Now What? A TA Professional’s Guide to Finding #YourNextHire
6 minute read
Nobody accepts a job or hires a person with the expectation that, in a few months, they’ll be let go. But layoffs happen, especially in the current tech environment, and the people impacted by them often didn’t see it coming. Layoffs have a genuine psychological impact, and can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and stress. And the talent and recruiting teams who helped their companies grow through hiring booms are often impacted the most.
I've been in recruiting since 2014, and I've seen extremely talented people experience layoffs. Ashby works closely with the talent world, and we’ve been lucky enough to meet so many amazing, talented people in the TA space. In addition to a number of more ‘concrete initiatives’ (more to come on this), we wanted to find ways to help the community we love. We’re sure you’re already doing everything you can to move towards your next role, but we put together this article to help validate all you’re doing, and spark ideas for more ways to help those who’ve been laid off to blaze a trail forward.
The Layoff Landscape
Working in tech and startups often creates a bubble, and we’re fast to forget that our space isn’t representative of the wider hiring world. Overall unemployment is at a low in the US 3.4% as of January 2023. In spite of that, tech is experiencing a layoff spree that’s lasted several months, with potential reasons varying from economic downturn to pandemic over-hiring.
While general tech cuts have hovered in the 10%-12% range, recruiter jobs have had an outsized impact, with cuts in the 50% range. Recruiting jobs saw higher than average cuts during COVID-19, too. Marginalized groups, already disproportionately affected by layoffs, experience a double whammy in recruiting.
All of these figures can be dehumanizing, making it so easy to forget that behind each number is a real person who has lost their job. If you’ve been laid off, or have seen people you know being laid off, know that this uptick is very real, and it isn’t your fault you’ve been impacted.
I want to validate that you’re probably already doing all you can. Nobody enjoys getting laid off, and if finding a new job is slow going, it’s probably not because you aren’t doing enough. I wanted to create this list of suggestions to keep your gears turning, and to reassure you that you’re doing the right things.
So you’ve been laid off. Now what should you do?
Polish your LinkedIn
Consider turning on LinkedIn’s “Open to work” banner for your profile. I know there’s some debate here - some recruiters find the banner a helpful shortcut when sourcing, others think that it’s a meaningless addition. Setting the banner publicly can also attract spammy outreach sequences. As a middle ground, you could set the banner to be visible to recruiters only. Ultimately, you should choose what you feel most comfortable with.
Make an announcement that you’re looking for something new. If you feel comfortable, write a post announcing that you’ve been laid off and are open to new opportunities. In this post highlight some of the wins and projects you impacted in your last couple of roles and what you’re looking for next. A big part of making a successful ask is telling your network exactly ‘how’ they can help you. If you feel comfortable, encouraging your close former colleagues, bosses, and friends to comment and reshare is powerful too.
Ask and offer recommendations. Ashby has launched the #YourNextHire initiative in hopes of lifting up and making more highly visible talented individuals impacted by layoffs. Unfortunately, many of those who were impacted have been overshadowed by headlines and statistics. We want to change that by encouraging people to write LinkedIn recommendations for their former colleagues, share the recommendation on an individual post using the hashtag #YourNextHire and tag their colleagues. Ashby will then reshare for further visibility. Not only will this help better showcase impacted individuals, but it will also brighten their day to see the value they have brought to their work through the recommendations.
Shake the networking tree
Don’t be shy about tapping into your network! If you’re nervous, use that LinkedIn announcement to open up conversations – odds are good that people who commented want to help.
Be clear about your asks. I love helping people in my network, but it’s much easier if I know exactly what they want up front. Otherwise we waste time beating around the bush with no clear indication of what they need from me.
Be extra appreciative. If it’s been a while, re-familiarize yourself with a person or group’s social media to find things to check in about. Offer some reciprocity - a recommendation for a recommendation is a great place for two colleagues to start. If you can initiate contact with help or a listened ear to show that you care about the other person, that’s even better.
Dust off your resume
Keep up a brag sheet. List out everything you were proud of accomplishing at your last job, along with KPI outcomes. Maybe these fit on the page, maybe they’re things to mention in an interview, but it’s great to have a quick reference list of successes. (It also feels good to see it all in front of you!)
Highlight the wins. Use as many tangible metrics as possible to show your performance. The more up-to-date and specific the proof of success, the more impactful and memorable the resume.
Make new connections
Tap into the sources you’d want to source from. Established networks are gold, but adding new ones helps you connect with fresh people. I like to think of my dream role, and then imagine where I’d look if I was the one sourcing for it. Those are the places you want to try.
I’ve added a list of great resources to try further down.
Helping Your Community
Maybe you weren’t laid off, or you already have a new role, but you still want to support the talent community. (That’s how I feel, too!) Here’s some ways you can help:
- Offer a resume review - Especially when you’re in the talent space, you know what makes a great resume. But when it’s your own you can get bogged down or overthink it. Use your skills to offer a review!
- Give a listening ear - Networking is necessary, but so is the feeling of being seen and appreciated in your space. Even if you don’t know of a good role to recommend, offer your emotional support.
- Join the #YourNextHire campaign - Write recommendations for your former colleagues. It offers information for them to pull from when they get back out there, and shows people you worked closely with how highly valued they are; plus, it’s on display for potential future recruiters.
More Resources To Find #YourNextHire
Team Ashby and I feel a strong desire to help the talent community as we get through the widespread layoffs. We want to lift up the deserving talent community, especially after all they have been through in the last few years. We’re kicking off #YourNextHire, and I’m inviting all of you to get involved.
- Write someone you know a LinkedIn recommendation
- Screenshot your words
- Share that screenshot with the hashtag #YourNextHire
- Tag the people you reviewed to keep the support going
This is one method to support each other in a meaningful way, and we hope you’ll join us.
If you’re looking for your next hire, I’ve compiled a list of hiring resources that might help: