Overheard in the boardroom: "Those lucky charms don't work i

by Vault Careers | August 12, 2009

  • My Vault

Do you remember when singer Rod Stewart, in his trademarkrasp, sang "Some Guys Have All the Luck?"  That phrase rings even truer in some business circles thesedays.  The news media has reportedthat more than a few companies in search of key personnel haven't bothered tocheck out the growing pool of jobless execs.  No, they'd rather spend time -- and significant effort -- tolure away someone who may not even be looking, thinking that he or she isespecially worthy if still working. The Wall Street Journal quoted the CEO of a tech consulting firm whosaid, "If they're still employed that means they have some significantvalue," and two executive recruiters agreed that "more clientsrecently have indicated that they would prefer to fill positions with 'passivecandidates'." 

These decision makers are doing a great disservice to atleast part of the available workforce. They seem to forget (don't care?) that many thousands of quiteaccomplished nonemployees have been let go through no fault of their own, thevictims of onerous budget cuts, massive restructuring that wiped out wholedepartments, or other cruel tricks of the failing economy.  In many cases, those events were set inmotion by their peers in the executive suite; often, the verdict on who to dumpwas arrived at only after much deliberation and with sadness. 

Such a policy isn't only short-sighted, but alsomanagerially (fiscally?) irresponsible. With many corporate budgets as lean as can be, is it really prudent toexpend extra cash and/or costly benefits on a hire when, sad to say, there arethose who could be snapped up for much less?  Plus, such measures, if they're common knowledge, makehiring executives look a bit cold -- and with public perception accounting fora big aspect of customer loyalty, that could really hit a company where ithurts.  So, when filling that job opening,don't consider someone who has suffered a layoff because you feel sorry for himor her; think about it because it makes sense to do so.

After all, chief executives and senior staffers, despite thesupposed easing of corporate layoffs, it could be you out on the streetnext.  It'll hurt to be summarilydismissed when you try to secure your next position, but you'll bounce back,somehow.      


Filed Under: Job Search

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