Is moonlighting a facade for laying off workers?
The pandemic resulted in lockdowns across the globe. Working from home was the only option for continuing business operations across different industries. The new work environment resulted in severe resource constraints, such as money, machines, and manpower. However, it resulted in an abnormal demand for the limited available resources. So more opportunities became available, especially for experienced working professionals across industries and significantly in the IT industry.
The talented human capital figured out alternative earning opportunities. The most popular alternate income resource was stock trading, and the same was clear in the plethora of increase in the number of demat accounts never before like during the last two years. Further, there is a rise in alternative job opportunities after office hours and sometimes during the weekends.
Truly, the pandemic ruined many lives by closing the doors of job opportunities and opening windows of additional income resources for a few. Talented working professionals had privileged access to multiple job roles and work assignments other than continuing routine jobs. Some of them embraced such opportunities even after the pandemic because of passion. In some cases, it was to help hands towards society and get recognition; in some other cases, it was to get more income to overcome those challenging times, and subsequently it resulted in a spate of resignations. Further, many companies exchanged similar human resources i.e. the same human capital by paying double the salary along with incentives to continue business operations without any interruption, also filling up shortages to safeguard businesses.
Global corporations branded the year 2021 as the year of the Great Resignation. Since then, many people left their jobs increasingly because of work-from-home stress, extended working hours, more work pressure, no or low incentives, and personal, family-related issues. Most importantly moonlighting opportunities in the new digital world. Moonlighting is not exclusive to the IT industry alone. Several other industries also experienced the same. For instance, education is dealing with it due to edutech and the health sector due to online consultations.
Other reasons such as unicorn startups in similar segments attracted the most demanded and experienced talent, by paying huge salaries including stock option offerings. Moreover, in some cases, employees working in big tech companies launched tiny startups with two or three people joining together. It can be verified with an increase in the numbers of startup registrations with one, two, or three individuals in the domain of the services sector.
Due to the pandemic, many layoffs were witnessed, especially in education, tourism and hospitality, and mobility most importantly in unicorn startups. In contrast, the IT industry was observed hiring in full swing; especially freshers were roped in offering minimal salaries. Even the hiring went up in tier-two and tier-three cities and provided a significant number of job offers even to the third-year pursuing tech graduates. The hiring strategy was to handle the sudden increase in the volumes of business by showing headcount numbers. The pandemic thrown out unsustainable business models as they were existing in pre-pandemic days.
The pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war resulted in global inflation and affected the money supply, especially to startups. It is also impacting startup funding and leading to employee layoffs. Global big tech giants are passing a clear message to their employees to focus on their productivity without expecting hikes. Further projecting due to the signs of global recession, their clients may cut technology budgets shortly. Peak salary offers during good times and salary cuts and employee layoffs, citing moonlighting by tech giants, suddenly signal it is correction time to survive the global recession. In the end, probably it can be said that moonlighting is a facade for laying-off workers.