How to find order after layoff chaos

Adam Stober
Layoff-Aid Blog
Published in
4 min readAug 20, 2019


What should rising tech stars do when they get downsized? And, how can savvy talent acquisition pros take advantage of a unique sourcing opportunity? We’re always excited to help candidates and companies that work with us at Layoff-Aid. Here is one true story.

Brian Richman

Brian Richman was a veteran team member at drone startup Airware, which he joined in 2013. After 5 years and a feature in the company’s People Behind the Products video, it was certainly a shock for Brian when Airware announced that it was shutting its doors and laying off all of its employees — including him.

Layoffs are rarely welcome — not by job-seekers, and not by the companies who are downsizing. Airware’s closure came at a somewhat sensitive time for Brian, since he and his wife Amy were expecting their first child in December.

As much as Brian loved his position at Airware and wanted to find something similar, he had his hands full with impending parenthood and didn’t prioritize a full-blown job search. A creative problem solver and early adopter, Brian applied to Layoff-Aid and asked his personal advocate: “I heard about you via a previous coworker that posted a link to your site on our alumni Slack channel. Very curious how Layoff-Aid actually works? I am still searching, but doing so less than part-time. I am interested in finding something early next year.”

Earlier last year, Layoff-Aid for Hiring connected with Trevor King, Head of Talent at Skydio, a Bay Area drone startup focused on making autonomous flying tools that free your hands and mind. Even though drone startups like Skydio get lots of talented candidates, it is hard to find the right ones at the right time. As a savvy contrarian, Trevor liked what he saw in Layoff-Aid for Hiring:

“We have picked up awesome people after layoffs but trying to find them can be hard. When layoffs become public knowledge, the folks with in-demand skills get immediately bombarded by every recruiter in the Bay Area. Layoff-Aid for Hiring allows us to cut through the noise, and focus our time and effort on a small subset of pre-screened candidates who are both well-suited for what we need and excited about what we’re doing. I’m a big believer in this hiring opportunity.”

When Layoff-Aid spotted a new Product Manager opportunity at Skydio, Brian obviously arose as a top match for Trevor to consider. Brian wasn’t just an experienced PM, but he had also worked on drone technology before, and happened to be on the market, albeit somewhat passively. Brian wasn’t actively looking for jobs at the time, as he had to tend to his growing family. Similarly, Trevor was not actively looking to fill the Product Manager role even though it had been posted, due to other hiring priorities.

Baby Richman was born and the Richman household had its hands full. Brian had admittedly neglected his job search. Luckily, Layoff-Aid was searching on his behalf, and Brian’s advocate sent him a note: “Even if you want a little more time, it might make sense to make the connection with Skydio and kick off a process now so things can be queued up for when you’re ready to add on a second full-time job beyond ‘father’.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Brian would soon accept an offer to join Skydio as a Product Manager for the Commercial side of the business, and he has been juggling double duty as dad and PM ever since. Meanwhile, Brian’s wife Amy happens to know a thing or two about People Ops thanks to her experience leading HR and recruitment for SF startups, and as the founder of Aussie Recruit. Once Brian’s transition into his new role was complete, Amy reached out to the Layoff-Aid team to say thanks: “I really appreciate the work you do. I’ve seen how layoffs impact people’s lives and think the work you’re doing is really important and meaningful. You’re also helping startups connect with great talent who are suddenly on the market.”

Tech layoffs are more common than folks may realize. In many cases, they can lead to positive changes for affected employees. But natural recruiting and hiring cycles mean that many of the surprised job-seekers must face the inefficiencies of a tech job-search. If there’s anything that the tech community should know how to solve, it’s inefficiency. Enter Layoff-Aid.

By connecting talented candidates like Brian with hot startups like Skydio, we are making our dent in the startup ecosystem by working to eliminate employment gaps and job-search legwork entirely. When you work with Layoff-Aid, you become part of the movement, and help the startup ecosystem as a whole, one great hire at a time.