Laid off? Headhunters love you, if you come cheap | business | Hindustan Times
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Laid off? Headhunters love you, if you come cheap

business Updated: Mar 06, 2009 23:55 IST
Ruchi Hajela
Ruchi Hajela
Hindustan Times
Laid off? Headhunters love you

If you are good but still have been laid off, there is hope. Tired of looking for the right people with right skills within a budget, headhunters are looking for basement bargains in hiring people who lose their jobs because of business issues unrelated to their competence.

The advantage: they come at cheaper wages.

Employing companies are shy of confirming, but recruitment firms told HT that this is true.

“Select hiring is still happening and some clients in the construction, retail and information technology sectors are
asking us to consider the laid-off crowd, as these can be acquired for lower cost and are immediately available for work,” said Rajesh A.R., vice-president at temporary staffing firm TeamLease Services.

Finding skilled people is still tough for recruiters as those who have not lost jobs are cautious about making a switch, while those without a job are ready to settle for less.

“Those already employed are wary of changing jobs and there’s enough talent in the market,” said S.P. Tripathy, director at executive search firm ElDorado Consulting.

Of course, quality matters. Any old laid-off employee will not do. Reference checks are critical to separate cheap hires from bad apples.

“It is important not to dilute one’s selection criterion and have thorough reference checks,” said Pradeep Mukerjee, an independent HR consultant.

“We want to hire the best candidates irrespective of whether they have been laid off or not,” said Mukesh Aghi, chief executive at software firm Steria.

Industry veterans say hiring laid-off workers may be a bargain, but keeping them at low wages may boomerang when the market revives. Hence it may make sense to pay them reasonably.