There have been a lot of layoffs in recent months, especially in the tech industry. Our technology recruiters can certainly attest to this. With the large volume of layoffs at some organizations, a new trend has emerged – layoffs via email.
“Welcome to the era of the digital pink slip. Recruiting, outplacement and employment experts say that while not yet widespread, they’re seeing more examples, particularly in the tech sector, of companies notifying workers they’re laid off via email,” says Jena McGregor on Forbes.
Obviously, there are many people who don’t agree with this approach. They see this as a cold way to approach layoffs. It’s very impersonal and detached for people who’ve spent years helping a company grow and thrive only to be let go via email. That can’t be a good feeling. Some would even describe it as a heartless act.
Why are companies laying off employees over email?
There is no question that the logistics of mass layoffs are not a simple endeavour. There are a lot of moving parts and things that need to be organized, especially on the legal side of things. So, there are some arguments that can be made as to why employers choose this method for layoffs. Our tech recruiters outline some here:
- It’s a simple way of communicating with remote workers: Many people in tech are remote and email is the most common way of communicating with them. As an alternative, do you do it over video? Or do you make them drive into the office just to be laid off?
- Lack of HR people to handle mass layoffs: Some companies simply don’t have the bandwidth to lay people off in person. It would take too many hours and prolong the process.
- Email notices go out simultaneously: Companies view this as a way to make it fair. Everyone receives the same communication at the same time. So, there won’t be people waiting hours or even days to find out if they are next to be let go.
- Companies are just not prepared: This is especially relevant to technology companies. They have seen massive growth and have not experienced job cuts on this scale.
Potential repercussions for email layoffs
Time will tell whether this trend becomes a norm or if companies that continue to use this approach to layoffs will face backlash. You’d have to question how this method will have an impact on company culture and an employer’s brand.
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