Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
During the opening episode of Peaky Blinders’ final season, Thomas Shelby tells a French smuggler grieving the end of prohibition that “every catastrophe is also an opportunity.” There’s truth to that cliche, and not only for criminals. Staffed with some of the most brilliant minds at problem-solving, successful tech companies will find out that the current market also represents an opportunity.
But what is that opportunity right now? As tech stocks plummet and companies lay off large parts of their workforce to cushion the blow of the downturn’s impact, the ability to discover the opportunity lies in a company’s versatility.
The fast-paced environment of the global hi-tech economy is seemingly in a constant state of flux, but not necessarily negatively. Last year saw record venture capital funding in important tech hubs like the U.S. and Israel and record-setting IPOs — almost the opposite of this year’s story. Yet the dynamic industry, with all its cutting-edge breakthroughs and prestige, isn’t immune to stagnation.
Because tech is so dynamic and plays such a prominent role in the global economy, the industry itself often has just the proper remedies to correct or reverse periods of losses or stagnation. One thing that makes hi-tech so dynamic is its adaptability, which allows the industry to reinvent and reiterate itself through its innovative gusto.
Amazon started as an online book shop before transitioning into a premier Ecommerce platform. But, the tech giant didn’t stop there. It would become the biggest on-demand cloud solution platform and a significant player in the content subscription world. A further testament to tech’s adaptability is how quickly food delivery services took center stage during the pandemic-induced lockdowns of 2020. There is no vacuum that the tech sector can’t fill with a bit of creativity. The industry is in a perpetual cycle of building and improving.
Tech, which is gobbling up more and more of the global economy, is better at thinking on its feet than the massive conglomerates of past recessions.
If the industry continues to stagnate in the coming months, it has plenty of tools to work around the need for additional support during slow hiring. Automation is one of them.
Related: 9 Tech Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets to Success
As tech companies of all shapes and sizes weather the market slump and try to reduce costs while maintaining productivity, workplace automation can play an impactful role. Automation can make repetitive and often time-consuming and tedious tasks quicker, leaving employees more flexibility to focus on other tasks.
It’s safe to assume that this down market will contribute significantly to a new wave of automation products that will enhance business operations and enable them to scale up more accessible than ever before.
Workplace automation isn’t about replacing humans with robots (at least for the foreseeable future) but rather about streamlining business processes. Instead of replacing humans, automation can be leveraged to improve companies’ hiring processes by filtering out unqualified applicants, leaving more time for Human Resources to focus on the top contenders.
Indeed, it’s not that startups and tech companies will stop hiring altogether during this time. It’s more that they won’t be throwing money and endless perks at candidates, and they certainly won’t be able to keep subpar candidates whose mediocrity went unnoticed in times of economic success. They’ll need to be more diligent in hiring the right candidate for the proper role.
Related: How Startups Can Succeed In the New Low-Valuation World
3. The global workforce
Thanks to the emergence of the trending digital nomad lifestyle, the growing remote work trend serves this purpose quite nicely, empowering HR managers to vastly expand their talent searches to every corner of the world. Some international companies, like Europe-based MVP Match, leverage CTOs’ extensive experience in developing digital products to match freelance tech talents and entire teams with the appropriate companies across the globe.
Such tools will enable companies to hire top tech talent for predetermined time frames or to work on specific projects, meaning businesses can affordably scale up and then back down as needed during times of economic uncertainty.
Not only is access to high-level tech talent more accessible and affordable, but so are IT and cloud solution services for organizations of all sizes and across all industries. Companies like GlobalDots — a Tel Aviv-based multi-vendor reseller of technology solutions — are helping businesses build and implement full tech stacks based on the precise needs of the business. Companies will have to become more efficient about operating on all fronts, including tech integration and implementation.
Today, tech is breaking down borders and enabling businesses to operate more effectively, cost-efficiently, and most importantly, with much more agility. This economic downturn may linger on for a while or develop into a recession, but tech’s saving grace is that it is built to reinvent itself and overcome.
Related: How Automation Can Save the Tech Industry From Itself