How to survive incoming brutal wave of layoffs, hiring freeze

jobs south africa venveo unsplash

A reduction in the number of jobs in an organization is inevitable especially considering drastic tech changes which make production simpler not to mention more efficient.

The economy is tilting toward an unfavorable position for most industries and the tech industry seems to be the quickest to see the impact.

Here are a few industries hard hit by job cuts.

Tech industry

Tech workers are some of the hardest to be hit as Meta, Twitter and more companies have fired thousands with some of the organizations implementing a hiring freeze.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter only to later unceremoniously fire much of the Twitter’s workforce by email.

Although most of the employees have initiated legal action against him, tightening Twitters’ employee belt is one of Musk’s business strategy overall.

In a meeting with employees still reeling from layoff’s, Musk stated an expectation for employees to work with a heightened sense of urgency.

“The Tesla autopilot AI team, is about 150 engineers and they’re outperforming teams that they’re competing against that are 3 000 engineers,” wrote Musk justifying his decision for lower staff numbers.

Facebook has allegedly recently moved to have employees sharing desk space in an effort to reduce spending while the firm reduces its spending footprint.

Meta announced mass layoffs in an effort to cut costs last week, following news of lowered buyer confidence.

This means, Meta’s real estate is shrinking too.

The pandemic has led to employees working remotely and it seems the shift back to offices will be smaller staff numbers sharing working space.

Most companies in South Africa are doing this where desks are shared by employee’s on rotation.

As part of Meta’s cost cutting measures it has also implemented a hiring freeze.

Twitter, Facebook are not the only companies shifting towards smaller teams.


The South African print industry has suffered major losses, most likely prompted by the global pandemic.

This industry has been forced to transition to an online based structure, as audience demands have shifted.

This has led to reduced staff as photographers, journalists including editors are shown the door, to cut costs.

The industry has had to adapt at lightning speed in order to survive the new digital realities of the 21st century.

Magazines, newspapers including the Yellow pages have been reduced to a fraction in size due to the demand for the industry to adapt in order to survive.


South Africa’s big banks have continued to shed jobs to adapt to the digital era.

The introduction of ATM’s now carrying the work load, and most banks using apps, mean bank branches do not need large numbers in employees.

The introduction of more innovation in the sector will unfortunately lead to more staff cuts.


While Musk has signaled massive cuts on the tech engineering side, civil engineering in the country has recorded the biggest job cuts between 2011 and 2020.

StatsSA reports 11 000 construction jobs were lost between 2011 and 2020 with the biggest losses in the civil engineering sector.

As the US suffers layoffs and hiring freezes ripping through industries, South Africa is also experiencing the same fate.


Only recently reports detailed how Sibanye Stillwater Ltd may layoff more than 2 000 jobs due to low profit margins.

The metal producer has entered into talks with various labour groups on proposed restructuring methods which could leave over 1 9 00 employees jobless.

Known as the largest employer in the South African mining sector, Sibanye is also buckling in retaining employees.

What to do

Upskill, upskill and upskill.  The most important remedy for any changes in any sector is knowledge.

Leaning new skills keeps you ahead of the curve as a professional in any industry.

Do not panic, it completely normal to experience fear, anxiety and depression after losing your job.

The most important thing is to not lose focus and knowing that you’re skilled ensures confidence even when things seem tough.

Exercise, to reduce stress and asses your financial situation.

Also read: Businesses take beating as Eskom changes load shedding stages

Featured image: jobs South Africa/venveo unsplash



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