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Redundancy – the unbalanced view

Redundancy is a reasonable and rational requirement in today’s business world.

A company cannot grow without change… and change requires loss. I get it… I really do !

But there remains one corporate fallacy about redundancy… corporates do NOT view it with equality… and, as corporates don’t, the recruitment industry doesn’t either.

For years, HR has been schooled in the various ways of making a valuable working resource redundant. I’ve seen it done well, with respect and compassion… and then there’s Logical Is… where people are seen as a disposable short-term resource and the requirement of the process is swift and unseen.

I’ve twice cleared a desk in a busy open plan office, with people around totally unaware of what was happening and while being asked questions about company matters. If that doesn’t add to the trauma experienced, I don’t know what does. On the one hand, the company says it doesn’t need you any more, while people are queuing to ask you questions… ???

The actual process of enacting a redundancy is a vent for another time… this vent is about how it’s viewed upon re-entering the recruitment process.

My experiences with redundancy, both seen and lived, have shown that, invariably, redundancy comes to the most loyal and patient of employees. Of those I’ve spoken with, the ones to avoid redundancy have been the flighty and fickle, moving on or moving out at the first sign of trouble.

But upon re-entering the recruitment market, there is no doubt that the shadow cast by redundancy is viewed as a negative by recruitment agents, TAS’s and sadly and, most regrettably, by HR.

It carries a stigma which seems to throw a negative view on all the value and experience you can bring to a role. But, more than that, is the lingering unspoken belief that you brought it upon yourself.

Whenever I’m asked to account for how I came to leave a company through redundancy, there is always the unspoken statement “Well, if you were so good, how on earth did you let that happen?” The answer to which is simply because I’m loyal and look to work through problems!

The corporate recruiters need to lose this erroneous, biased and unnecessarily negative view. Why ? Because they’re missing the point. You stayed to work though the issues, and didn’t run away from them. The reward of losing your job is a sleight on the organisation, while you remain a valuable and eminently recruit-able asset.

One of the reasons this is taking so long to fix?

The sad fact remains that the first person to see your CV will likely have little real-world corporate experience. And that’s why there’s no such thing as a job for life anymore. Because these reviewers simply don’t see redundancy with a balanced and informed viewpoint. If someone else didn’t want you, why should they they?

Recruiters… get your shit together and review people on skills and contribution… and… just maybe… see redundancy as a positive statement about the drive and determination of the person to whom you’re talking!