Should Software Developers in Singapore be worried about tech layoffs?

It is becoming apparent that tech behemoths have been laying off their staff, and this has reached a total of 35,000 workers according to Layoffs.fyi. With ongoing inflation and the continuing effects of COVID-19 around the world, this has caused much worry for what the outlook would be for the rest of the year.

In Singapore, companies like Shopee and Crypto.com have followed suit. Nonetheless, whilst there has been a modest pull-back in demand for tech workers, the level is still way above where it was before the pandemic and many companies especially software development companies, are still searching for talent. In Q2 2022, the Ministry of Manpower shared that the total number of retrenchments in Singapore was 1,320, marking a 12 per cent drop from Q4 2021, where there were 1,500 retrenchments.

 

Cryptocurrency facing the biggest hit in layoffs

From Tesla, Microsoft, Meta, to Coinbase, and Netflix, various teams have been streamlined or made redundant with budget reviews. Shopee is laying off employees in its food delivery team (ShopeeFood) in Singapore as well as online payment team (ShopeePay) across Southeast Asia.

Coinbase had rescinded job offers as well as implemented a hiring freeze. In the first half of 2022 the company has laid off 18% of its work force. With the value of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other popular currencies dropping sharply, start-ups in the risky cryptocurrency space are at the forefront of layoffs.

A growing number of crypto start-ups are also cutting headcounts in order to survive a possible prolonged downturn in the market and in the broader economy, creating a sense of whiplash in the process among the many workers who joined these businesses with the belief that crypto was the next big thing.

 

Are high turnover rates a worry for tech companies or software developers?

In various public statements, tech companies have framed these cutbacks as necessary steps to address a shift in economic conditions, amid concerns about rising interest rates and inflation. One reason employers are cautious about changing direction on hiring is also the growing turnover rates.

Tech professionals such as software engineers and software developers have turnover rates at 14%, based on responses from a Gartner survey. Tech talent have also cited that the lack of sustainability, flexibility and work-life balance are key reasons of leaving a business.

 

How are tech layoffs impacting Software Developers?

We spoke to Anastasia Horoscuka, our Software Development recruitment expert who shared some insights on the market.

Companies that required tech support were getting a lot of investment, but as businesses begin to re-evaluate their priorities and establish sustainability in the long run, they’ve realised the true number of software developers and engineers required and started to look at ways in becoming more cost-efficient. As a result of this, software developers and engineers need to be aware that with the high supply of candidates, desired salary packages may not be realised and in fact may need to be justified as to why a software development company should choose you amidst your competitors.

 

How can we help?

As Singapore has a very tight labour market for tech talent, there hasn't been a drastic pullback of hiring activity. Anastasia shared that companies who are currently relying solely on internal Talent Acquisition teams are struggling to optimise their teams and departments which is where outsourcing recruitment agencies can help. And this isn’t just with evaluating your headcount but also with talent mapping, budget planning, organisational strategies and more.

 

Top advice for tech companies who are dealing with tech layoffs:

Anastasia shared her thoughts:

  • Look at long term rather than short term
    • Companies tend to make the mistake of hiring talent at the last minute and this is not advisable if you want your company to be agile and swift in tackling uncertainties.
    • Set a goal for your company – what is an ideal headcount size for your projects and ambitions? Start working towards this aim consistently with commitment.
    • Think of innovative ways to attract and retain your talent – do not depend on enticing salary packages that you will not be able to commit to in the long run and becoming less cost-effective.
  • Trends are unpredictable so be prepared
    • Tech trends have been evolving over the years, and the pandemic has been a good learning lesson for many to step up, be agile, adapt to change, and embrace innovation.
    • Invest in your data team to carry out market research. Make use of this data collected to chart for future ambitions and goals.

 

Top advice for software developers and engineers who were impacted by the layoffs:

  • Do your research on the company you are looking to move into
    • How are they coping as a business? Are they forward-looking and agile? How do you fit with the company based on your skills and personality? How sustainable is the company in future-proofing their business?
  • Assess if the ‘digital nomad’ life is for you – Do their company values and culture align with you?
    • Digital nomads are location-independent and use technology to perform their job, living a nomadic lifestyle. Digital nomads work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company's headquarters or office.
    • Not every tech role in the industry can allow you to work remotely and this is where it is essential for you to understand the nature of the job you are applying for before sharing your priorities on having remote work opportunities.
  • Don’t be fussy and picky about your career
    • Be open-minded to the opportunities available out there as competition is stiff.
    • No job in this world is perfect and completely ideal, so choose your battles wisely and know what you prioritise in a career.
  • Invest in training and upskilling
    • The job market in Singapore will continue to be competitive for software developers and software engineers. Take courses and stay up to date with current skills in demand, learn a new programming language and sign up for workshops that can train you in management skills.

 

Other top in-demand tech jobs in Singapore

Data scientists and data analysts

The data industry is said to contribute around S$1 billion to Singapore’s economy each year.

Data centre operations have also grown significantly, with hubs located here across big tech firms like Google, Amazon and Meta over the last few years. Now, there are approximately two dozen providers and over forty data centres located in Singapore. Singapore is currently the fourth largest market in the Asia-Pacific for internet data centres (behind Japan, China, and India).

 

Product managers

Tech companies will continue to require product managers on their team to know about technology trends, understand the tech stack and manage the development life cycle.

They are needed to lead and rally their teams, communicate effectively with stakeholders both internally and externally. Product managers not only have to review what the team has built, but they also need to ensure that it serves the purpose of what customers are looking for. In addition, they are required to work closely with their sales team to properly highlight the most impressive parts of their product and ensure that these key selling points are not missed out with their customers.

 

Are you impacted by the recent tech layoffs?

If you are a tech professional or work within the tech industry who wish to find out more about alternative career options and jobs in Singapore, please reach out to us via the form below, and a dedicated specialist consultant will be in touch with you.

 

Get in touch

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Huxley are here for you.

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