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Cos go extra mile to help fired staff find new jobs

Views 2 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted by Kushagr 15-03-2009  
The slowdown appears to have stirred up India Inc’s collective conscience. At a time when large-scale layoffs are unavoidable, companies are making the effort to walk employees to the door, and even showing them their next stop, instead of leaving them out in the cold.

Indian and foreign companies have been approaching human resource (HR) consultancies and search firms to help place people they intend to fire; a process referred to as ‘career transition and outplacement’. Companies are willing to go the whole mile to outplace an employee — from skill identification to counselling and even training.

In better times, it was an option used sparingly, when edging out senior managers. In a slowdown, though, it is becoming increasingly common. HR consultancy Right Management, the world’s largest outplacement firm, which is in India since December 2006, says it has mandates to outplace 1,000-1500 people. Clients from the IT and financial services industry have signed on in the past three months, including foreign multinationals here and 4-5 Indian companies planning to downsize their white-collar employees.

Management consultant KPMG launched its outplacement division — Manpower Optimisation & Career Transition Services — in India six months ago. Among the assignments the company says it is carrying out, include those for an Italian firm, a Danish logistics and supply chain company, a New Delhi-based infrastructure company and a Mumbai-based insurance joint venture.

Each of these companies, on an average, is getting five of its senior executives, including an MD in one case, outplaced. The executive search arm of Kelley Services, BTI Consultant, and the global career transition and outplacement company The Ayers Group, too, launched a career transition and outplacement joint offering for Asia, including India, last week.

According to several players in the head-hunting business that ET spoke to, companies such as Motorola, Microsoft, IBM and a US-based IT consulting firm are already availing of such services in India. Emails to some companies remained unanswered while others declined to comment.

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