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Do New Hires Get Laid Off First?

Over the years, the “last in, first out” mentality has become a thing of the past.  Employers are looking at a number of factors when determining how to restructure, including deciding who brings the most to the table.  While longevity used to play a major factor, skillset, education, performance, teachability, and how much revenue an employee generates all play a part in the complexity of layoffs.  

Being laid off after a month or laid off after 2 weeks isn’t solely determined by your newness to the company. It’s more about the alignment of your role within the company’s strategic direction and the value you bring to the team. Companies today are more strategic and often look at the bigger picture when making these tough decisions. This could involve a myriad of factors beyond the date you joined. Skills, performance, and the potential for future contributions often weigh heavily in these considerations. 

So, it’s safe to say that no one is safe when it comes to employment security these days.  While the new hires may have been hired at the highest pay, they may also come with a more extensive educational background and bring a fresh perspective to the table.  While companies continue to work more strategically, looking at the bigger picture for these tough decisions, performance, and skills can outweigh tenure in today’s modern business structure.  

Which Departments Get Laid Off First?

Patterns emerged during mass layoffs in 2023, showing that the departments deemed non-essential or that do not directly contribute to the core functions of the business are often the first to see cuts.  It isn’t about who necessarily, but what they offer to the company when pressed to make hard economic decisions.  However, no department is safe since many different functions can now be outsourced, saving companies quite a bit of money than if they were to keep an internal department going.  

Who Gets Laid Off First?

We’ve discussed the departments that get laid off first and even if new hires should be first to go, but who really gets laid off first?  Restructuring within a company cannot be based on discriminatory reasons so they must be careful when considering layoffs.  Putting performance issues, redundant roles, and the company’s needs aside, it may simply boil down to economics.  What salaries are the highest to make the most significant impact on the financial state of the company?

Why Did I Get Laid Off?

If you’ve come to the end of this article and find yourself asking, “Why did I get laid off?”, it is likely a multitude of reasons including economic changes, outsourcing of what was previously done within your role, or a shift in the company’s focus.  It’s important to remember that it is typically not a reflection of your capabilities at all.  

As restructuring evolves, workers are finding themselves with both an office at home and away, everyone is forced to assess where they are.  The relevance of a role changes the question about the timing of layoffs from “What time do new hires get laid off first?” to something more about necessity and strategy.  In the end, it becomes more complex than seniority rules.


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