With more and more companies reducing headcount a trend has emerged that has me baffled. As you might expect we’ve targeted companies that are performing poorly because they are easier to recruit from since logically many more people are looking to “jump ship”, but what we’ve seen is that while many of these potential candidates are expecting to be let go the are actually waiting around for it to happen.
The big reason….the severance package…Huh?
Yes it seems the belief of most is that a severance package and a job search are better than finding a new job now with a career path in a stronger company. From my conversations it seems that they want a security blanket for their search, but it seems like they aren't looking at all the information.
First off severance is provided for two major reasons (1) To pay a debt of gratitude to long term employees as they must massively readjust to a new market place and (2) to provide a short term financial bridge between jobs. (Or if you’re a skeptic like me it’s to control the damage to their public image created by the layoffs). Now if you’re a long term employee this may make financial sense when the industry average is two weeks of severance for every year of service, but the typical IT candidate over the last decade has had at least 2 if not 3 or 4 (if not more) jobs so what’s the payoff for these people? The answer is no much of anything!
In the current job market the average IT pro will spend 6-12 weeks looking for a job before securing their next opportunity. So while that 4 or 6 or 8 weeks of severance looks good on paper it’s either gone or mostly gone by the time you get your next job. So with no financial gain why wouldn’t you look at jobs right now? Benefits of a search now include:
* Less competition from your peers as they wait on their severance packages
*Control your destiny as you are proactively looking for your next career move and not just accepting
whatever job is available once you’re unemployed.
*Social stigma still associated with losing your job: Why them? Didn’t they see the writing on the wall?
What’s the motivation of a person who waits to be let go? (sorry to say, but these are real questions
posed by real hiring officials)
So if you’re one of those candidates in a company where you’re facing the real possibility of losing your job you may want to get ahead of the curve, and be more proactive in your search especially with no real financial gain from any severance package.