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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Lee

What HR Executives Need To Learn About Managing Layoffs

As the tech industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions, layoffs are unfortunately becoming more common. From small startups to large multinational corporations, no company is immune to the possibility of layoffs. 

As a recruitment agency, we've seen firsthand how these layoffs can impact HR departments and their organizations. In this article, we'll explore what the recent tech layoffs in the tech industry can mean for HR executives and how they can navigate this challenging environment.

  1. Manage Your Employer Brand

A high-profile layoff can also harm a company's employer brand. The way a company handles layoffs can shape the perception of the company by both current and potential employees. A survey conducted by the HR consulting firm Future Workplace found that 53% of job seekers said that a company's reputation was the most important factor when considering a job offer. This highlights the importance of maintaining a positive employer brand, even during challenging times such as layoffs. HR executives should be prepared to communicate openly and transparently about the reasons for the layoffs and what steps the company is taking to support affected employees. This includes providing resources for job training, outplacement services, and ongoing support for those impacted by the layoffs.

  1. Effective Communication

Effective communication is key in any organization, but it becomes even more critical during a layoff. HR executives need to work closely with management to ensure that communication is clear, consistent, and empathetic. According to a study by the employee engagement platform TINYpulse, communication is the number one driver of employee engagement. This underscores the importance of effective communication during a layoff, both with affected employees and with external stakeholders. HR executives must prioritise communicating with the employees who are not affected by the layoff to maintain company morale. External stakeholders, such as investors and key clients should be informed as well to maintain the company's reputation.

  1. Opportunity for Talent Acquisition

Despite layoffs' challenges, they also present an opportunity for companies to acquire top talent. In a survey by the outplacement firm RiseSmart, 74% of laid-off employees said that they would be willing to return to their former employer if the right opportunity arose. This suggests that there may be opportunities for companies to rehire laid-off employees in the future. HR executives should be proactive in reaching out to affected employees who may be a good fit for open positions within their organization. By leveraging their existing networks and partnering with recruiters, HR executives can connect with laid-off workers and offer them new opportunities. This can help mitigate the negative impact of layoffs and strengthen the company's talent pool.

  1. Prioritise Employee Well-being

Finally, HR executives need to prioritize the well-being of their employees. Layoffs can be stressful and traumatic, and HR executives should take steps to support employees during this difficult time. A study by the HR consulting firm Mercer found that the top driver of employee engagement is "being treated with respect and dignity." This highlights the importance of supporting employees during a layoff and prioritizing their well-being throughout the process. HR executives should work with managers and other leaders to ensure that affected employees receive the support they need, such as access to counselling or other mental health resources. They should also provide clear information about severance packages, unemployment benefits, and other resources that can help employees transition to their next opportunity.

In conclusion, tech layoffs can be a challenging time for HR executives and their organizations. However, by being proactive, communicative, and empathetic, HR managers can help their companies navigate this difficult time and emerge stronger in the long run. This includes prioritizing employee well-being, communicating effectively with internal and external stakeholders, and leveraging the opportunity to acquire top talent. By taking these steps, HR executives can help their organisations weather the storm of layoffs and emerge more competitive and resilient in the tech industry.


As an HR consultancy specializing in executive search and HR strategy, we can provide the expertise and guidance you need to come out stronger. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization thrive in the ever-changing tech industry.

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