8 June, 2020

Startups begin outplacement of laid-off staff

  • By Team SP

Companies have now calibrated their recruitment staff to create outplacement cells, sharing resumes of employees across the hiring network, while holding one-on-one counselling sessions.

Bengaluru: After laying off thousands of employees in the last few weeks, large startups have begun outplacement initiatives to help them find new jobs.

In May alone, startups, including Swiggy, Zomato, Lendingkart, Ola,, WeWork India, ShareChat, and Uber India among others, laid off employees. Companies have now calibrated their recruitment staff to create outplacement cells, sharing resumes of employees across the hiring network, while holding one-on-one counselling sessions.

“We have put together a five-member working team, which includes’s core team and senior managers, providing career counselling sessions on job openings and suggesting alternative career options for the affected employee base. Internally, we are sharing more than 100 job postings per week across functions, collated from our personal network, and job portals," said Pragati Sharma, talent acquisition and HR leader,, which laid off almost 1,000 employees in May, claimed that it has connected with more than 35 companies, including partner brands and recruitment agencies, to vet its affected employee base for open roles, and is looking to place them across industries, including edtech, food, apparel and e-commerce.

Foodtech unicorn Swiggy, which laid off 1,100 employees, is providing interview and resume building assistance and has created a dedicated touchpoint, via a hotline number and mailbox, to ensure the outplacement cell is accessible.

“To ensure a smooth transition, we’ve implemented a two-fold strategy that includes market outreach and preparing afftected employees to be ready for their prospective employers. The entire corporate hiring team is currently dedicated towards the outplacement initiative… The team includes a host of recruiters, recruitment leaders and programme managers," said Girish Menon, vice president- HR, Swiggy.

Menon added that the outplacement team is also receiving outbound enquiries for fleet managers, kitchen staff, catalog and operations teams.

Zomato, which has laid off 13% of its staff, said besides creating an outplacement team, it is also creating a database of its affected employees for absorption by other employers.

“... We are also building a Zomato Talent Directory for potential employers to easily access individual profiles, and for us to spread the word about the individuals that are part of it," said a Zomato spokesperson.

HR executives said that the recent layoffs are expected to continue for 3-6 months, as the industry continues to reel from the impact of the covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown.

“We are expecting around 30% of white collar jobs will be lost in the startup ecosystem. These are across functions, including sales, operations, business development, analytics and marketing. Startups that are right-sizing lack the time and bandwidth to efficiently collate or curate new job opportunities for their employees," said Vanishri Deshpande, founder and CEO of HR tech startup Spottabl.

This is a big opportunity for HRtech startups, which have launched their outplacement solutions to help laid-off employees find new roles. Recently, Spottabl, launched its outplacement solution, Reko, to help companies provide career opportunities for affected employees.

“Technology hiring is least impacted and we see a lot of our network companies hiring very aggressively in technology. We have seen a decrease of 75% in new offers going out on our platform. Though offers have reduced, technology offers are still being made primarily," adds Vineet Dwivedi, founder and CEO,, which recently launched a re-employment assistance service for affected employers.

Companies that are hiring are actively looking at technology-related roles, including product, data science and artificial intelligence. They are also leveraging their investor portfolios and reaching out to VC firms to hire employees.

“PhonePe is actively working with VC funds as well as companies that may need to find roles for their staff to evaluate them for a fit at PhonePe. We are in close touch with multiple organisations to work with their talent teams to identify the best fit for PhonePe," said Manmeet Sandhu, head of HR at PhonePe.

Razorpay, which plans to hire 150 individuals this financial year, is tracking companies in portfolios of its investors, which are right sizing, and looking to bring talent from these businesses, under its work-staff count.

“Experience is the major driving factor for us to hire from these affected startups and that talent is readily available," adds Abhishek Kumar, co-founder, MyGate, an apartment security solution.


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