On July 1, Chinese overseas media Apollo reported a story from Jane, an HR staff from a Chinese networking company. She told the news outlet about her recent experience when she had to lay off 1,000 employees in a week.
In early March, the top brass of the company where she worked launched a lay-off campaign. Right after the meeting, all staff members of the HR department apportioned targets to the heads of major business lines. Other than the sales department, lay-off quotas must be met within a week.
With more than 100,000 employees by the end of 2021, a 10% layoff target would mean that 6,000 to 10,000 employees would lose their jobs within a week.
Each team’s supervisor had to submit the list of going-to-be-sacked staff members. The HR staff received the information and arranged one-on-one appointments, which took place two days later. During that one week, all meeting rooms were occupied.
Jane told the news outlet about the process. The employee walked into the room, signed the resignation agreement on the spot, and returned the computer on the way out. There’s no need to hand over the ongoing projects. Some missed the chance to say goodbye to their colleagues. Jane said the compensation package followed the “n+1” structure, in which n refers to the number of years of service for the company, while each year of service would be compensated with one month’s salary. If both parties failed to reach an agreement, the company would unilaterally terminate the employees.
Among the nearly 1,000 laid-off employees Jane was responsible for, some refused to sign the resignation form, while others threatened to jump off the building. Some said they would sue the company.
Jane said that the entire HR team was depressing. They absorb lots of negative emotions from colleagues struggling to make a living.
Under high pressure and intensity, Jane told Apollo that “every day was like a war.” She said, “you don’t think of them as human-being anymore, just like goods. This label: ‘going well’/’not going well’; the next label: ‘at risk’/’no risk. “
Jane knows how difficult it is for the sacked employees to find another job. At the time, tens of thousands of people who had been laid off had to compete against each other. The whole HR team was under tremendous pressure as they knew they were not doing the right thing. They knew they “were bullying who have no choice.”
The team members circulated a joke that they would be the last to face the layoff wave, which indeed happened. The first HR to be laid off came from the recruitment team.
After carrying out the layoffs, Jane also chose to leave due to mental stress.