Thursday, April 23, 2009

Outplaced Vs Ousted

Large companies, thanks to recession, are resorting to 'Outplacing' as compared to 'Ousting' their bench employees, provided they clear the interview and have the right skill set and are agreeable to work in shifts. 'Outplacing' - a new word coined due to recession - means placing an employee, who is on bench, into a sister concern which is less attractive because of the menial tasks involved and comparitively lower pay.

Now, it is not easy getting into the sister concern either. It needs its own particular set of skills and the employee should be fine working odd hours on tight schedules with lower pay. But, any day, 'Outplaced' is better than 'Ousted'.

Now, there are two types of people who get on bench. (For the uninitiated, 'bench' refers to people with no work but on pay roll of a company, waiting for a project to which they will get allocated.) Either an employee is a poor performer due to which he has been ousted from his project or the project in which he was working closed down and hence he has nothing to work on.

Now, projects generally do not close down in one go. Work associated in a project gradually reduce and subsequently, employees working in a project too get gradually reduced. And when that happens, obviously, the manager chooses to get rid of less efficient / poor performers first to retain the cream of the team till the end, in the hope of a renewal of the project contract or to at least ensure the brainer of the lot do not get on to the bench strength. So, logically thinking, the first-comers to the bench strength are less efficent and poor performers of the company.

Now, a company cannot keep lots of people on bench for a long period of time. Hence, they start placing them in their sister concerns which does neither has attractive work nor has a decent pay. But, since outplaced is better than ousted, bench folks are more than glad to accept the offer.

Of course, sister concerns also have a limit on how many people they can take, for they too have fixed amount of work and, in all probability, work that is reducing by the day too. So, just as the lot of poor performers and lesser efficient trickle down from bench to sister concerns, the brainer lot and efficent people start filling up the bench as the projects get closed down and renewals do not come through. At the same time, sister concerns are full too and they do not need any more people. So, now, there is not even an avenue called 'Outplaced.'

So, does this mean that its better to get onto bench as quickly as possible so as to keep hopes of being outplaced than ousted?!

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