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Applying openly for jobs at rival firms? That's alright. Say thanks to COVID-19

With risk of being rendered jobless, several employed individuals are now openly seeking job positions in rival companies.

November 07, 2020 / 10:02 AM IST

Applying for a job at a rival organisation is often considered a discreet activity. Individuals would typically use their personal email address to send the resume. Talking to even the closest colleagues about a possible job switch would be avoided till the final offer was received.

However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the resultant uncertainty around jobs amidst the lockdown has brought about changes in this behaviour.

One would notice on social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn that individuals with existing job roles in firms are open about eyeing a job switch.

“Hello, I am Manish and working with ABC firm. I would like to look for alternate jobs in sectors like banking and insurance,” reads one advertisement. Another ad reads, “I am not unemployed but I am looking for other challenging roles in companies like X, Y and Z. Please contact me on my email”.

In ordinary circumstances such open declarations for job switches could be seen as a violation of human resource rules of any organisation. But amidst the lockdown, HR managers told Moneycontrol that such instances are being ignored.

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“We cannot do anything if the employee wishes to look out. Several job roles across companies are in crisis and hence employees seem to be in a hurry to move out,” said the vice president heading human resources at a financial services firm.

He added that while outplacement services are being offered, this is not available across all companies and also isn't available for all employees. Hence, employees at risk of losing their job are being subtly nudged to apply elsewhere.

Earlier information being leaked about an employee applying for jobs elsewhere could even lead to stern warnings from HR to even suspension from the job role. Now that is no longer the case.

The open advertisements posted on social media primarily are for entry to mid-level roles. These range from manager, sales executive to administrative officer.

An individual who is currently employed tends to have a higher bargaining power to negotiate compensation with prospective employers. On the other hand, those unemployed may not be in a position to do so since hiring managers of companies are also aware that these candidates have little choice but to accept the terms offered.

Industry sources also told Moneycontrol that while about 65 percent of employed posting for job switches are just looking for career development, close to 35 percent job-seekers are those who have been unofficially told to start looking out for other employment.

In roles like sales, branch operations and administration where India Inc is heavily cutting down costs by letting go of staff, employees are being informed a month or two in advance to start looking for alternate employment. This helps the candidate land a job before he/she is terminated from the current role.

Data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed that the unemployment rate in India stood at 7 percent in October 2020 with 5,50,000 jobs being lost in that month.

Over and above this, hiring consultants expect that close to a million jobs across companies at risk. So, job-seekers don’t be shy about posting job-switch requirements online if you see a clear trend of your job being at risk of being culled.
M Saraswathy
first published: Nov 7, 2020 10:02 am

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