Hiring freezes or layoffs in your workplace

I work in a large tech company, as do most people I know in Zurich. We have substantially reduced hiring / have a hiring freeze.

It seems that tech is worst affected currently, but I’m curious what the situation is in other areas.

For instance, are hiring freezes or layoffs being discussed in professional services, finance, architecture, pharmaceutical, or other industries?

I’d love to hear people’s experiences

[IMO this related to investing since company hiring/layoffs have impact on the broader economy/market, but mods please remove this if you think it is too unrelated]

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In infrastructure projects (electrical, water/wastewater engineering) companies are having trouble to find enough people who can do the work. In a previous company I was working for some years ago, they refused to bid for projects because they just did not have the people to execute them afterwards.

Also technical service is a hot market right now (installation, technical after sales service etc.).


I work in a mid-sized pharma company and some job offers were online ever since I started there (1 year ago), even though some positions were filled. Right now, there are ~100 people working in Zurich and we could use at lest ten more, so there is no sign of hiring slowing down.

As a public adminstration, we are having trouble finding companies/people to do civil, heavy sanitary and electrical work. They’re all full, though not necessarily hiring.

It’s all over the press that one particular large Swiss bank is starting to lay off people as of this Monday Nov 7.

In Liechtenstein, on the other hand, there is no shortage of open jobs in banking. Looks like they are corrently on the winning side for CHF bank accounts.

I do not get how this company anticipate a recession or other challenges for 2023.
I have heard that Bracco will cut down is IT staff by 17 in Vaud.
In the Energy industry, we got a budget reduction for IT in 2023. They won’t be lay off but no new position.

From my professional experience, in the banking and insurance and related IT professional services it’s cyclical.

I’ve seen quarters or entire years of company-wide hiring freezes, followed by hiring sprees. This is driven from the company quarterly performances and e.g. how much the CFO needs austerity measures from the department heads to retain profitability, considering that the biggest cost is almost always manpower, that is the first cut.

Sometimes this is systemic, some others it’s driven by genuine change such as divesting businesses or moving functions abroad.

A better indicator for IT is external spend, in most industries big companies have a high ratio of external vs. internal in e.g. IT, and the various middle managers if given leeway will try to first cut external spend before taking decisions on their own teams. So a good canary I think is to look at performance outlook and hiring in IT service providers (can be tricky for global ones and offshoring companies, as they shift capacity across geographies).

Generally speaking, it seems to be still challenging for everyone to get qualified professionals in technical positions (and by qualified I do not mean having a zertifikat, etc. which seems to be the “traditional” Swiss HR standard way of evaluating candidates) due to strong demand everywhere.

Tech hiring freezes and layoffs are actually good for the rest of the industries, as it allows them to get good talent at affordable rates and normalizes the job market for the employers. The question is really why is tech slowing down, and is this due to low demand which then trickles down to other parts of the economy?


Well looks like we learn that the 4-600k annual salary are not as sustainable as we thought.
Also maybe the target growth was not sustainable.


Possible explanation: some tech companies (Google, --Facebook-- Meta) are dependent on advertisement revenues. When an economic slowdown is coming, advertisement budgets usually are reduced first (something I have read somewhere…).

I don’t work there so it’s technically off-topic, but I thought it would be relevant.

I think for Meta that’s mainly due to wrong market strategy, also lower revenues from ads, but mostly tons of cash burnt on a metaverse that people are not (yet?) ready for.