2023 started off as a year marked by unforeseen challenges and a constant shift in market dynamics – where employees all around the world have been significantly impacted by the global recession, including employees in Asia. The wave of mass layoffs and corporate restructuring that first began in late 2022 which started with Meta and Twitter taking the earliest plunges, has not slowed down. Businesses have had to make tough decisions which has left talented professionals who have been laid off grappling with uncertainty on navigating on what comes next.
2023 Layoffs in Asia include:
Source: Fintech News Singapore
In a recent development, Hong Kong has entered the fold, as Credit Suisse unveiled its decision to reduce its Hong Kong investment bank employees by 80% – a move aligned with its merger with UBS Group. The Hong Kong sector holds the biggest share of Credit Suisse’s investment bankers residing in Asia. Within a team of 100 professionals, merely 20 individuals are slated to be exempt from the adjustments in Credit Suisse’s investment banking team.
Companies across Asia are encountering the need to adapt, transform, and restructure their operations to remain competitive and relevant. Restructuring or rightsizing is a complex and multifaceted process that often involves organizational changes, downsizing, and layoffs. To mitigate the negative impact on employees and company reputation, an increasing number of Asian companies are turning to outplacement services.
What is outplacement?
Outplacement services are a range of support programs and resources offered by companies to employees who are being laid off or facing career transitions due to restructuring. These services aim to help affected employees find new job opportunities, provide career guidance, and assist with the emotional and psychological aspects of job loss. Providing a compassionate and structured approach to assisting employees during workplace rightsizing or layoffs, employers demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of departing employees by using outplacement service providers. This prevents company reputation, minimises potential legal risks and enhances overall workplace morale.
How are companies in Asia using outplacement services?
Outplacement services play a crucial role in supporting both departing employees and employers. Today, businesses all around the world rely on outplacement services for several reasons including:
- Protect employer brand and reputation – Company remains an attractive choice for both potential employees and clients.
- Ensure a smooth transition for employees – Emotional support, counselling, and coping mechanisms to help laid off employees navigate through the next step of their career.
- Prevent legal disputes – Avoid any disputes that may come up with the laid off employee.
- Stabilise the workforce – Ensure existing employees in the company feel safe in their jobs.
Benefits of Outplacement Services
- Personalised Career Guidance: Outplacement services offer employees individualised career coaching and guidance. This helps them identify their strengths, skills, and interests, aligning them with suitable job opportunities.
- Skill Enhancement and Training: Outplacement service providers often partner with training providers to offer skill enhancement programs tailored to the evolving job market. This equips employees with the skills needed to secure new roles in emerging industries.
- Emotional Support: Losing a job can be emotionally distressing. Outplacement services provide emotional support, counselling, and coping mechanisms to help employees navigate the emotional challenges of job loss.
- Positive Employer Branding: Demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being and successful transitions enhances a company’s employer brand, making it an attractive choice for both potential employees and customers.
- Maintain Morale: Shows care for departing and remaining employees, sustaining a positive work environment.
- Protect Reputation: Reduces negative publicity and maintains the company’s image during layoffs.
- Reduce Legal Risks: Minimises the chance of legal actions from laid-off employees.
- Build Goodwill: Demonstrates compassion to customers and partners, enhancing company relationships.
- Sustain Productivity: Helps remaining employees stay focused by reducing uncertainty.
- Minimise Disruption: Speeds up the transition process, reducing post-layoff challenges.
Download Links’ Employee Outplacement Guide here!
Outplacement services can help a company navigate layoffs with greater sensitivity and effectiveness. Here’s how Links International helped a client successfully with a tailor-made outplacement programme:
With a diverse business & portfolio of AUM over 4 billion USD, Links International’s client was planning to pull one of its subsidiaries out of Hong Kong in 12 months’ time from the day of announcement. As part of the company’s strategy, they were looking to retain all the employees for 1 year but also gave them redundancy notice in advance.
Links International designed a tailor-made outplacement programme to serve the retention purpose and reassure their employees with a smooth career transition to new opportunities. Links designed a year-long programme to prepare and connect employees to new opportunities, while also advising the client on the redundancy package for the best result for both parties.
92% of employees were able to smoothly transition to new opportunities through Links’ support and there was no animosity towards our client. Links was also able to recognise the potential of some employees and help them change career paths.
As companies in Asia continue to adjust and adapt to a dynamic business landscape, the strategic use of outplacement services during restructuring and rightsizing is on the rise. Integrating outplacement services into the restructuring and rightsizing process is a clear step towards a more responsible approach to workforce management. Restructuring your company soon? Contact us today to learn more about our outplacement services – our team of experienced recruiters will be in touch!