The Great Layoff

Neil HartleyHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

person packing their possessions in a box when laid off

Last week we highlighted how B2B tech founders can deal with the Great Resignation. This week we’re taking a look at the Great Layoff and what that means for our B2B tech founder.

While the Great Resignation requires a degree of thoughtfulness in terms of how to compete given that dynamic, the Great Layoff presents opportunity albeit with a note of caution. More on that in a second.

So, what’s going on?

As noted by TechCrunch, we’ve seen the third consecutive week of layoffs in the tech sector and it’s happened across all stages, sectors and geographies. On Deck, Netflix, and MainStreet are just three of the latest companies to layoff employees. The consensus is that the post-pandemic reset and economic downturn is to blame for these layoffs, and nobody is talking about a light at the end of the tunnel yet.

Being glass half-full types, most B2B tech founders will look at the human capital opportunity presented by these layoffs. While it’s clearly a horrible time for those laid off, the layoffs are good news for those tech startups with a truly transformational offering. Access to capital is likely to be tighter but, again, for those startups building something transformational this shouldn’t be a problem.

For B2B tech founders looking to make their first Sales hire, the glut of layoffs does improve the labor market in terms of the numbers of available candidates who are likely to be actively looking. The chances are you will see a greater number of applications, possibly with a more recognizable pot pourri of brand names on their resumés.

Great news, yes, but with a note of caution. You’re busy. More applications means more work sifting through that resumé haystack, which then increases the likelihood you will look for shortcuts to simplify and speed decision making. Shortcuts such as favoring candidates from that pot pourri of recognizable brand names.

As a B2B tech startup looking to make your first Sales hire, how strong is your brand right now? It’s probably close to non-existent, right? Your applicant from <insert big brand name> has been able to, presumably, build a strong track record by leaning on that brand name. Building traction in a market without the help of a great brand name is infinitely more difficult and requires a special kind of person.

That person is what we call a Pathfinder. Someone who can deal with the ambiguity of the role, the lack of structure in your organisation. A person who deal with failure, who recognizes the need to experiment in this role.

At The Right Five we have codified all of the skills required to be successful as the first Sales hire in our Pathfinder assessment. This assessment enables you to get from that resumé haystack to a handful of Pathfinder candidates you know can do the job, basically with zero effort on your part.

We even communicate with the unsuccessful Non-Pathfinder candidates leaving you to interview a handful of Pathfinders and decide which is the right one for your business. You can watch an overview and demo via this link.

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