Just how common are stealth layoffs?

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Peck.173

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Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby Peck.173 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:54 am

Caveat: all this assumes a "normal"-ish economy & I know if it goes 2008 again, we're all screwed.

The term stealth layoff is tossed around a lot. But just how common are they really at a V firm? Wondering if anyone has something - even useful anecdata - on this.

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2014

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Re: Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby 2014 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:16 am

Do you mean en masse or just generally? If you mean en masse they seem to be limited and publicized. If you mean how often are individual associates given mediocre reviews and then asked to think about transitioning then it happens everywhere. I'm not aware of any firm that makes a scene of firing underperforming associates, it tends to be handled gently.

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Re: Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:19 am

Peck.173 wrote:Caveat: all this assumes a "normal"-ish economy & I know if it goes 2008 again, we're all screwed.

The term stealth layoff is tossed around a lot. But just how common are they really at a V firm? Wondering if anyone has something - even useful anecdata - on this.


My experience from a couple years v5. It's hard to know frequency because people don't like to talk about it. Anecdotally, yes I know someone it happened to. The firm lets you hook something up before you leave (and, in my friend's case, the firm hooked it up for him). It's a job. You are an employee. You are expendable. Plan accordingly.

Peck.173

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Re: Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby Peck.173 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:21 am

2014 wrote:Do you mean en masse or just generally? If you mean en masse they seem to be limited and publicized. If you mean how often are individual associates given mediocre reviews and then asked to think about transitioning then it happens everywhere. I'm not aware of any firm that makes a scene of firing underperforming associates, it tends to be handled gently.


I guess what I'm concerned about isn't performance reviews - that happens everywhere. But, I am concerned about a firm deciding to whittle down a group that hasn't been as busy, and using performance as a cover to bring down headcount.

jarofsoup

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Re: Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:14 pm

From what I have observed from working in a big firm is that if there is a slow patch people will get stealthed pretty rapidly. Firms usually will help you find your next gig if you were not awful.

For instance, between November and January the capital markets slowed down. I know people were let go during this time period. Did not make it on above the law or anything but there were layoffs.

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Re: Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:21 pm

Peck.173 wrote:
2014 wrote:Do you mean en masse or just generally? If you mean en masse they seem to be limited and publicized. If you mean how often are individual associates given mediocre reviews and then asked to think about transitioning then it happens everywhere. I'm not aware of any firm that makes a scene of firing underperforming associates, it tends to be handled gently.


I guess what I'm concerned about isn't performance reviews - that happens everywhere. But, I am concerned about a firm deciding to whittle down a group that hasn't been as busy, and using performance as a cover to bring down headcount.


Yes, this happens all the time. Lets say at a Vault 50 firm in Cap mkts there are 8 3rd-6th year associates and 2 suck (even if not objectively, just compared to their peers). All is fine, but now the group is slow for 6 months. So both naturally (no one wants to work with the crappy ones and now b/c people have time they don't have to) and through group coordination, those 2 are denied work. At 1st review they are told their work product needs improvement and their hours are low. At their next review, with their hours still low, they are let go quietly with 2-6 months of time to find a new job. It is in both their and the firms best interest not to publicize this. Better firms will help find these folks jobs (not great jobs, just gainful employment with a client) but some firms/groups will not.

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rpupkin

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Re: Just how common are stealth layoffs?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:31 pm

Peck.173 wrote:
2014 wrote:Do you mean en masse or just generally? If you mean en masse they seem to be limited and publicized. If you mean how often are individual associates given mediocre reviews and then asked to think about transitioning then it happens everywhere. I'm not aware of any firm that makes a scene of firing underperforming associates, it tends to be handled gently.


I guess what I'm concerned about isn't performance reviews - that happens everywhere. But, I am concerned about a firm deciding to whittle down a group that hasn't been as busy, and using performance as a cover to bring down headcount.

That's normal. There's a blurry line between "firing someone for performance" and "culling the herd because the firm or group is slow."

This cuts in both directions, by the way. For example, an otherwise underperforming associate--someone who probably should be fired based on work product--will end up staying on board because a group is slammed and needs bodies.



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