Layoffs are coming…

Many Indian companies started laying off people in a low-profile way. No press releases and no media reports. These companies silently let people go. This trend will continue at least for another 6 months until U.S. stabilizes itself both politically and economically.

Layoff Notice

Hexaware eliminated 300 positions recently. TCS, IBM and similar companies let go many people citing poor performance. Companies can’t keep poor performers especially in poor economic environments. Situation in U.S. is deteriorating even more. Some companies convert full time positions to part-time positions.

The number of people, whom the U.S. government classifies as working part time involuntarily swelled to 5.3 million last month, a jump of greater than 1 million over the last year. These workers now amount to 3.7 percent of all those employed, up from 3 percent a year ago, and the highest level since 1995.

If you already have a good job, consider yourself lucky and do everything possible to keep that job! I personally feel that it is the right time to hire good candidates, but still it’s tough to find them.

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11 thoughts on “Layoffs are coming…

  1. Ex-Hexawarian

    Citing employees as poor performace and then do mass layoff is unfair and unacceptable. This shows how much a company really values employees in their tough times. These companies should have professionalism to give appropriate layoff reasons and not to degrade their employees. Question – Were so many hiring managers (for 300 people) incapable of hiring right candidates!!

  2. Ram Post author

    Hi, I appreciate your feedback. To answer your question: Yes, some of the hiring managers are incapable. Some of them are just out of options. Let me explain.

    Companies like TCS, Infosys, etc., send their junior veterans (guys with 2 yrs experience) to campus interviews. These guys are the “hiring managers”. Most of them don’t have much experience in hiring. They go thru the routine of conducting tests, evaluating it and do in-person interview. This in-person interview is a tricky part. If a person is not experienced in hiring right people, he/she may really screw up this part and hire wrong people.

    When the companies need lot of freshers in a short time frame, they can’t send experienced HR managers to all campuses. They just don’t have that many senior HR managers.

    Some companies hire people in a hurry to show the headcount to the prospective clients for the upcoming projects. Then, they may lose the bid for the project and have to layoff people. Companies will never tell the “correct” reason for layoff, because it would put them in lot of trouble, for example — discrimination lawsuits.

  3. Ex-Hexawarian

    I think there is some BIG missing piece in an Indian IT corporate culture. People become senior not because of their capabilities, but rather than favourism, and just being age old.

    In Hexaware I can point out so many project managers and they are JUST doing a ‘postman’ job and in same project I can show you the capable employees who are working as developers for long time. These developers are never really promoted or given break to next level in management because company doesn’t earn on managers because they can earn only on billable resources. Therefore managers are always someone is incapable of going on billing to client’s place on technical side and capables are ALWAYS held to these positions because they will earn bread for company.

    Coming to the point – Is hexaware doing layoff for ‘postman’ managers? NO! For any company to grow, look at the senior managers and look are at their core competancies in the field of work they are into. I am sure 90% of senior managers don’t know the product what they are selling to the client – they are all concerned about stock and investors.

  4. Ram Post author

    Hi, the discussion is going in a familiar direction. Many employees think that they are smarter than their bosses. It’s a natural thing. Sometimes it’s true too. GE ex-CEO Jack Welch wrote a detailed article about this in Business Week. The point is that what you feel is right. Many managers became lethargic “after” they become managers. They do work hard until they reach that point. Once they get to the point of ironclad job security, they lose the momentum.

    I wouldn’t say that managers are not intelligent. If they are not, they would not have reached the manager position anyway. Some managers brown nose their bosses and get the job. But, most managers do deserve that position. I can understand your question of why managers were not terminated. But, how the managers would terminate themselves?! They are the ones that decide who gets the pink slip. They make the decision either directly or indirectly.

  5. Ex-Hexawarian

    Nope this is not about employees being smarter than managers. Managers are also employees too! The point what is company’s rythm or culture. In my tenure with hexaware I have seen cream crowd moving away from company because of shit culture. They are far better off somewhere else. Company manager says = hmm how can I promote you or gie you more salary when I am not getting it….. !!
    If Hexaware was smart enough they won’t have 10% layoff company wise. 10% is big number…. I would say if some lazy bums were laid off company would have seen increase in productivity… but now poor freshers have to bear the brunt instead.

  6. Ram Post author

    Hi, I never worked in Hexaware although I worked in the companies where the culture is similar to what you described.

    Many years ago, when I was a programmer in TCS, I asked a question to my manager. She told me “It took me many months to learn this. I struggled hard. I will not give you this information just like that”. See…coaching the team members is the job of the project manager. Even then, she was so attached to the knowledge she gained after “months” of hard work. She didn’t want to share the knowledge because of her ego. She didn’t care about the project, company or team members. I told this story many times to many people. Every time I get the question “how come you worked for a manager like that?”.

    Well, there are certain things happened in my career…not by choice. I joined a reputed company. But, the manager was lousy. I can only choose the company, but I can’t choose the manager. That’s the way it is.

    I am not sure whether hexaware is a bad company. None of my friends worked there. I have no idea about the company. But, what you describe is very familiar. You will be surprised to see many other companies also have similar culture and problems. Some of those companies are extremely successful in spite of all these lazy bums.

    In some companies, situation is very troublesome. I have seen people steal ideas of others and claim it as their own. I have seen people backstab the colleagues in a very cruel way. It’s a rat race. It makes the people turn into animals and do unthinkable things.

    Just my 2c on this topic: If you go for an interview, never say anything bad about hexaware or how they didn’t play fair and all. It will go against you.

  7. Ex-Hexawarian

    Isn’t it surprising when we say all or most of the Indian companies have unfair operating processes. Companies are not made up with tables, chair, computer or mouse, they are made up of people like us…. so that means somewhere we are also to be blamed…
    Why do companies have these dumb managers? I guess as I said earlier, this drill downs to company culture and senior management… so there are ppl in senior management who are real idiots and because of them most of the employees suffer… who can challenge dumb senior management? a project manager? a low grade employee? NO
    In India there is no process to appraise senior management…only way is stock prices…. which we know is mostly speculations. there is no concept of 360 degree feedback. Hence senior management rules the whole process…. I have worked in american companies they have shitty management too… but not even 100 miles radisu close to shitty like hexaware. Here every way accountability increases as you go up the ladder and when things go wrong management cannot blame junior guys, as management’s responsisibility is to take appropriate actions when junior guys does anything wrong.
    Companies like Hexaware have long way to improve… look at their stock prices, they used to be like Rs 160 once upon a time …look at them now. Dump these companies shares and encourage others to do same … that’s the only way to fight back.

  8. Guna

    Yep.. The Global slowdon has its indirect effect on IT companies..

    Fannie Freddy
    Bear Sterns
    Lehman Brothers
    Merril
    AIG

    Every day we hear the Bankruptcy claims on Financial sector which is directly responsible for the massive IT projects. So Layoff is inevitable or the IT companies have to join the above list. I do agree that some managers are Bums and do everything to satisfy the management.. Nothing else. Hexaware in specific had burned a big hole in my pocket. I bought the shares at 100 and now it is trading at 33.. Lucky that I disposed most of them last week at 47.

    The managers should be responsible for Investors as well. If they want to cut the Goddamn Jobs they should have said that in advance.. We all would have exited that stock then..

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  10. Ex-Sifyite

    It has been a hard time for people like me, when our managers have diplomatically abused us and our work, and how we are a burden to the company. That we should look for some other avenues. It is a life long scar and i never know when will i get over it.
    i spend day and night thinking “why me?”, when many of my colleaugues must be busy in their work at this point of time…

  11. Ram Post author

    Hi, you are not alone. There are literally thousands of layoffs every day all over the world. “Diplomatic abuse” is very common in India, it just morphed into different form when these managers are employed in MNCs. Layoff concept itself is completely new to Indian workers. Global economic crisis and Satyam scandal make things worse in India.

    On a personal note, it won’t be a life long scar. You will get over it sooner. You may feel hurt now. Few weeks later, you will look back and won’t feel the same. Time heals everything. Nothing is a big deal. What do you think of yourself is most important.

    I would use this opportunity to learn more or start my own business. Sometimes blessings come in disguised form. Take care.

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