect Fires 200 Employees Citing Restructuring
November 19: Zomato Fires At Least 100 Employees In Performance-Related Layoffs
November 9: B2B Insurtech Plum Fires 10% Employees Citing Restructuring
November 7: Unacademy Goes For Third Layoff Round, Fires 10% Employees
November 4: B2B E-commerce Unicorn Udaan Fires 350 In Second Layoffs This Year
November 2: SaaS Unicorn Chargebee Lays Off 10% Employees Citing Macroeconomic Conditions
October 12: FrontRow Fires 125-130 Employees, Takes Layoff Total To 275
October 12: BYJU’S Lays Off 2,500 Employees After Notching Up INR 4,588 Cr In Losses
October 3: WazirX Lays Off 60+ Employees Amid Crypto Winter
September 19: Ola Lays Off 200 Software Engineers As Part Of Its Restructuring Plan
September 1: Healthtech Unicorn Innovaccer Lays Off 120 Employees Amid ‘Adverse Economic Conditions’
August 31: Microblogging Site Koo Lays Off Over 5% Workforce
August 25: Meesho Shuts Down Meesho Superstore Operations In 90% Cities, Lays Off 300+ Employees
August 2: Vedantu Takes Its Layoff Tally To Over 724 Employees; Conducts Third Layoff
And finally, BYJU’s Toppr and WhiteHat Jr laid off over 300 employees in June 2022
Let’s answer the big Q: what’s the path to upskilling for recruiters in today’s topsy-turvy world?
The present business landscape is evolving rapidly, bringing a radical shift in the talent acquisition space. This requires HRs to be aligned with organizational strategy and tackle talent-related challenges like candidate engagement and offer negotiations effectively. The HR department in an organization plans the upskilling of other departments, but often keeps its own upskilling needs on the backburner. After all, amid a funding winter, how can recruiters upskill?
The answer: Instahyre Academy.
Instahyre Academy will help talent acquisition specialists and hiring managers become 10x recruiters, skilled in the most innovative hiring practices. The video-based courses give recruiters practical insights into post-pandemic hiring, enabling them to create modern, tech-enabled recruitment strategies for attracting, engaging, hiring, and retaining the best talent.
To meet these lofty goals, Instahyre envisions creating a community of well-informed recruiters who stay updated with the latest recruitment tactics. The Academy has courses that focus on the latest hiring trends to keep recruiters’ careers on an upward growth trajectory via upskilling.
With the Academy, recruiters can upskill themselves and chart a new course through turbulent waters and choppy seas that lie ahead of India Inc. You can access Instahyre Academy here.
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