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Tech employees became some of the most sought-after workers earlier in the pandemic. Now they're losing their leverage. In the past three months, tech companies have dramatically slowed hiring or frozen it altogether.

Of the recent market for tech workers, "The pendulum has certainly swung back the other way," said Aalap Shah, a managing director at executive compensation consultancy Pearl Meyer who advises tech companies on compensation strategy. He added that last year, companies had a higher need for workers and even hired people who were less experienced or knowledgeable than what the role required, with hopes those employees would grow into their roles.

"Now there are austerity measures all around, and companies are looking to focus in on talent of the highest caliber," Shah said.

In employment agreements for tech workers, there may now be no promise of equity grants in some cases. And boardrooms are starting to cool on the idea of big offers and bonuses to keep even high-level talent. For workers on the job hunt, they should not expect pay packages the size they have been for the past two years, Shah said.

"So many companies are looking hard at their salary structure and equity structure and seeing how they can be recalibrated," Shah said.

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