Hatchet jobs or genuine financial issues?

Posted: February 3, 2009 in HR, sacking, Wall Street, Wall Street bankers

I don’t know how obvious all these lay-offs and sacking that’s taking place, seem to you, but to me it looks like a godsend to financial services firms and publishing houses who want to get rid of people they don’t like and has very little to do with sliding profits. What I find difficult to understand is how companies from every segment of industry are getting rid of anything between 300 and 3,000 employees. So did they suddenly discover they had no use for 300 people? In an IT company I can understand up to a few dozen people who were on the bench being asked to leave because the projects weren’t coming in, but anything upward of 100 does seem a bit strange. If you work for an outsourcing firm, you’ll know that most of time, resources are placed onsite for months, sometimes even years on the same project. So on completion of the project, the resource is usually placed on another project or benched, where then a situation could arise. But 300 to 3000? What little I know of HR, I know this much that if requisitions come in from any departments to HR to increase staff strength, it is for HR to carry out its own quiet enquiry to find out whether there is such a requirement or not. I know the number of times we were denied permission to hire trainees when we believed we were short staffed! So according to reports, when financial services firms start removing upward of 500 people at one shot, it gets me wondering whether the good old hatchet job is at work or some firms have suddenly discovered that there’s a good way to make money and pay themselves a bonus like the bankers at Wall Street did! In a newspaper, when they remove people en masse, it does get one thinking. Is non-performance the only reason? When the guy in marketing was getting ads by the bagful till six months ago he was ’employer of the month’. Now, because of the situation in the market he isn’t pulling in that much revenue and suddenly becomes expendable. Silly logic but there you have it. The editorial scene is even more ridiculous. How is a correspondent who’s worked with the newspaper for the past 10 years suddenly found to be a non-performing asset? So what was he doing there for so long? Didn’t his boss know the guy was bad? Yes I know that sometimes they keep people if only out of sympathy, because he or she probably has some personal or familial issues, but that too is rare. I worked at a news desk for over 20 years and it usually took us a fortnight (at times, even that was too long) to figure out whether a guy was a slacker or a learner. Most of us knew a poor performer from day one, so we all knew how and why he managed to survive! And I’ve met quite a few in that category during my days in journalism. But since I’m digressing from the issue at hand, why not watch this FedEx video for the funny side of work… and what one can get up to when one has time on one’s hands!

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