Ethical downsizing: Promoting empathy to avoid “faceless firing”
We’re on the cusp of a global recession like no other. Against a precarious economic backdrop, the ongoing skills shortage presents a scenario in which a company could be carrying out a workforce reduction while simultaneously recruiting for certain roles.
To many, this activity would send conflicting signals about a company’s employer brand.
In 2022, we’ve already witnessed an array of high-profile mass redundancies, particularly across the US tech sector, including some regrettable examples of “faceless firing” – which describes downsizing practices that lack empathy and fail to take the employee’s feelings and personal sense of dignity into account.
Employers must also reckon with the new age of transparency in which we live and work. Workers and candidates have long used sites like Glassdoor to share their unfiltered thoughts on an organisation, but they can also share their experiences with online communities such as Reddit and TikTok, which potentially offer a much wider reach. If employees are treated badly, people will hear about it.
In this instalment of Hire Wire, our Chief People Officer Kirsty Adams joins RS Consultancy’s Faye Walshe and Tom Lakin to share practical tips to help leaders conduct workforce downsizing in an effective and empathetic manner.
To learn more about how RS Consultancy can help your organisation minimise bias throughout your downsizing process, click here.
As our Chief People & Culture Officer, Kirsty leads a global team to develop and implement HR strategies, programming, and policies to optimise our high-performance and values-driven culture. Kirsty leads our efforts to embed our brand values into our recruitment, management, and people development practices globally.
Tom Lakin, our Director of Innovation, shapes Resource Solutions’ innovation and diverse hiring strategy – identifying, assessing, and promoting creative and innovative solutions. Tom also provides advisory and consultancy services to clients to support their talent acquisition, diversity and retention agenda.
Faye Walshe, our Global Director of Innovation & Consultancy, ensures that our clients have access to the widest range of innovative sourcing techniques possible, including our award-winning Recruitment Inclusivity Audit. Faye also consults clients on their employer brand, media placement strategies, the use of social media for recruitment, and more.