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5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring People Who Have Been Laid Off In today's war for talent, companies that give careful consideration to job candidates who have been laid off from their previous position

By Joel Paul

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Even as the economy grows, layoffs are not a rare phenomenon in India. While the business reasons for conducting reductions in force haven't changed that much – mergers, acquisitions, changes in the market, artificial intelligence, and others – the stigma for impacted employees have. Getting laid off is no longer a shameful thing as it once was. Indian employees have started accepting such scenarios bravely as being downsized does not mean that an employee is not skilled and hard-working. Layoffs, after all, are rarely based on job performance but rather on the elimination of redundant positions, dissolution of business units, or downsizing of staff.

Still, because some hiring managers and recruiters prefer to hire people who are currently employed, finding a job can be more difficult post-layoff. In addition, outdated hiring policies in some organizations still equate being laid off to be fired for cause; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a candidate who has been recently laid off may possess exactly the skill set your organization is looking for. Given the recent drop in the number of qualified candidates, organizations cannot afford to overlook individuals who have left their former employer involuntarily as a result of a business-based decision and through no fault of their own.

If you're still thinking those who have been laid off are less than optimal job candidates, here are 5 reasons of why companies decide to conduct a reduction in force and how the impacted employees are selected:

Change in Business Direction:

A lot of time companies downsize due to a change in direction and a need for team members with different skill sets. The result is that talented, productive team members with great technological skills are let go to make room for team members with different skills.


Companies relocate for a variety of reasons. But whatever the reason for the relocation, employees who are not able to move, or don't want to move may find themselves on the roles of the unemployed. When companies leave employees behind, both top performers and those whose skill sets may need to be enhanced are impacted.

Outsourcing Operations:

Sometimes the reasons for outsourcing are similar to match the reasons for layoffs. Since the workforce is the largest operating cost for an organization, companies look for ways to remain profitable. While the reasons to outsource do have changed over the years, one thing has remained true: Outsourcing results in a reduction in headcount.

Expanding in One Department:

Most of the time it's seen that organizations who are experiencing expansion in some departments are shrinking in others. When companies are experiencing an imbalance in personnel and cost centres, they often reduce staff in one area to free up funds to expand in another. In scenarios such as these, some personnel will naturally be displaced in order to accommodate the increased needs of the growing departments.


Overstaffing is also one of the important reasons for downsizing. When an organization doesn't have enough work for the number of individuals it employs, such as in the case of mergers and acquisitions, the company will keep those employees that may be a long-term fit for the company's strategic direction. Since the determination is made on somewhat subjective measures, those impacted are often highly-skilled, experienced, and motivated employees who just may not fit into the company's long-term strategic vision of itself in the coming years.

In today's war for talent, companies that give careful consideration to job candidates who have been laid off from their previous position may be the ones who find that perfect fit. It's important that HR leaders looking to fill open positions at their organizations, keep in mind the difference between employees who have been fired from their previous jobs and those who were simply laid off.

Joel Paul

Director of Operations, RiseSmart India

Joel Paul is Director of Operations, RiseSmart India.
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