April 16, 2024

News and Political Commentary

The laid-off masses have a message for Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Benioff: We’ll never come back

2 min read

For some workers, it doesn’t matter how grim the economy is, how dismal the job market, or how thankless their current job. If they were laid off—especially during the pandemic—many workers would never dream of returning to the place that dropped them. 

Tech companies have laid off nearly 245,000 workers this year alone, per tracker Layoffs.fyi, and Silicon Valley heavyweights like Meta and Salesforce have led the pack, each culling thousands of jobs apiece.

But workers weren’t losers for long. Now, as the job market shifts once again, companies are scrambling for talent, and some are angling for the very kinds of workers they just cut. The real question is what will happen when those workers decide they don’t want them back? 

Over half (58%) of 6,000 professionals who responded to a recent Glassdoor poll said they’d never return to a company who laid them off. In the tech sector specifically, just 46% of workers said they’d boomerang. Men were slightly more likely to consider boomeranging than women, and older workers were more open-minded than younger ones.  

“As the labor market has softened over the past year….some regrets are inevitable,” Aaron Terrazas, chief economist at Glassdoor, tells Fortune. A few sectors have begun “cautiously” ramping up their hiring as their fears of a recession recede, but “corporate reputation casts a long shadow.” 

The legacy of layoffs—and how they were carried out—could “come back to haunt companies when the pendulum of the labor market inevitably swings back,” Terrazas adds. “Former employees can be a company’s most loyal advocates, or they can be the most piercing critics.” The result depends on the nature of the company. 

Salesforce laid off about 10% of its workforce earlier this year, but now CEO Marc Benioff is encouraging those people to apply to fill its 3,000-plus open roles. “Our job is to grow the company and to continue to achieve great…

Jane Thier

2023-10-21 09:00:00

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