Tech retrenchments: IT community bands together to help laid-off workers find new roles

Major tech firms like Twitter and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently went on a firing spree. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

SINGAPORE - He was at an airport overseas, on his way home from a work trip on Nov 3 when he received the news that he had been retrenched.

Within hours, Mr Andrew’s (not his real name) access to work apps was cut off.

He returned to Singapore jobless, fearing that he would be forced to return home to India with his wife and two children if he could not find a job here when his Employment Pass expires.

The 42-year-old, who held a mid-managerial role with financial services company Stripe, said: “It was so sudden. My heart sank when I received an e-mail from the CEO that the company was downsizing and my role had become redundant.”

He requested anonymity for fear of getting into trouble with his former employer, and added: “I had no clue this would happen. We looked like we were doing well, at least from the inside.”

While searching for a new job, he found an online resource circulating among his former colleagues that compiles the names and details of those in the tech industry who were recently let go.

He is one of a growing list of more than 100 retrenched tech employees who have banded together to compile resources to find new roles in the industry as major tech firms such as Twitter, Stripe and Meta go on a retrenchment spree.

In documents circulating online, The Straits Times saw around 125 names on a spreadsheet, where those who were laid off can provide details of their former workplaces, roles and contact details.

The documents appear to be shared with affected workers by tech researchers who identified themselves in a circulated message as Natalie Pang and Jean.

They wrote: “As tech researchers, many of us are heartbroken with the recent layoffs, and we want to stand with the community... We really can’t imagine what you’re going through.”

They added that they collated details of local job openings in roles such as marketing, product and design, engineering and policy, and urged recipients to share the documents with others.

Mr Andrew said he received at least 20 messages from recruiters with job offers since adding his details to one such list on Friday.

His former employer, Stripe, one of the world’s most valuable start-ups, announced on Nov 3 that it would cut more than 1,000 jobs. The company provided laid-off staff with benefits such as a career consultant, mental healthcare and around three months’ salary, according to Mr Andrew.

Mr Andrew, who hopes to return to the tech sector, said: “It’s a silver lining in this ordeal. There’s a lot of community effort by some people who are sensitive to the needs of those who were laid off.

“Good on these people.”

Details of job openings that have been posted on social media by recruiters, business executives and others in the industry have also been compiled in a separate spreadsheet that appears to have been created by a Stripe employee. It is not clear if the details were personally provided by the companies listed or curated from online posts.

Also listed are details of business founders and other executives from companies such as video-sharing platform TikTok, delivery platform foodpanda and shipping company Maersk.

Some of these executives also posted on social media that they are keen to help.

Ms Krithika Muthukumar, who is described on the spreadsheet as the head of marketing for app developer Retool, tweeted: “Very bummed to see the @stripe news this morning. If I can help with a referral, an intro to a hiring manager @retool, or anything else... please don’t hesitate (to contact me).”

HubSpot team lead Luke Shepherd, whose LinkedIn post also appeared on the spreadsheet, wrote online: “I get sad for the amazing people that wake up to the news that their roles have been made redundant.

“I get hopeful that LinkedIn and the power of networking has been able to bridge career gaps quicker than normal (I know a few personal examples of this in the last two weeks).”

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