Layoffs Here, Hiring There

Just because a company’s laying off thousands, doesn’t mean it’s stopped hiring. In fact, some of the biggest names you see on layoff scorecards are actively looking to bring on new talent. I’m talking about companies like Boeing, IBM, Microsoft and AT&T.

What’s going on? Where in the old days, companies would retrain employees as their businesses changed, now they’re letting people go when their skills don’t match business needs. As Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told The Wall Street Journal, "They’ve discovered that you can restructure even faster by laying off and hiring."

And though the Labor Department reports 539,000 jobs were eliminated in April, about 4.4 million workers were hired in February (those most recent month for which those figures are available).

I’m not saying it’s not a tough job market right now. It is. I’m pointing out you shouldn’t write off your job prospects with a company just because it’s laying people off. For instance:

  • Boeing is looking for more than 1,500 mechanical, electrical, software and other engineers.
  • Microsoft will add 2,000 – 3,000 positions in online search, cloud computing and other area
  • AT&T is bringing on 3,000 people in its wireless, Internet and television businesses
  • IBM will hire 4,000 employees over three years for its consulting division, and 1,300 more to manage customer IT systems.

It’s just another reason why you need to thoroughly research the areas you’re interested in, as part of your job search. If you rely on headlines alone, you may miss opportunities.

— Mark Feffer

8 Responses to “Layoffs Here, Hiring There”

  1. Buddy Y.

    Yeah they can restructure faster by laying off and hiring because they’re laying off Americans and hiring immigrants and laying off older workers and hiring young ones. Yeah, you need to thoroughly research another career, like maybe driving a bus at DisneyWorld. Who are you people trying to kid here? “If you rely on headlines alone, you may miss opportunities.” And if you rely on Dice alone you’ll miss all the opportunities. American corporations are screwing American workers right now in search of a better bottom line. And if they keep it up there aren’t going to be any Americans left to buy their products.

  2. Captain

    Buddy is correct. They are not hiring back the experienced people that they are laying off. They are hiring back factory educated people from other countries. These people know the jargon of the trendy technologies, but lack any kind of engineering background. Furthermore, they are exploited by their managers until they get their green cards.

    Perhaps this is why every job agency that posts jobs has Indian names listed as the contacts. They post the jobs here just to pretend that they looked to meet immigration requirements.

  3. David Y

    I could not agree more.

    I am on the product management side of a big Search Engine Marketing company. The company just hired 3 new people in their 20’s/30’s (less than 3 weeks ago)and let me and another product manager get the axe. We are both in our 40’s.

    Go figure…lay-off and hiring? YES, definitely.

    Company reducing expenses? Yes, definitely.

    Company going Green? Yes, very green and wet behind the ears.

    Will they succeed? Not likely. They just declared bankruptcy….

    In the world of revolving doors, it is only the CEO and the cronies that make the money, not the underlying layer of management.

    Love the creative destruction that is going on. Maybe one of these days, we will all wake up and find that all the good jobs are overseas and the US will be the recipient of outsourcing from India & China.

    Will the situation improve overall for the economy? NOT. I am going on unemployment and would I have any money to spend? Go figure.

  4. TraderDFW

    Buddy Y, Captain & David Y all hit the various aspects of a big target. The people that write these “Career Advice” articles, are so out of touch with reality as to be unbelievable.

    Sadly, they actually believe the mindless spew that issues from their keyboards. And will probably continue to do so until they either have to train their 3rd world replacement, or someone in India gets their job.

    Yes, things have really gone into the toilet here in the U.S. The American companies have broken their covenant with the American working. Partly I blame the Unions, and partly I blame the introduction of the HR model of employer/employee relationship management. I’d be happy to discuss that aspect in email. Bottom line, reading career advice articles on any of the job boards is a waste of brain cycles.

    Good luck and successful job searches!


  5. Sam S.

    I concur with those who have commented that the top 1500 Corporations have improved their profitability by laying off more experienced and thus, higher paid citizens of this country in leiu for more H1B visa applicants.

    Unfortunately, the trend will continue given the Supreme Court’s 9 to 0 decision in regard to fraudalent use of a Social Security card by an illegal alien. The Court in it’s infinite wisdom determined that unless the illegal alien had first hand knowledge that the number used was for someone living; then it couldn’t be construed as fraud.

    Just a shame that we’ve been sold out by “Old Chronies” on Capitol Hill; both Democratic and Republican.

    Waitng for “the final shoe to drop” when General Amnesty is declared and American’s finally achieve the “third world” status that will most assuredly ensue.

    Sam S.

  6. Mainframe Dino

    All the above comments agree with my experience. If the American citizen was given priority, then our jobless situation in the tech fields would be much better.

    In regards to Johnny Americana’s comment, I agree that people need hope and it is best to be optimistic, but how to do that while being realistic of the current job environment is one neat mental skill and/or perspective to have. I strive to do this but am more one way or the other at times.

    Below is my personal experience(I know, boohoo, cry me a river):

    Post Y2K and DotCom bust killed most of my job oportunities so got my A+ certification to repair computers. I always liked doing this anyway. No luck finding work. Needed money so got a Security Job to live. After six years that went bye bye and I don’t qualify for UI. Not fun, always qualified before. Lost apartment of 19 years(like losing your house) and car burned up while moving into friends house. Most stuff put in storage and on food stamps while looking for work. Feel like I am mooching. This feels worse than not having a job. At 59.5 is there any hope for a broken down mainframer, ex-guard, and pc tech wannabe?? Need good attitude picker upper, but mostly I just need a JOB………………………………

  7. Well said and accurate. There are seems of opportunity, however. In particular in education and with vendors the support education markets K-12 and higher education, as well as healthcare. These are steady industries that do in fact value us, more experienced people; I am 46. I know it’s sexy to work for a cool company in uber-high tech but for instance large school districts are in fact middle market to large companies with operating budgets of $2 to 10 billion dollars. And, they need great minds like the folks who have contributed to this post.