‘We can’t pay you more’, small tech firms tell laid-off Big Tech employees

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San Francisco– As lakhs of Big Tech employees make a beeline to secure a job as soon as possible, smaller tech firms are hiring the talented laid-off workers albeit with a caveat: “We can’t pay you any more.”

Eric, a former Amazon software engineer, was on a $200,000-plus salary-and-stock package, before he was laid off in the US, reports The Seattle Times.

When a smaller tech firm offered Eric less than he’d made at Amazon and he tried to negotiate, he was “flatly told” they can’t pay him more and he “eventually accepted a job, and a pay cut”.

A senior software engineer with seven to 15 years experience could expect anywhere from $300,000 to $450,000 in total compensation from a Big Tech firm.

“We were seeing people with two, three years of experience getting over $200,000 in total compensation. It was absolute insanity,” Albert Squiers, who runs technology recruitment for Seattle-based Fuel Talent, was quoted as saying.

That started to ebb when layoffs hit the Big Tech firms like Meta, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Salesforce and more.

According to Jacob Vigdor, an economist with the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy, he would not be surprised to see more rounds of layoffs.

“Tech firms may find now that they’ve adapted to this somewhat smaller workforce, that they could make deeper cuts,” he was quoted as saying.

After a dismal year for tech companies and startups in 2022 which saw lakhs of employees being shown the door, 2023 started on a similar note and in January-February, 417 companies laid off more than 1.2 lakh workers globally.

In January alone, close to 1 lakh tech employees lost jobs globally. (IANS)



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