By: John Pickett
After years of incredible growth in the high-tech industry, this year we are seeing a trend toward employee reduction and consolidation. Tech.co recently published Tech Companies That Have Made Layoffs in 2022, which goes into details about who laid off, the number of employees impacted and the rationale behind them. Each company has their own euphemism for cutting back, whether it is work force reduction, downsizing, right sizing, reduction in force or being made redundant. If you have worked in the industry for any length of time, you most likely experienced the effect of a shifting staffing landscape. Even if you are the one remaining while your colleagues are “invited to be successful elsewhere,” you will still feel the effects.
The first thing you need to do is to make yourself more valuable inside the company. In their blog “Customer Marketers: Recession-Proof Yourself Now”, the Point of Reference team does an excellent job of identifying the steps to make yourself more visible and valuable across the organization. It is one thing to keep your head down to get your work done, but it is something completely different to ensure your success is known to other parts of your organization. This will significantly increase your odds of staying on the team.
This can be a mixed blessing because you may have just picked up responsibility for those that were just cut loose. There are still projects to complete, marketing programs to run, and deadlines to meet. In the words of the showman P.T. Barnum, the show must go on. Sure, you can work smarter, not harder…but you have been doing that already.
In times like this we have seen independent contractors play a significant role in shoring up current and ongoing projects. Particularly during murky economic times, contractors can be the workhorse to lift your burden or be the adviser by leveraging their years of experience. Independent consultants provide several benefits:
During times of downsizing independent consultants can quickly fill the gap left by employees leaving. They may be brought in to create a single set of marketing materials, manage a marketing program or provide partner training. The tasks can be as small or as large as you desire. Not only can you scale up quickly, but you can also scale down quickly as business needs dictate. This scaling approach provides a dynamic workforce that can rapidly respond to the changing business environment.
Quality independent contractors have years of experience – which means they are older, more mature, and easily adapt to changes in the tech industry. Many times, these individuals have worked across a variety of enterprise organizations bringing the lessons learned that can only come from experience. By hiring independent contractors, you’ll get someone skilled in the area without the need for additional training.
With independent contractors, you don’t have the employee’s overhead of salary, healthcare, social security, retirement benefits, vacation & sick leave, workers compensation and unemployment benefits. You also don’t have the onboarding process and extensive training you would typically see with new employees.
When selecting an independent contractor, experience matters. After you first identify the business need and criteria for the work to be done, you should be selecting an independent contractor or agency that has a proven history of success. An established track record over time shows a level of maturity and stability indicating they will be there to support you in the long run… or as long as you’d like their run to be.
As the economic waters become more turbulent, job #1 should be to recession proof yourself now. This ensures you stay in the boat. It will still be a rocky ride, but at least you are still in the game. Second, you should consider getting help to push your current and future projects across the finish line. There will be choppy waters ahead and you still need to drive marketing projects, so consider trusted independent contractors to flexibly scale up your business.
Do you have questions or need help in accelerating your marketing, sales, or training efforts? We’d love to chat and discuss taking your programs to the next level.