Layoffs suck. Be less of an asshole.

Vinit
Vinit
Nov 16, 2017 · 4 min read

We recently had to go through a partial round of layoffs and some people in our team were let go.


Dear Entrepreneur,

Getting yourself in the position of having to layoff some people in your team is terrible.
You are basically telling the people, whom you got on board with promises of success, riches and dreams — that this is the end of the relationship.

Sure, it sucks for you to tell them this

But do you know whom it sucks even more for?
Your colleagues whom you just laid-off.
It came as a complete surprise to them.
They weren’t planning on job-hunting today.
They weren’t planning on leaving you.
They knew they were your performers.
And which performer thinks it will be they who will be fired?

So, do me a favour, and be less of an asshole about it.

How can I be less of an asshole?

First things first, it is not about you. It is about them.
They need a new job. ASAP.
Hopefully, one that pays at least as much as the current one.
Hopefully, a secure one that will keep them professionally satisfied.

So here is what you can do:
You can be their guy. The one who works hardest to get them a new job.
Grovel if you need to, but get them their next job. ASAP.

Let go of your ego, of your insecurities, of your “it will work out” attitude.
It may work out, it may not work out.
It is your responsibility to make it happen.

I recently found myself in this position and was, like all of us, being an asshole about it.
“They are great people and will get a new job quickly” — is what I thought.

Some ideas

Here is one thing that I did:
Reached out to people I knew in the industry (all of my competitors), VCs I had pitched to earlier, friends, other business people. Basically anyone whom I knew was running a company or could make hiring decision.

Told them the truth and sold them on my people’s skills like I’d never sold before. After all, if I was happy with their performance, I should surely be able to convince others!

And they responded. Everyone was more than happy to call some of them in for interviews. Some of my contacts responded in under 2 minutes!

It just took me getting off my ass and sending that first email/WhatsApp message.

And this is important. As an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to recognize that you will have more/better contacts at the senior management level across other companies or startups. The kind of contacts your junior teammates may not have access to on their own.

Then, I followed it up with helping them update their resumes, introductory emails and cover letters. Improve the content, clarify points, spellcheck.

Put it all in a spreadsheet so they could track their progress. In fact, as far as I was concerned, they were still my team and this was the last task I had for them.

Spreadsheet shared with the team to track their job-hunt

Notice, potential employers were called Leads.
Lead status are updated as if it were a sales funnel.

This isn’t the end.

I’m going to try and make it part of my responsibility till each one of them has a new job.

This is still an ongoing process. My reason for writing this post is in itself a way to see if I can get more people interested in hiring some of my wonderful, professional and super-aggressive colleagues.

They all worked at my ecommerce marketplace in Bangalore and have previously also worked in other high-energy positions. They are looking at Bangalore-only openings.

People available for you to hire TODAY:

1) HR Manager + Recruiter
She handles all kinds of job profiles that we throw at her. Additionally, has upskilled herself to not only manage the full HR function of our young startup but is basically the life of the office.
Recruited 29 people in 19 months using mostly free HR websites.

2) Telesales (Inside sales)
She is a calm, quiet professional who can negotiate with the most aggressive customers and close sales super quick (usually within one or two calls)
One of the fastest to go from “trainee” to “hitting targets”

3) Logistics coordinator
He is a highly focused individual who can take shit from customers (for delayed deliveries), take shit from drivers (for lame excuses for delays) and all the while keeping his calm and ensuring customers are spoken to respectfully and professionally.

4) (UPDATE: HIRED) Website Designer
Quiet, calm type. Puts his head in his laptop, does not get distracted and just get shit done. Also can help with Photoshop designing (make some ads and brochures for us that we loved).

5) ASP.Net Developers
Worked on our in-house analytics software. Excellent with C#, VB.Net and MSSQL.

6) Delivery person
Super-reliable. Responsible not only for delivery but also for collecting cash (large amounts), cheques, etc. Never complains, always works with a smile.

7) Accounts data-entry person
Quick learner. Started off doing generic data entry Then taught himself Tally to the point where he can manage most data entry himself.

If you are interested in them, please fill this simple google form.

I hope they can all be placed quickly.
And then, only then, will I start working on what needs to be done so I never have to layoff anyone else ever again. It sucks more for them than for me.

Vinit

Written by

Vinit

Serial Entrepreneur, Bangalore

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