While Meta, Amazon and others are laying off thousands of people, why are these tech companies still hiring?
Amid the flood of tech layoffs, some retail tech companies continue to aggressively recruit talent. I asked four of them why they are still hiring.
The tech industry has a history of overhiring in boom times and making massive cuts when the market turns. The wave of layoffs this year is (almost) reminiscent of the dot-com collapse, for those of us old enough to remember. Already this year, Meta, Twitter, Coinbase, Shopify, Salesforce, Robinhood, Snap, Stripe, Instacart, Affirm and now Amazon
With inflation, operational challenges and labor shortages weighing on retail margins, providers of technologies and solutions that help businesses quickly access cost savings or leverage new sources of income are in demand. Supply chain sharing innovator Quiet Platforms and e-commerce solutions companies ESW, Cart.com and Rokt are among tech providers that appear to be resilient in the recession thanks to their ability to help solve problems current retailers. I asked their leaders why they were hiring when so many others were laying off and how the changing economic environment was affecting their tech recruiting efforts.
Silent platforms – offering shared supply chain capabilities
Quiet Platforms helps retail companies achieve economies of scale by sharing logistics assets and supply chain capabilities with other members of the Quiet Platforms network. Company President Shekar Natarajan points to the retail industry’s inherent inefficiency in asset utilization, with infrastructure designed to handle peak volumes, and the conundrum retailers face as the e-commerce demand continues to grow.
“Freight container costs may have come down, but as retailers continue to adapt to rising e-commerce volumes that demand national and omnichannel capacity, interest rates and shipping costs higher ground shipping keeps margins under pressure,” says Natarajan. “We are growing rapidly because our shared logistics model and nationwide fulfillment network help retailers and brands optimize their inventory positioning and ship more cost-effectively without having to make additional investments in building their own supply chain infrastructure. »
ESW – supporting the global growth of DTCs
Based in Dublin, Ireland, ESW helps retailers and brands grow their DTC business globally. Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, President and CEO of ESW Americas, says the company continues to thrive in the current environment as brands look to expand their DTC e-commerce businesses into new international markets as their domestic sales are slowing.
“Our client offering remains very strong,” says Bousquet-Chavanne. “The vast majority of consumer brands in the industries ESW operates in, including luxury, fashion, footwear, personal care and electronics, are still developing their DTC e-commerce capabilities for one channel. more profitable and sustainable compared to large-scale markets. We are able to integrate them quickly to help seize the international DTC e-commerce opportunity and accelerate their DTC business.
Cart.com – maximizing reach across all sales channels
Omair Tariq, CEO of Cart.com, says the company’s solutions help brands improve sales, margins and return on ad spend, allowing them to grow in this uncertain environment. “Right now, brands face an increasingly complex environment that forces them to sell in more places while simultaneously balancing squeezed margins and profitability,” notes Tariq. “Our software helps brands sell effectively across 2,000+ channels, ensuring they appear where their customers are buying. Our analytics solution connects ad spend to inventory in real-time, ensuring that brands invest their marketing dollars in the right places.”
Rokt – enabling access to new revenue
Elizabeth Buchanan, Chief Commercial Officer of Rokt, explains, “Our technology generates significant incremental revenue for e-commerce businesses. The company helps retailers and others get more ROI from their advertising spend. Rokt’s machine-learning technology ensures that the ads businesses present to their customers during a transaction are personally relevant and, therefore, more likely to prompt the desired action. Rokt’s technology also helps power retail media networks that companies like Uber
Buchanan notes that Rokt has been “built to be profitable since its inception 10 years ago” and that its strategy has allowed the company to succeed no matter where we are in the business cycle. “We see this moment as a huge opportunity to move forward,” she says. “Our growth rates, cash reserves and profitability are all incredibly strong and so we can move aggressively when we see opportunities for talent in the market.”
New economic environment. New recruitment rules?
The leaders I spoke with had differing opinions about how the changing macro environment affects their ability to attract talent and grow their technical teams. The work-from-home dynamic seems to be a lingering consideration, especially for top talent, with employers needing to be open-minded to bring work to where the talent is. That said, this group of executives see more opportunities to differentiate themselves with stability and growth.
Bousquet-Chavanne says the slowing economic environment has yet to affect ESW’s recruiting efforts, but he expects cycle time to improve and retention to become less of a challenge over the next year. “Are we totally going to return to an employer-driven market? I doubt it,” he says. “But the back-to-the-office dynamic should ease off in favor of the company. I believe great talent benefits from working alongside their peers and the rewards outweigh the costs.”
Quiet Platforms operates with hubs in the Bay Area, Seattle, Pittsburgh and New York and recruits with a remote work model for much of its team. “We believe we need to provide flexibility and purpose to attract top talent,” says Natarajan. “Despite the layoffs, top talent will be sought after and are looking for value both in the work environment and in the mission, purpose and impact of what we do. We have been able to build an incredibly strong technical team over the last 12 months and we continue to build it. As demand for Quiet Platforms’ supply chain sharing model accelerates, we are focusing more on sales and product management talent,” he said.
At Cart.com, the recruiting dynamic has been similar, and the CEO says the company has been able to attract stronger talent by embracing remote work. “Our model allowed us to go very quickly from a startup to a scale-up in this market,” says Tariq. “We welcomed a cross section of retail and software veterans over the past few months and hundreds of other new hires. I think our culture and our dynamics have been big drivers, as well as the flexibility that remote working has created in recruitment. Our leadership team, for example, is spread across Texas, California, New York, and everywhere in between. I’m not sure we could have attracted the same level of talent in an all-in-person environment. »
Rokt’s Buchanan notes that the company is hiring quickly and continues to focus on creating an enviable and highly transparent workplace culture. “The changing economic environment has only benefited us and given us access to more and more top talent in technology,” she says. Rokt has onboarded over 150 new employees so far this year and is actively recruiting for 75 positions, nearly half of them in R&D. The company started requiring staff to return to the office three days a week more than a year ago, and Buchanan says, “It hasn’t had a deterrent effect on our hiring. We’ve actually found that our employees really want to be back in the office and thriving in an in-person environment. We are seeing a growing selection bias, with our back-in-office strategy attracting top talent, those who want to accelerate their careers and be seen and heard by not being 100% distant. »
Silver linings in the clouds
While the tech sector as a whole may face challenges – with frothy funding and valuations in the rear view mirror and investors far less willing to commit funds to companies with uncertain future revenue streams – the undercurrent Retail technology sector is home to strong companies that continue to recruit top talent to support their rapid growth.
These companies are helping solve some of the most pressing retailer and brand challenges with solutions that support supply chain efficiencies and help companies tap additional revenue streams, accelerate international and channel expansion. and optimize the return on investment of their advertising spend. I guess it’s no surprise that efficiency is still a strong value proposition and that retail tech players who are focused on this goal are best positioned to thrive and attract talent in these hard times.