The pendulum of power is swinging back to employers, right?

Technical abbreviations can get worse before they get better – meaning the next few months will be filled with companies trying to navigate their way to survival during this prolonged downturn.

At least that’s what the entrepreneur is Nolan Church, who helped lead Carta’s 2020 layoffs as its chief people officer, believes. It estimates another 30,000 to 40,000 tech workers worldwide will be laid off in the first quarter of 2023 — a number that follows more than 100,000 layoffs so far in 2022, according to data.

Church spoke to me on Equity last week about how his experience in the world of people operations, both at Carta and DoorDash, has informed his perspective on the best layoff book. He’s also building Continuum, a venture-backed startup that wants to match executive talent with full-time startups and partial capabilities. Unsurprisingly, his vision for a more flexible workforce sits well with the fact that tens of thousands of workers are now looking for work after just this week’s flurry of layoffs.

My entire conversation with the Church is live now wherever you find podcasts, so listen if you haven’t already. Below, we’ve pulled four key takeaways from the interview, from the CEO’s canned statements to how he feels about Twitter’s workforce cuts.

The conversation

Let’s talk about Twitter and ownership. We saw Jack Dorsey tweet a few days after the firing that he was ultimately responsible for Twitter reassigning staff. That delay in his response has created a lot of attention, leading me to wonder if the bar is being raised higher when it comes to how employees expect CEOs to take responsibility for large-scale layoffs.

Over the past 12 years, the pendulum between employees and employers has swung dramatically in favor of employees. We are now at a point where the pendulum is swinging back. If I were to predict where the next five to 10 years will go, the best talent will always end up being in demand. And I think employees will now continue to hold more power as they go forward. And they will remember how companies handle this moment.

About your point about Jack, very frankly, I thought [his statement] he was so weak. He was waiting to say something; he sent like two sentences. As someone who has followed and been a fan of Jack for a very long time, I thought this was the definition of weak leadership. And I would expect more from him. And if I were an employee considering working for Jack in the future, I would think twice about it.

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