3 Founders Shared their Opinions on Situation of Firing of Employees in Coronavirus Outbreak

COVID-19 virus is spreading so rapidly and it has hit dozens of countries globally. Indian government has put 1.3 billion residents in lockdwon. This pandemic has impacted many industries like stock market, travel industry, healthcare, supply chain, manufacturing units. Most of the start-ups are on the verge of closure or bankruptcy. Every individual has been adversely affected however it has largely impacted the new start up’s. Companies are firing people from work. This situation is panic for employer and employees too. This virus originated in China but has spread-ed to many countries. Nobody knows when this contagious disease will end.

We have asked founders of few companies their opinion on how employees should react on firing happening now in this corona virus outbreak and lockdown.

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Firing of Employees in Coronavirus Outbreak

Mamaearth

Mamaearth is Asia’s first Madesafe certified brand that offers 100% toxin free & natural baby and mama care products. We talked with Ghazal Alagh, C0-founder, about how employees should react on firing happening now in this corona virus outbreak and lockdown.

How should employees react to the firing happening right now?

It’s undoubtedly a hard situation to be in — losing your job in a general atmosphere of fear and panic is not ideal. However, most employers are trying to avoid lay-offs unless it’s the absolute last resort and are also cushioning the blow with generous severance packages.

The laid-off employees need to first take a breath and realize that what has happened is purely due to these extraordinary circumstances and nothing to do with their ability as employees. It’s okay to have a moment of anger and sadness because of the situation— but wallowing over a prolonged time will only make the situation worse. Even though it sounds hard to believe, there are a number of organizations taking a long-term view of this situation and looking to hire employees at this time. This is the right time to focus on their CV and consolidate all the work they’ve done and the skills they’ve acquired. Many platforms and universities across the world are providing great courses at a discounted price or even free of cost. This is the right time to acquire some additional skills.

How/Where can employees, fired after Corona should look for the new job opportunity?

Luckily most recruitment has shifted seamlessly to online channels. People are doing multiple rounds of interviews via Skype/Zoom, and many are even making final offers. As I mentioned before, many companies are looking at this time as an opportunity to hire skilled people without too much effort.

Try to part on good terms with your employers. They will want to help you, making sure you land on your feet, and you can even ask them for both a good recommendation as well as referrals to employers who are hiring. Besides this, going through all the regular channels — your network, LinkedIn, and job portals— should yield the right results.  

What do you think is the best way for employee to connect with an organisation/HR for any opening?

The best way to connect, of course, is through your networks— whether batchmates/seniors from your college/business school, colleagues and seniors at work, or even general friends and family. This is the time to use all your social media networks to connect the dots and find who can connect you with which organizations.

If that’s not an option, doing some basic research will help you figure out which organizations are hiring. Use LinkedIn to find relevant managers/HR within those organizations and send them a polite and personalized cover letter.

What are different ways companies can implement to stop this firing?

The best way is, of course, implementing salary cuts for senior management. This isn’t always the best course of action under ordinary circumstances. For instance, when a company is going through a bad time, experts always recommend lay-offs over salary cuts. That’s because a salary cut makes competent employees leave the company and join somewhere else. However, this isn’t an ordinary business situation — this is a global pandemic resulting in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Employees are even voluntarily taking salary cuts at this time so that others don’t experience hardship. This is definitely a good short-term measure.

For companies where cash flow is the biggest issue, delaying part of the salaries might be an option. In this way, they can pay a minimum basic to every employee, but those who earn above a certain threshold could get part of their salary later.

Whatever course of action companies choose to take, it’s important to explain the “why” of these actions in a clear, unambiguous way to all stakeholders.

upGrad Education

Founded in early 2015, upGrad offers online programs for working professionals. We talked with Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD, about how employees should react on firing happening now in this corona virus outbreak and lockdown.

How should employees react to the firing happening right now?

Our economy has taken a massive hit over the past few weeks of lockdown and has directly contributed to situations like  job loss, appraisals being called off, and downsizing along with other career opportunities turning obsolete are impending concerns. A recent report by CMIE (Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy) suggests that the nationwide lockdown saw the unemployment rate shot up from 8.4% in mid-March to the current 23.4%.

Amid such crucial times, when the anxiety of losing job and economical pressure is rapidly penetrating through our system, the only way to survive through the treadmill of life is by upskilling. One must use this extra time at hand to use it cautiously and meaningfully to develop new skills, understand rooted fundamentals and enhance their professional growth at large. While all hiring procedures have been put to freeze as of now, these newly acquired skills will help professionals bounce back into the system with ease and confidence once the dust settles down, leading towards the greater evolution.

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Surmount Business

Surmount Business practices targets to become a strategic partner to entrepreneurs and enterprises to help expand businesses beyond their existing roots, professionalize their operations and enhance their Capital Efficiency. We talked with Niraj Bora, Founder, about how employees should react on firing happening now in this corona virus outbreak and lockdown.

How should employees react to the firing happening right now?

Although difficult, employees need to accept the fact that the business has to justify profits to be sustainable. If it shuts down due to losses, every loses their jobs and is not good for overall good of stakeholders. Whatsapp and Alibaba was founded after the founders were not selected for an interview. Also, I know few people who planned to switch their profiles but never did for fear of low pay. They shifted to something they like and earn out of it. Staying alive is the only mantra for everyone through this, and once the market reopens many opportunities will come up in various positions. Also, next few months could have lower pay till the market stabilises and you have to manage till then.

Employees can spend time learning more skills they through of but could not do so in past due to lack of time. It could be another language, an online course to add to resume, coding, etc. That really helps in future with getting back on your feet. Udemy, coursera, Unacademy, etc are great online learning tools for everyone.

How/Where can employees, fired after Corona should look for the new job opportunity?

Since WFH kicked in, searching only through job portals, linkedin, referrals are good ways to start with. Identify sectors that can compliment your skills and are recruiting. Look beyond your cliche profiles that can also switch your monotonous work.

Nowadays, many freelancing websites are available that pays you on a project / task basis. Identify and search for such options and start working for any company anytime you want to.

Eventually, the globalisation would be like a product you buy might be designed by teams spread across europe, using US technology manufactured in Asia, with materials specifically made in Africa for a brand based in some other country with no physical office. I believe the Gig economy would be a big market for all who can work from home.

What do you think is the best way for employee to connect with an organisation/HR for any opening?

Seek referrals online on social media, linkedin, job portals, etc. and connect with relevant persons. Understand the employers perspective with respect to skills required, get in touch with employees who are already working in the said organisation to understand more about the job opening or the profile/ work culture to better assess the prospect of working there.

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About Ashwini

  • Maharastra