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3 types of employees at most risk during layoffs, according to former HR exec at Microsoft

Chris Williams also shared two categories of employees who are at least risk of being laid off.

January 25, 2023 / 08:51 AM IST
Chris Williams, former vice president of human resources at Microsoft (Image credit: LinkedIn)

Chris Williams, former vice president of human resources at Microsoft (Image credit: LinkedIn)

Following Microsoft's announcement on January 18 to lay off 10,000 employees, accounting for almost 5 percent of its global workforce, a former vice-president of the human resources at the company shared three categories of employees who are at most risk of being fired and two of the safest categories.

Chris Williams, who is now a podcaster, consultant and TikTok creator told Business Insider, "Every industry, company, even department has a different risk, but some areas are more vulnerable than others." He then listed the three most unsafe categories.

1.) Contract workers
"At the extreme end of the risk spectrum are contract employees. One of the main reasons companies use temporary or contract workers is for this very contingency. They want to remain flexible in case of a downturn," Williams told the publication.

2.) Employees associated with new initiatives
When companies decide to explore new avenues during a good phase, they tend to hire employees for these new initiatives. Such employees too are at risk during layoffs if the company decides to play it safe. "Unless the company is making a concerted effort to pivot entirely to these new areas, these kinds of new initiatives are often the first ones cut when times are leaner," Williams told Business Insider.