A week after Hyland, a Westlake, Ohio-based technology company, laid off 20% of its staff, a group of those same workers banded together to hone their job search skills.
Former colleagues gathered in Doki Doki Kawaii Shop, a hobby shop in Lakewood, Ohio, owned by a former Hyland employee, to process their grief and figure out how to move forward.
Two former senior talent acquisition partners, Lisa Weingart and Jay Jakovina, shared insight on resume writing, the job search, interviewing and what the hiring process looks like behind the scenes.
“I know I had no intention of leaving Hyland and neither did many people who were laid off. People are starting from scratch. They have no idea where to start,” Weingart said.
She and Jakovina put together a list of do’s and don’ts. They advised their former co-workers on how to update their LinkedIn profiles, create a one-page resume and prepare to answer behavior-based interview questions. They shared information on different resources available and offered to provide one-on-one assistance.
Many people had been at Hyland a while — and planned to stay — and their resumes reflected that, Weingart said. They knew how to tweak their resumes to apply for internal jobs but weren’t sure how to translate their skills into outside roles.
“You have to strike while the iron is hot,” Weingart said.
Managers who had been in hiring positions shared what type of questions they asked during interviews, and workers who had been laid off a year before helped those who newly lost their jobs understand what to expect from the coming months, Jakovina said.
“There were a lot of different backgrounds chiming in,” Jakovina said. “It was a good way to mourn what happened but also lift each other up.”
Many workers had been remote since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and hadn’t met in person prior to the layoffs. The meeting gave them a chance to connect, too, Jakovina said. And there are talks of hosting a virtual session to reach remote workers who don’t live near Hyland’s headquarters outside of Cleveland.
Beyond the informal workshop the human resources professionals hosted, ex-Hylanders, as they call themselves, also launched a Slack channel to keep in touch, and a few hundred people have joined, Weingart said. There, workers share job opportunities with one another and exchange tips on the job search process.
Despite the widespread layoffs hitting the tech industry and the increasingly competitive hiring landscape in that space, workers still are helping one another land jobs. Jakovina attributes that to the collaborative spirit at Hyland living on even after the layoffs.
“We’re all looking for the next opportunity, but just as much, we want to see everyone succeed,” he said.
Hyland announced on April 3 it was restructuring and eliminating roughly 1,000 positions. In a letter to employees, President and CEO Bill Priemer cited the economic downtown and market shifts as reasons for the layoffs.
“We did not anticipate the degree to which inflation, rising interest rates and wage increases would impact our expenses. Furthermore, the challenging economic climate we currently face is prompting many organizations to pull back on their technology expenditures,” Priemer said.
Debbie Connelly, Hyland’s chief people officer, told HR Dive the company is providing affected employees with separation packages that include several months of third-party career placement services through Ratliff & Taylor, a talent management consultancy.
“The additional support that impacted employees and remaining Hyland employees have shown for those whose roles were affected has been incredible, but also not surprising, as Hylanders long have shown that they care deeply about each other,” Connelly said.