If there's ever been something that's generated a "yeah, duh" in the halls of corporate America, it is the following:
"Company Z just announced a big layoff. We should go after them from a recruiting perspective."
Well, yeah. No Sh##. The devil of course, is in the details. That's what makes this recent tweet by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, so interesting. He's going direct and talking to up to 5,000 people recently impacted by a Microsoft layoff, encouraging them to consider a career at Salesforce. See the tweet below (email subscribers enable pictures or click through for image):
Laid off by Microsoft? Join the #1 CRM. Create customer success daily. Give back & volunteer as part of your job. Email Jobs@Salesforce.com pic.twitter.com/v5GqTHvQGT— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) July 13, 2017
Attn Microsoft Laid Off Employees. Please send your resume to Salesforce. We are hiring! Email Jobs@Salesforce.com https://t.co/PtHy8iuCHr— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) July 13, 2017
Microsoft announced July 6 that it would cut 10% of its global sales team — around 5,000 people. Around the same time, Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois resigned, although it's unclear whether his departure was related to the company's reorganization.
But back to the concept of recruiting people from companies doing layoffs. Thoughts/questions for your reading pleasure and comments:
- Do we really want the laid off people? They were the weak ones, right? (damn - that's harsh. Bear with me)
- At the end of the day, most of us would love to create FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) in the minds of everyone at the targeted company. Benioff has a big enough microphone to do that on a macro basis, but the rest of us can't really do that. Neither can our CEOs, because most of them are babies when it comes to their use of social, their following, etc.
- That means in order to target survivors, your recruiters have to do the equivalent of the Mosul ground initiative (read up on your news!) and plant FUD the old fashioned way - by reaching out to candidates one at a time.
- But let's face it, if there was ever a time where you were going to reach to a passive candidate or two at a competitor with a "just checking in, heard about the BS" note, it's when a layoff occurs. Sadly, most TA shops have so much going on this won't happen unless it's demanded.
- Follow up notes on the value of laid off candidates - I believe they have value. The bigger the layoff (5,000 is pretty big) and the better the economy when it happens (means the company missed on strategy, not a reflection of the talent), the more there will be high quality employees in the layoff.
Should we recruit from competitors who just announced a layoff?
Um - yeah.
But it's harder than it looks. And you're CEO tweeting is likely to give you jack in the process. So get ready to roll up your sleeves and spend a day targeting and pinging candidates with a personalized message.
PS - Benioff is talking to the survivors at Microsoft as much as he's talking to the impacted. That's the value of having a rock star CEO who can "imply" a whole bunch of things with the social megaphone they have.