The Avoidable Hiring Mistake
There are talented people who get released from their jobs, but it is not the norm. Listen carefully to what I am NOT saying! It is possible that a talented person could be laid off as part of a RIF just for not getting along well with their manager, whether a part of an M&A or corporate downsizing. We’ve all seen corporate politics play out badly when someone is in the “wrong alliance.” But let’s be honest about this subject, it is the rare exception to the rule in a Talent Driven Economy like ours. Generally, companies use these opportunities to “reboot” the company and purge itself of the most mediocre talent from the roles, knowing that as the company rebounds, they can replace those “riffed” positions with better performers. It’s one of those issues people don’t like to acknowledge “on the record,” but it is still true.
Sometimes companies see these “lay-offs” as great opportunities to acquire a new star from a major competitor. I hate to break it to you but, BUYER BEWARE! Most likely they didn’t release their best and brightest or even their “middle of the bell-curve” employees. Be smart and work with a search consultant who is committed to your success and will accurately vet the candidates to assess what they were really like in their most recent role. It’s not easy, but it’s critical to your success as a manager that you understand how they performed and how they got along within their company. Don’t be fooled into hiring another company’s expendable employee. Furthermore, beware of an unemployed candidate’s innate ability to sell themselves out of a pure survival instinct.
When your competitor downsizes, don’t rush to hire someone who was obviously expendable without doing thorough due diligence. If you fail to properly vet them, you may end up wishing you too had a Reduction in Force that you could exploit to rid yourself of the problem.