"I Have a Bad Feeling About This" - How to Discern that You Are Staring Redundancy in the Face

It is still unknown whether staff reduction is becoming inevitable, which sectors it will touch and which it will pass over. At the moment, the crisis is affecting those who work in the financial and building industries. Such uncertainty does not contribute to calm and confidence in the future, but the coming dismissals come with certain signs. It is worth looking closer at them in order to be prepared morally -- and materially.

Situation in the Market

"The crisis has shown that the situation in the market can change drastically and very suddenly," said Jana Redko, consultant on personnel selection at Alfa Personnel. "The financial sector is reducing the number of experts without special education. It is even more difficult for specialists in the middle echelons: analysts, mortgage specialists, investment specialists, loans specialists. Since September, the offers for top positions were cut. Companies are no longer advertising vacancies and are hesitating to sign anyone on."

"At the moment, many companies that are still retaining their staff are freezing salaries and hiring no new employees," adds Maria Sharogradskaya, operating director of Alfa Personal. "Obviously, in this period of cost cutting, many companies will optimize their personnel. You can say for sure that the job market will change. Candidates will need to moderate their ambition and their demands to fit a different mode of working. But there will not be any mass unemployment, in our view."

However, it is still too early to make a final conclusion. As it was pointed out in the BBC Russia interview with Anastasia Nashchyokina, a specialist at ANKOR Banking and Financial Services, the peak of the crisis may come at the end of the financial year, when budgets for the following year are drawn up and it becomes clear which format the company will survive in.

Scientific Attitude

Experts from the Society of Human Resources Management, an association that includes specialists from different countries, mark several basic signs of future redundancies in a company.

• The company is not hiring new employees for vacant positions

• The company is not making new appointments and not acquiring personnel

• The company is not prolonging contracts for freelancers

• The company is cutting wages

Before the decision to make an employee redundant, the employee's efficiency, job characteristics and employment pattern are considered.

"If no one has said that you will be made redundant, but your intuition suggests that a change is coming, it would be advisable to have a look at your company's competitors. The first sign is a cut in spending," says Natalia Dorofeyeva, director of business development at Citilink.

"Who is first?"

"Usually the first to go in an employee cut back are new employees, whose value is still not obvious to the company. The reason is 'Last in – First Out,'" said Dorofeyeva.

"Moreover, the most vulnerable tend to be administrative personnel, bank clerks, sales representatives, specialists, all those who are not critical for the business during the crisis. However if the business suffers greatly during this period, it will hit the professionals too," she said.

"During the work optimization, the business may abandon non core assets and projects with few perspectives," said Maria Sharogradskaya. "It is obvious that people who are working on such things may find themselves at loose ends."

The Main Thing is To Stay Calm

"The most important thing in the search for new work is to position yourself correctly on the job market" Dorofeyeva said. "Don't consider yourself a victim. It is important to display skills, draw conclusions from life's lessons, show motivation and a readiness to solve new problems."

But Irina Sofyanova, HR manager at Alfa Personnel, points out that during the crisis the very retrieval system may not be able to keep up, considered that the difficulty might be connected to people's reaction to stress and misfortune.

"It is worth listening to professionals and thinking about what wages it is reasonable to ask for at the moment. Maybe it is worth trying to find work in a related area," she said.