Layoffs in IT: what’s Romania’s market looking like?

The big tech layoffs are not an isolated event happening far away in the United States, but it is a telling phenomenon of what is to come in the wider international IT market. More than 118,000 workers in US-based tech companies (or tech companies with a large US workforce) have been laid off in mass job cuts so far in 2023 alone, according to a Crunchbase News tally.

Job cuts have become apparent on the Romanian market as well, from big companies all the way to startups. 

“Companies have the same budget as last year, or they are tightening it. Since the second half of 2022, they have started either laying off employees or are extremely cautious when it comes to hiring new personnel. The impetus for hiring, which was visible last year, has now died down. Given the climate, we can now see an infusion of available candidates on the market”, says Andra State, Recruitment Lead at Odeen, who gives an overview of the hiring attitudes on the Romanian IT market. 

The main reason for employees in the tech scene switching jobs is the offer of a better salary package, while, given the unpredictable climate, an important value is a stable and predictable company. 

The pandemic accelerated the emergence of new working models, like remote work. But, it also led to a flurry of alternative ways of thinking about work, apart from the traditionally employed status, such as freelance work, contracting, or part-time work commitments. The attractiveness of such alternative work arrangements is, however, also primarily financial. 

“The freelance trend, which we notice growing in the wider work market, can also be reflected in the Romanian IT market as well. Some professionals are moving away from traditional labor contracts, and are looking for freelance projects, particularly abroad because of better pay”, Andra State continues. 

A move towards freelancing might seem like a natural leap, given the unpredictability of the tech market nowadays. However, this is also counteracted by a desire to have a stable working environment, when freelancers are the first ones to go, during layoffs. 

“When companies are laying off, they are cutting first from contractors and freelancers working on a project basis. Even though there has been a rise in companies laying off full-time employees as well, this is rare, as well as a more difficult and complex process”, explains Odeen’s Recruitment Lead, Andra State. 

Despite the recent freelance boom, in which IT professionals may be able to work for more money, and pick and chose their projects, depending on preference or length, this comes with a very high cost of unpredictability and a lack of stability. Hence, in tumultuous times, outsourcing companies remain a reliable source of employment for contractors, freelancers, and employees alike.
IT companies need to have a well-rounded understanding of the demands of the market, and of employees, in order to recruit efficiently. We, at Odeen, are a people-centric company, and we put a lot of focus on the well-being of our employees, from the quality and complexity of the projects we chose to collegiality, a sense of purpose, and a suitable work-life balance set-up.

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